Seating To Go embraces Māori culture
As a service based in Aotearoa (New Zealand/Land of the Long White Cloud) that works with clients of all ethnicities, including Māori, we believe it is important to incorporate the indigenous culture within the workplace.
For the past few years we have sought direction and support for anything relating to tikanga Māori (Māori culture/customs) from husband and wife duo, Matua (important male figure) Rangi and Whaea (female figure) Lindann Manihera. The pair are cultural advisors and kaumātua (Māori elders) for the rohe o Waikato (region of Waikato) and first came onto our radar through Matua Rangi, who is a long-time client.
Matua Rangi and Whaea Lindann are passionate about their involvement with our service as it aligns with their own purpose, explaining, “Our mahi (work) is based on supporting issues pertaining to people with disabilities, helping other whānau (family) out there, and our passion has always been about sharing information with those who don’t have it.”
Our staff have learnt basic te reo (Māori language), the meaning and practice of Pōwhiri (welcome ceremony), and a number of different waiata (Māori song). They have given us a greater understanding of Māori culture, which we endeavour to apply through our work.
We were proud to incorporate many aspects into the inaugural Oceania Seating Symposium, which we hosted in Rotorua last year. International delegates and people attending from within Aotearoa were moved by the strong cultural presence during the symposium; with overseas travellers saying they “loved the full integration of Māori traditions and entertainment,” and national attendees stating that the conference made them feel “proud to be a New Zealander.”
What we are most appreciative of from Matua Rangi and Whaea Lindann, is the gift of our Māori name – Pumau ki te Oranga. Although the name is multi-layered and has many meanings, it can be loosely translated to “reliably looking after your wellbeing.”
“It took a long time to come up with the name Pumau ki te Oranga, it’s not something you just pick out of a box” says Rangi.
The word ‘Pumau’ is associated with reliability and honesty, while ‘Oranga’ relates to safety, health, and wellbeing.
“To us, Seating To Go are experts. You do everything you can to help people within the community and you are reliable at doing so. That is the reason we gave the name Pumau ki te Oranga; because you are worthy of it.”
The pair are proud of our efforts and believe that from a cultural perspective, Seating To Go has come a long way.
“As far as we’re concerned, our journey as cultural advisors for Seating To Go has been very successful. We have fun and all of the staff have absolutely enjoyed what we’ve done so far.”
Seating To Go supports Pacific Island services
11 May 2018
Seating To Go Managing Director, Debbie Wilson, has recently returned home from the Solomon Islands, where she traveled as a volunteer to work alongside Lauren Flaherty and Ray Mines from Motivation Australia (MA).
The purpose of the trip was to provide mentoring to local support workers from the Solomon Islands Community Based Rehab (CBR) team, extending their practice following previous training that they had completed through MA and their WHO Wheelchair Training Packages.
Mentoring involved a mixture of educational and practical sessions, but most of the week was spent working alongside the CBR team while they completed assessments, fittings, built wheelchair and seating solutions, and attended follow-up appointments for children with cerebral palsy.
“The CBR workers that we were mentoring, had already completed the basic and intermediate level WHO Wheelchair Training Packages,” explained Debbie.
“So our roles as mentors meant supporting them in extending their knowledge and skills in providing wheelchair and seating for children with more complex needs.”
The trip came as a result of a partnership that was formed between Seating To Go (STG) and MA last year, and is likely to be the first of many.
STG delivers training as part of the credentialing process for EMS Assessors in New Zealand, and what MA were looking for in a relationship with STG was the provision of mentoring and complex training.
Although STG do not deliver the WHO Training Packages, it was something that Debbie enjoyed familiarising herself with, as it challenged her to look at things differently and to deliver training in a more diverse way.
Committee members pitch OSS 2019
15 March 2018
Representatives from the Oceania Seating Symposium (OSS) Committee have pitched the sequential OSS to delegates and speakers at the International Seating Symposium (ISS).
Seating To Go Managing Director and New Zealand Chair of the OSS Committee, Debbie Wilson, as well as Andrew Congdon, an Australian representative on the committee, recently attended ISS in Vancouver, Canada.
There they had the opportunity to speak about the next OSS, which will take place in Melbourne, Australia in November 2019, as well as establish connections with potential speakers and presenters.
This opportunity has come off the back of a successful inaugural event, which Seating To Go hosted in Rotorua, New Zealand last year. The feedback from the initial event has been extremely positive, with a number of speakers expressing an interest in attending the upcoming OSS in Melbourne.
