Tūhauora Otago Polytechnic

Tūhauora at Otago Polytechnic draws on our values of takohaka (accountability), manaakitaka (caring), māia (courage) and whakamanataka (empowerment).



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When we apply these values to the mahi we do every day, we fulfil Otago Polytechnic’s vision of “Our people make a better world”


The World Health Organisation defines wellbeing as a “state in which every individual realises their own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully and is able to make a contribution to their community”.


Otago Polytechnic strives to be a place where people can confidently bring their whole selves to work, work smart, contribute their best effort and leave work with energy left over.

By investing in staff wellbeing, we will not just meet our obligations to prevent harm at work but will provide a place where people love to work and opportunities to help our people thrive.


Below are the opportunities, information, activities and learning Otago Polytechnic offers to assist and support our people to make a better world.



If we think about how we can maintain and improve our personal wellbeing then we could consider it through the lens of Professor Sir Mason Durie’s model of hauora - Te Whare Tapa Whā. 

This helps us understand how and why our people must tend to their te taha whānau (family/community health), te taha tinana (physical health), te taha wairua (spiritual health) and te taha hinengaro (psychological health).

Whenua is the place where you stand. It is your connection to the land – a source of life, nourishment and wellbeing for everyone.

Whenua includes soil, rocks, plants, animals and people – the tangata whenua. We are linked physically and spiritually to the land – it is the earth through which you are connected to your tūpuna/ancestors and all the generations that will come after you.

You can also think about whenua as your place of belonging – that means the spaces where you feel comfortable, safe and able to be yourself. It could be around your friends, at home with whānau, as part of a sports team or even at your place of study or mahi/work

Te Whare Tapa Wha

Mental Health Foundation of NZ.


The model describes health and wellbeing as a wharenui/meeting house with four walls.

Each wall represents one area of health that must be in balance with the three other areas. Our connection with the whenua/land forms the foundation.

When all these areas are in balance, we thrive, when one or more of these is out of balance our wellbeing is impacted.


Within these 4 areas of health, Otago Polytechnic provides opportunities, information, guidance and support.


Taha Tinana Tile

Taha Tinana


Taha wairua Tile

Taha wairua


Taha hinengaro Tile

Taha hinengaro

Mental & emotional

Taha whanau Tile

Taha whānau

Family & social

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Published on 29 May 2023

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Published on 24 May 2023

We're on a journey of change and People and Culture have set up a series of drop-in sessions to support kaimahi.

Te Pūkenga, Wellbeing
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Published on 29 November 2022

Tūhono, Wellbeing