Up to 30 local jobs will be created with the establishment of a new Rotorua-based, Te Arawa-led COVID Vaccination Heathline call centre.
Facilitated by Te Arawa Lakes Trust, the contact centre is being co-delivered in partnership with Whakarongorau Aotearoa and will open at the end of August 2021.
The contact centre will be available from 8am to 8pm, five days a week.
Whakarongorau Aotearoa run the National Telehealth Service for the Ministry of Health including Healthline, the COVID Vaccination Healthline and other COVID support services.
The purpose of the Rotorua-based contact centre is to support whānau and provide accurate vaccination information that is relevant to the Te Arawa rohe.
“It is important our people can trust the voice at the other end of the phone, and know they are talking to somebody who understands them and has their best interests at heart,” Te Arawa Lakes Trust Chief Executive Karen Vercoe says.
Whānau can access the contact centre if they are wanting to know more information about the COVID-19 vaccine or to book in their vaccination. Callers will also have the option to request an advisor who is fluent in te reo Māori.
Ms Vercoe says the development of the new contact centre is a direct outcome from the mahi of the Te Arawa COVID-19 Response Hub.
“The Hub was established within hours of New Zealand going into Alert Level 4 Lockdown last year, with marae, hapū, health and community organisations across Te Arawa coming together and mobilising to support our whānau.
“Building on our COVID-19 response, Te Arawa Lakes Trust is actively advocating for, and working towards, improving outcomes for Te Arawa whānau across a range of different areas, including our traditional role of managing the Te Arawa lakes,” says Ms Vercoe.
“This natural progression of our mahi and kaupapa was the genesis of a new team, Pou Whakawhirinaki, which collaborates with other agencies across these sectors to enable positive changes and outcomes for Te Arawa.
“This is in line with our core purpose of promoting the educational, spiritual, economic, social, health and cultural advancement and wellbeing of our people. This is inherent in our Trust Deed objectives.
Ms Vercoe says as the mahi of the contact centre grows, advisors will also be trained to provide support and information about contact tracing and other aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We have a role to play in protecting our whānau against COVID-19 and that includes providing compassionate, accurate and timely support services in an environment where misinformation continues to spread rapidly, threatening the wellbeing of our people.”
Whakarongorau Aotearoa CEO Andrew Slater said Te Arawa Lakes Trust was the obvious partner in Rotorua to support the COVID Vaccination Healthline.
“They have a very impressive track record of success in improving health outcomes and health literacy among Te Arawa whānau. We are delighted to be helping them provide this vital COVID Vaccination Healthline service for their community.”
The contact centre kaimahi will be directly employed by Te Arawa Lakes Trust, with Whakarongorau Aotearoa providing equipment and training. Job application details are available on the Trust’s Facebook page.
For further information contact:
Jacky James Mobile: 021 577 871
Penny Hartill Mobile: 021 721 424