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Wellbeing initiatives for resilient people

CentrePort has introduced several successful initiatives this year to support the wellbeing of our people.

Ports can be demanding places to work – there are high-risk activities and challenging schedules and weather, and we’re still experiencing the disruption caused by the pandemic.

CentrePort is running an ongoing wellbeing programme designed to support the physical and mental resilience of our people.

Physical fitness

We asked our staff what CentrePort could do to support their wellbeing. Being ‘fit for work’ was identified as important and a gym facility was suggested by staff.

We launched a new gym in February 2021 and it has seen remarkable uptake – nearly half of our staff have joined and a quarter have been through personal training. A past gym facility at the port received little use and those who did use it were mainly office-based staff.

“This gym was developed by staff for staff. They came up the ideas – we just wrapped some expertise around them to make it happen. It’s been great to see staff from across the business embrace this facility, especially the large number of cargo handlers.”

– Murray Julian, GM People, Safety and Culture

Mental wellbeing

Our staff also told us mental health was an area where support could be boosted.

This year we’ve been promoting the Benestar employee assistance service to staff. This is in addition to our in-house wellbeing service and is available to provide independent support to people.

Other initiatives to support a positive and inclusive community culture have been our Matariki celebrations, the Samoa Language week activities, and a cultural potluck dinner.

We’re now working on a targeted mental wellbeing programme to be rolled out in the next year.

“I’m seeing people who are more open in talking about their mental health now. Both the earthquake and COVID-19 have made life harder for lots of people. But one upside has been a new willingness to discuss our issues, and CentrePort is doing what it can to support that.”

– Murray Julian, GM People, Safety and Culture

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Wellbeing part of regeneration

Kathryn Akanoa is a Systems Specialist and Leadership Coordinator in the People, Safety and Culture team. She’s been working on the wellness programme this year.

“It’s part of my job to champion health, safety and wellbeing and I’m also a health and safety rep, so I’m well involved in health and safety at the port.

A real highlight for me this year has been being part of the team that developed some initiatives to increase the health and wellbeing of our people. This involved working with the other health and safety reps and other staff to get their input on what was needed in this space.

I’m passionate about being healthy inside and out and helping our people do that for themselves. I’ve enjoyed engaging with different people at different levels in the business and it’s been a good learning process and made me step outside my comfort zone.

I’ve seen an increase in wellbeing initiatives since I’ve been here at the port, which I hope will continue. I guess we’re unique as we’re in the process of rebuilding the port, but it’s good that wellbeing has been part of that.

Most people here have positive views of the health and safety reps. We are very active and meet monthly. I think the reps are quite empowered by the company to carry out their job.

I think CentrePort sets a high standard when it comes to health and safety. My experience has been there are always opportunities for you to learn, whether it’s attending courses, shadowing a Health and Safety Advisor on the job or going up in the cranes. I think we’re always looking for ways to improve.

It’s great that we’ve had so few accidents this year and we really want to continue that momentum.”