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Case Study
‘Mahi’ that matters.

‘Mahi’ means work—here’s how the NZ Department of Corrections worked to improve the wellbeing of the people keeping their system operating.


Staff engaged

cross custodial, corporate and community groups.


Different programs

delivered—covering the diverse groups of people under their care.


Mental health

awareness has reduced stigma across the board.

Department of Corrections team, with team member on radio

The Challenge

Complex Health

A key purpose of The Department of Corrections’ work is the wellness and wellbeing of their people. A team of 50 people work on health, safety and wellbeing, charged with supporting 10,000 staff across custodial, corporate and community groups. The Department of Corrections had a strategic vision to better engage their people around the key areas such as flu vaccinations and mental health in the workplace.


The Opportunity

A United Front

The Department of Corrections and Vitality Works were united in their passion for supporting the health and wellbeing of their people. The department leveraged its seasonal wellbeing programs and added world-class programs in workplace flu vaccinations from Vitality Works, using a voucher system and onsite vaccinations. They also implemented Vitality Works’ Mental Health Essentials program, via a series of on-site workshops, to help equip the Corrections team with additional knowledge and skills around mental health.

The Outcome

Essential Support for Essential Workers

A major impact flowed from the Mental Health Essentials program. Where stigmas were once common—as in all sectors—the program helped increase awareness and open conversations about mental health. This enabled staff to improve their own health and start conversations around boosting their own resilience.

“Running programs like these help us support all our staff to grow their awareness of issues and build their resilience”.

Safety and Wellbeing AdvisorDepartment of Corrections

a woman presenting to a room of people

“We’ve pioneered whole person health for over a century. Changing lives is in our DNA.”

Cathy McDonaldExecutive GM, Vitality Works

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