Health leaders hail “impactful” study

15 Feb, 2023
Study hailed as applicable, impactful
Co-authors (L-R) Amber Nicholson, Katherine Ravenswood, Fiona Hurd

A tripartite working group consisting of multiple unions, employers, and funders is hailing AUT research into the experiences of community support workers as insightful, applicable, and impactful.

A report published last year examined the wellbeing of community support workers during Covid-19, and particularly of Māori support workers.

The findings highlighted the dire conditions experienced by this workforce, which is often overlooked and ignored by employers and health sector leaders.

The research was conducted by the Business School’s Professor Katherine Ravenswood, Dr Amber Nicholson (Ngāruahine), Associate Professor Fiona Hurd, and Tanya Ewertowska, in partnership with the PSA and E tū unions.

During a recent meeting of the joint working group, ‘Home and Community Support Services’, the report was cited as a “hard-hitting” piece of research that brought to life the daily challenges New Zealand’s community carers face.

In addition, the research was praised for providing long-term, strategic recommendations for change beyond Covid, while also offering practical steps to immediately address specific issues.

The working party, which includes representatives from Te Whatu Ora, Te Aka Whai Ora, ACC, unions, and employers, resolved to incorporate the report’s recommendations into their 2023 work plan.

Lead author, Professor Katherine Ravenswood (Management) says this is a proud moment for the research team.

“This was a project of intellectual, theoretical, and methodological challenge. But it was driven by our values as researchers to do what we could to enhance the lives of these workers. And we promised our participants we’d do everything we could to take it to the top, to the employers and policy makers and get it under their noses. I was incredibly humbled by the words spoken about our research – its impact and excellence – and that it is being put into practice as we speak,” says Katherine.