Wednesday 15th November 2017

Organisations join forces to help jobseekers with health issues

Helping Western Bay residents find and keep jobs while they work through health concerns is the goal behind a new partnership agreement.

A Memorandum of Understanding between the Western Bay of Plenty Primary Health Organisation (WBoP PHO) and employment organisation Workwise, signed on Monday 13 November, aims to help people recover wellness through employment.

"Research shows that having a job you enjoy improves your health and wellbeing," said Workwise Chief Executive Warren Elwin. "It gives most people a sense of purpose, financial independence and a sense of belonging to the community.

The new service named Journey to Wellness, is funded by the Ministry of Social Development. It has been created for Western Bay of Plenty patients who receive a Work and Income benefit, have a diagnosed health condition and want to return to work. Mr Elwin added that people voluntarily take part in the service.

"As well as employment support our team can help you to understand how working will affect benefits, usually in a positive way, and can support people to meet their Work and Income obligations," he said.

WBoP PHO Health and Wellness staff were looking forward to working closely with Workwise and their clients, said WBoP PHO Services Leader Philippa Jones.

"The partnership will help support improved health and enable a greater number of people to get back to work, as employment is so supportive of good health," she said.

Workwise employment consultants work with patients and their health professionals to understand health history, and together create a plan to best support their health needs while finding a job. All services are free and confidential.

The service support will continue for up to 12 months once people have found a job, to help them adjust to new roles and working lives.

To utilise the service people can speak to reception staff or health professionals at their GP clinic, their case manager at Work and Income, or contact Workwise directly on 0508 TO WORK (0508 86 9675) or visit

The initiative is the latest of a number (including partnerships with NGO's such as Salvation Army and the Tauranga Homeless Shelter as well as the Department of Corrections) in which the WBoP PHO Health and Wellness Service is involved. 

Workwise Service Development Manager Tyron Pini (left) signs the Memorandum of Understanding with WBoP PHO Chief Executive Roger Taylor (right).

For more information:

James Fuller
Communications Advisor
Bay of Plenty District Health Board
027 839 1791

Last updated: August 29, 2018