EARS Te Rauawa

We manage and deliver the Employee Assistance Resolution Services (EARS) Te Rauawa for the University.

Working together is not always easy.  At times, tension, conflict, and inappropriate behaviour can occur at work, and it can be hard to know where to go for guidance and support. To help our university staff when this occurs, we have developed a confidential, impartial, informal service which can provide independent advice and resolution assistance for workplace issues. This service is called Employee Advisory and Resolution Service (EARS)—Te Rauawa

Te Rauawa, the Māori name for this service, refers to the carefully crafted piece of wood that was secured to the hull of traditional Māori waka (canoes) to raise the height of the sides and help keep water out.  Te Rauawa alludes to the core Māori principle of kaitiakitanga (protection) and the spirit of Te Rauawa can be expressed in this whakataukī (proverb):

He moana pukepuke ka ekengia e te waka—a rough sea can be navigated.

The purpose of EARS—Te Rauawa

EARS—Te Rauawa is a confidential, impartial and informal service, independent of Human Resources at the University. This service provides staff with the opportunity to discuss their workplace concerns with an independent party and to obtain advice and support on a confidential and off-the-record basis.

Any university staff member (whether permanent, fixed term or casual) can use EARS—Te Rauawa.

EARS—Te Rauawa is available to staff to talk through workplace issues. The service provides guidance and coaching to help staff manage issues they are concerned about and with the permission of all people involved, can also provide an informal resolution service involving facilitated discussions or restorative processes.

Some examples of the workplace issues that staff could seek advice and guidance for include:

  • working relationships or environments staff find difficult
  • conflict
  • performance concerns
  • issues relating to appointment or promotion processes
  • experienced or observed instances of bullying, harassment or discrimination.

Contacting EARS—Te Rauawa to discuss your concerns does not affect your ability to pursue any other options under the University’s formal policies and procedures. Instead, it offers you an opportunity to discuss these options—as well as informal resolution options—on a confidential basis. EARS—Te Rauawa will not participate in any formal processes relating to workplace issues such as investigations or disciplinary issues.

Contact EARS—Te Rauawa

University staff can contact EARS Te Rauawa anonymously through the EARS Te Rauawa Staff Intranet page or by email to ears@vuw.ac.nz.