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Hokianga Health’s vision is to be the centre of excellence for rural health care.  Based at the top of New Zealand, this Trust was established in one New Zealand’s oldest settlements, and a place considered a heartland for Māori.

The organisation provides a range of services to the local people that include a public hospital, primary care, disability, maternity, mental health, public health and health promotion, and community development service.

Left to right: Dickson Titore, Dara Davenport (Careerforce), Margaret (Margie) Makiri, Carol Fisher, Laura Hauraki, Julie Ryan, Dawn Oliveira

Workforce development is key to helping the Trust achieve its goals.  Significant resources are applied to training, mentoring and upskilling staff at every single level of the organisation.

Margie Makiri is Hokianga Health’s Cleaning Supervisor.  Recently her team of six cleaners completed the New Zealand Certificate in Cleaning Level 2 qualification, with the support of industry training organisation, Careerforce.

“Some of the staff were very keen. Some were a bit hesitant.  I explained what a great opportunity it was for them.” says Margie.

Cleaners play a key role in preventing the spread of infection.  “Our staff do a great job”, says Margie, “We’ve had a great record in all the years I’ve worked here.”

“Staff know to be very careful. You use your gloves, you change your gloves, you change your water.  Don’t take it from one room to another.

Incorporating the training into the working day was easy for Margie.  “I’d go off with staff members as they did their tasks, so it wasn’t as if they were being taken away from their jobs. They’d carry on doing their job, with me tagging along to observe, and make sure that they were doing it correctly.”

The cleaners at Hokianga Health completed their training in just three months instead of the usual six months. Since the learning is self-paced, their assessor, Carol Fisher was conscious of pushing and motivating them “we didn’t let them procrastinate and this is an excellent outcome”, says Carol.

Once the cleaners had completed their training, they were all presented with a trophy and certificate at a special graduation event. “The endorsement from management about their achievements and what they’ve accomplished was huge,” says Carol.

For Dickson Titore, finding the time and motivation to get started was a challenge.

Margie helped Dickson find ways to allocate some work time to the completion of his training.   Careerforce Workplace Advisor, Dara Davenport, also supported Dickson, showing him how to approach the learning and make things more manageable. Dickson was thrilled to complete the programme and be invited to attend the graduation event and thankful for the opportunity that Hokianga gave him to upskill.

Careerforce offers nationally recognised qualifications and on-the-job training opportunities for cleaners, whether at entry level or in specialist areas like healthcare facilities cleaning, carpet and textiles, contagion and specialised infection control, hard floor surfaces, food production and high-risk environments.

More information about the New Zealand Certificate in Cleaning Level 2,  and Level 3.