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Call To Promote Safe, Welcoming Spaces

Kaipara District Council staff are calling on the community to support them to promote respect and inclusion this Pink Shirt Day – and beyond.

“Our staff focus on making Council spaces safe and welcoming for everyone,” says Kaipara District Council Chief Executive Jason Marris. "The community also plays an important role in making this happen.”

Council staff are focused on making our spaces safe and welcoming for everyone. Pictured, Kaipara District Council’s Dargaville customer service centre. (Photo supplied)

Council spaces include customer service centres, libraries, roadsides, parks and social media pages for Council and Kaipara Libraries.

“We aim to create spaces where all people feel respected regardless of age, gender identity, sexual orientation or cultural background, so our communities can thrive. To support us in doing this, we ask that you call out poor behaviour when you see it – if you feel safe to do so.”

While Council staff moderate and respond to aggression and harassment in Council spaces, sometimes this activity occurs outside our view, or those targeted are not able to respond in the moment.

“We welcome constructive feedback, but personal attacks and harassment of Council staff or members of the public is not OK – whether that’s in our service centres, out on the street or online.”

In September last year, Kaipara District Council launched a campaign called Our Council, Our Community to encourage respect towards staff. The campaign profiled staff with information about the mahi (work) they do, their relationship with the district and why they love Kaipara.

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The campaign was part of a wider effort to reduce instances of abuse or harassment towards staff from members of the public. Other measures include continual improvement of Kaipara District Council’s health and safety processes, and efforts to better streamline services for a better customer experience to reduce instances of frustration from the public.

“In feedback from our recent residents survey, there were some really appreciative comments regarding Council staff, which was heartening to see.”

In the six months since the beginning of the campaign, there has been a 30% reduction in workplace aggression incidents compared to the six months prior to its launch.

“We are all different and that’s what makes us great. He waka eke noa. We are all in this together.”

The Pink Shirt Day website features information on how you can eliminate bullying and what to do if you’re being bullied. Pink Shirt Day is on Friday 17 May 2024.

If you want to let us know about an issue with a Council service or if you have an idea for what we could do better, please raise a service request by calling 0800 727 059, emailing council@kaipara.govt.nz or use the ‘Report It’ function on your Antenno app.

© Scoop Media

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