Case study

Turuki Healthcare

Established in 1995 by a group of trailblazing Māori midwives, Turuki Health Care (Turuki) has become one of Auckland’s largest kaupapa Māori providers, supporting approximately 26,500 people each year through an extensive line up of primary health care and social services. As an NGO that provides critical support to some of the country’s most high need communities, Turuki places great weight on equipping its teams with the right capabilities for their challenging roles.

Upskilling to add value

By partnering with learning and development specialists Aspire2 Business I Workplace Communication (Aspire2), those on Turuki’s frontline can continue doing what they do best – making a meaningful difference to the communities they serve. Over recent months, Aspire2 has delivered bespoke training solutions to two of Turuki’s Manukau-based departments – PCSS (Permanent Caregiver Support Service) and Mama &Pepi and Tamariki (Mothers Babies and Children) Whānau Ora/Taumata.

PCSS is a national service that provides advice, social work support, financial help and more, while Mama & Pepi and Tamariki, Whānau Ora/Taumata, delivers wrap-around services to pre-school aged children and their wider whanau members. Both service units are staffed by Social Workers ‘Navigators’, Contact Centre Representatives (CCR) and Administrators. In close consultation with the Leadership team, Aspire2 developed a customised 40-hour training programme that directly targeted the needs of these unique roles.

Covering everything from budgets and understanding relevant legislations through to health and safety, and techniques to elicit crucial information from clients, department staff were upskilled across a range of key areas. The results speak for themselves. Since the training, the Leadership Team has noticed that employees have improved engagement with their roles and the organisation. Not only that but they are working more collaboratively, have increased positivity and have gained much more confidence. These benefits can be felt not just at Turuki, but beyond the workplace and into participants’ homes and communities.

Better communication, stronger teams

By equipping course participants with an effective toolkit of proven communication strategies, employees are now performing at their best and achieving more than ever through newfound collaboration, respect and engagement. Internal relationships have improved significantly, and by working as a team, issues are tackled and overcome more seamlessly. The programme has strengthened communication networks between managers and within teams, teams are working together more cohesively, and there are fewer issues resulting from poor communication. The icing on the cake? Employees have gained a better understanding of the ‘bigger picture’ and what Turuki is aspiring to achieve – and they’re enthusiastic about being part of that journey.

“Learners have developed alternative strategies to resolve conflict – focusing on team building and problem solving – seeking to work collaboratively.”

“We have a better understanding of what each person does and a newfound appreciation of each role. Our project work brought us closer together.”

“The staff are more engaged in our daily processes and confident they are in a safe place to be able to share their thoughts on current processes.”

“We’ve become more efficient in our mahi.”

“You have grown as a group, and you are now very respectful of each other.”

Clients reap the benefits of enhanced customer service

For PCSS social workers, CCR and Navigators in particular, the ability to elicit crucial information through open questions and active listening is vital. PCSS social workers, CCR and Navigators talk to clients on the phone as well as face-to-face when making home visits, and also deal with walk-in appointments at Turuki’s clinics.

As social workers, it is crucial they assess clients correctly from the get-go – getting it wrong can have dire and far-reaching consequences. For this reason, great care was taken during the development of the programme to ensure training generated a powerful impact in this area.

“It has helped me set up boundaries knowing when you are entering other people’s spaces and not being aggressive to create conflict.”

“I have improved my ability to listen and demonstrate that I am listening to callers.” 

Getting a grip on policies and procedures

As any large organisation will attest, ensuring staff understand – and abide by – company policies and procedures is a must. The Aspire2 programme covered Turuki’s health and safety documentation, important relevant legislation and even care plans to ensure staff had a clear understanding and greater awareness of their purpose and importance. Areas such as collating data for reports, ensuring budgets align with reporting, and eliminating waste were also covered.

“It’s fun to look at how we can save money. It made us think about how much money we waste on stuff like paper and power.”

“It has helped me to develop an awareness about how we could save time and money with our processes.”

Personal growth good for everyone

Supporting teams to grow and develop enhances staff relationships, boosts workplace efficiency, and ensures the work Turuki carries out is as impactful as possible. But Aspire2’s workplace training has been more than just a game changer for the business. Participants are tapping into their own unique potential – potential that until now, they never even knew existed. They’re stepping outside their comfort zones to achieve personal growth, and their families and communities are benefitting.

“I came in as a grump and I didn’t want to be here. But after the first session, I knew I had to do it. I am a better person at work and at home.”

“I listen to my kids better and have improved communication overall.”

“It’s helped me to have an awareness of how I can try a different approach to investigate conflict and challenging situations. I’ve also built confidence and will take these learnings as lessons to grow as an individual.”

The beauty of bespoke

Turuki Health Care Manukau have given Aspire2’s workplace training solutions their highest tick of approval, recording 100% satisfaction across all areas of the programme. Leilani Payne (Operations Officer/CCR Team Lead), Vyona Douglas (Manager) and Kathleen Nelson (Operations Lead) all agree that the courses were professionally run, met their expectations and had a positive impact on both employees and the organisation itself. That’s the beauty of bespoke training solutions!

“The outcome far exceeded my expectations, and it wasn’t until the final presentation that I realised that participants were putting their teachings into action.”

Key business impacts for Turuki Health Care:


Improved employee engagement


Better team cohesion


More effective communication with clients


Heightened understanding of health and safety procedures, policies, legislation and documentation.


Growth of individuals and potential realised

Safer Workplace

Ballance Agri-Nutrients


“There is greater depth of understanding of health and safety in the workplace, resulting in a safer workplace for all.”

Effective Leader

Learner Feedback

Learner Feeedback

“I am now able to manage a team smoothly and effectively. They now open up and bring their own ideas which I listen to.”

Embracing Digital

Aspire2 Observations


From using Google maps and YouTube to emailing attachments and photos, learners’ digital capabilities were given a powerful boost.