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Taking a business approach to connections

Taking a business approach to connections
Tui Ora opened its site to the business community on Tuesday night.

Last Updated: July 2019

Tui Ora shone a spotlight on its past, present and potential in a networking event for business on Tuesday July 2.

The Taranaki Chamber of Commerce's monthly after-5 function - Business Connections - was hosted by Tui Ora for the first time.

Tui Ora staff set out to be engaging, with Chamber guests split into two workshop groups. Over the course of half an hour each group learnt how Tui Ora has developed over its 21 years, where it's positioning itself for the future and how it can work with business and others to strengthen Taranaki communities.

Established in 1998 and known for providing health and social services, Tui Ora is expanding into economic and community development alongside other agencies, iwi groups and non-governmental organisations.

Chamber members at the function were positive, commenting that they had seen the organisation's fleet of yellow cars out and about – but knew little about the breadth of services, until last night.

The infrastructure built up by Tui Ora, the range of disciplines its staff cover and in what areas they work, were detailed by Ngamata Skipper (Economic Relationships Development Manager) and Jo Neal (People and Organisational Development Manager), both pictured below.

These areas cover everything from health and social services to data management, ICT, finance, HR, community engagement, and communications.

In the second workshop, a trio of staff talked of applying that expertise at the coalface. Finding a way to improve services for families, babies and tamariki was one example.

Project Manager Hinenui Wano-Bryant explained a co-design process which looks at 'designing' services or programmes so they can do a better job of bolstering health in all its facets, in order to help people lead healthy, happier lives.

Building on the strengths of whānau was a key element of a co-design process. Listening to whānau stories, understanding the need to collaborate with other partners, have multi-skilled practitioners and not "rushing" to solve everything were also important.

Hone Rata and Steve Perry talked about business intelligence and data. As data analysts they collate facts, figures and other information, to find out if health and social services are meeting goals and reaching outcomes.  

The data is shared in electronic reports among Tui Ora and its other partners (Taranaki District Health Board, Ngāti Ruanui and Ngāruahine). The availability of the data means these providers can now share knowledge, better target the services and collaborate more effectively. This kind of learning can be applied to different contexts and has relevance for business.

Chamber members at the function were interested and inquisitive.

Shane Devlin a board member said it was great to see an organisation, relatively new to the Chamber, with a fresh approach to the Business Connections event. "It's brilliant," he said.

Michelle Bent of Access Radio said she had no idea of the scope of services Tui Ora provided until last night. "I also found it interesting that there is an ability to work with business and help others with data collection."

Supporting Families was, like Tui Ora, working in similar areas and further collaboration had the potential to change the way not-for-profit organisations were funded, away from the current short-term contract model, suggested manager Justin Clinton Gohdes.

The evening presentation would help establish Tui Ora as it looked to partner with business and move beyond health to a wider workplace, said Shona Glentworth of Implement.

Learning about the organisation's structure and HR capabilities interested Phil McCarthy from Auld Brewer Mazengarb while Wendy Devine from the Engineering Taranaki Consortium noted how confident and knowledgeable the Tui Ora presenters were.

"What you can do with another partner in another context outside of health – I think that message came through loud and clear."

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