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Turanga Health working closely with Tairawhiti workplaces to offer jabs

Turanga Health has been working closely with workplaces in the district to give staff the chance to get their Covid-19 vaccination.

The Turanga Health team were at Kaiaponi Farms on Friday and about 40 kaimahi (workers) got vaccinated.

“This is the second time we've been to Kaiaponi,” Turanga Health manager Dallas Poi said.

“I am happy with how the initiative is progressing, in particular for workplaces.

“It's about being able to make the vaccination accessible to the workplace — going to their sites rather than them having to come out of work.”

Kaiaponi Farms Limited general manager Scott Wilson said he had received immense support from staff members for the vaccination drive.

“Turanga Health were our choice of vaccination providers because we were aware of their services and we hoped they would offer it to us, which they did.

“The majority of our staff will be second dose. It's probably a small number who are getting their first dose today.

“We are an essential business and most of the time our staff are at work.

“We wanted to give them the opportunity to be vaccinated here with the support of their colleagues.

“Also, employees had asked us if we could organise this on their behalf.”

Mr Wilson said this initiative was definitely good for business.

“It brings the vaccination service to the business where people feel comfortable and they are able to do it at work rather than having to make time somewhere in their personal daily lives.”

Kaiaponi Farms forklift driver Zarek Moses was among those to get vaccinated on Friday.

“I am doing it to protect my family, friends and co-workers. It's great to have vaccinations at work because it is more convenient.”

Kaiaponi Farms worker Mariah said she was supportive of her boss organising the workplace vaccination drive.

“Everybody is coming to get vaccinated. I am going to get my second one today. It's definitely easier at work.”

Kaiaponi Farms human resources staff member Melinda Reedy said they provided water and nibbles for their workers while they were waiting after the vaccination.

Ms Poi said Turanga Health felt really supported by Kaiaponi.

“We have been able to unlock a time for the vaccination during working hours so staff are able to come and not worry about coming in the lunch hour or after work.

“We have been in 15 workplaces, predominantly those in the primary industry.

“We are working alongside Trust Tairawhiti, who are also connecting us with other businesses here in Gisborne.

“This week we have been in about six workplaces and next week we intend to go to another six.

A coffee cart has been contracted for the workplace vaccinations.

“We thought it will be good to have the coffee cart available while they are waiting for 15 minutes after their vaccination.”

GOING TO THE PEOPLE: Turanga Health staff have been going to multiple workplaces to give vaccinations, including Kaiaponi Farms. From left are Turanga Health's Melinda Reedy (human resources), Kathleen Labrado (registered nurse) and Dallas Poi (manager), with Scott Wilson (Kaiaponi general manager). Picture by Liam Clayton