“New Zealand therapists, technicians and suppliers should be very proud of the level of expertise and service delivery within New Zealand,” says Wilson.
“It was very confirming to hear that New Zealand is recognised for our wheeled mobility and postural management services across service provision, credentialing, and applying evidence into our practice.
“For a lot of the New Zealand presenters, OSS was the first time that they had spoken at an event like this… so to have delivered the inaugural event to a standard where people are already planning to attend the next one is fantastic.”
Although OSS 2019 is well over a year away, the committee is encouraging people to start thinking about presenting a workshop, paper or poster.
Seating To Go sponsors Festival of Disability Sport
23 February 2018
We are proud to announce that Seating To Go has come on board as a Bronze sponsor of the Bayfair Festival of Disability Sport, which is being held in Mount Maunganui on 24-25 March 2018.
The two-day sports festival which is powered by Parafed, will attract athletes from all over New Zealand, and will feature wheelchair rugby, wheelchair basketball, boccia, and blindsports, all being played in one location; ASB Baypark Arena.
Seating To Go Managing Director, Debbie Wilson, is excited about the opportunity to sponsor the inaugural event, and believes that it is a great way to show support to the people we work with every day.
“We were thrilled to be able to join the Bayfair Festival of Disability Sport Family,” says Wilson.
“We work with wheelchair users every day, and many of our clients participate in sports like wheelchair rugby and wheelchair basketball.
"To be able to support an event like this, which gives people with disabilities an opportunity to compete and perform, and come together over a festival-like weekend is something we are very excited about.”
As well as two days of competition, the festival will also include a dinner and awards event on the Saturday night, followed by the ACC and Paralympics NZ Open Day on the Sunday.
For more information visit: www.disabilitysportfest.co.nz
Seating To Go Celebrate 20 Years!
18 April 2017
This year Seating To Go celebrates 20 years of providing New Zealanders with specialist wheelchair and seating services.
To mark this significant milestone, we will be holding a 20 year Anniversary Charity Ball on Friday 14th July at the Wintec Atrium in Hamilton, as well as hosting the inaugural Oceania Seating Symposium (OSS) in Rotorua in November.
The charity ball will be an opportunity for staff and their friends and family, key stakeholders, and clients to come together for a night of fun and laughter, while recognising the journey from our start in a garage in Ngaruawahia to where we are now, the collaborations and innovations we have discovered along the way with the various people and organisations we work with.
A fundraising component will also be incorporated into the event, with a silent auction being held on the night and all proceeds from ticket sales going towards Parafed Waikato and Bay of Plenty, and CCS Disability Action Waikato and Bay of Plenty; organisations with which Seating To Go share a close affiliation.
The OSS will be the second big event in our birthday celebrations, with hundreds of wheelchair and seating professionals from around the world coming together for the inaugural event.
An array of international guests are confirmed to speak at the conference and over 90 abstracts have been submitted for approval. With tonnes of interest in the event so far, the conference is looking as though it will be a huge success.
Early Bird registrations for the OSS are available online through the official event website, and ticket details for the 20 year Anniversary Charity Ball will become available in May. For more information, see below.
20 year Anniversary Charity Ball – firstname.lastname@example.org
New Zealand to host the inaugural Oceania Seating Symposium
1 March 2017
New Zealand is set to welcome guests from all over the world for the first ever Oceania Seating Symposium (OSS) in November this year.
Focusing on wheeled mobility, seating and postural management, the OSS will be held from 20 – 22 November 2017 at the Energy Events Centre in Rotorua – the tourism capital of New Zealand.
It will be hosted by local North Island specialist wheelchair and seating assessment, repair and training service, Seating To Go; with the support of the International Seating Symposium, Vancouver (ISS) and will alternate between New Zealand and Australia every two years.
“We are very excited to be hosting the inaugural event,” says Seating To Go Managing Director and Occupational Therapist, Debbie Wilson.
“This year marks Seating To Go’s 20th anniversary and as part of our celebrations we wanted to invite speakers from ISS to New Zealand to visit and lecture at a small national conference. I didn’t expect the idea to develop into what it is today but we are very excited to partner with ISS and host an international symposium over on this side of the world.”
The theme of the symposium is Mauriora: Empowerment, control and choice – reflecting a commitment to improving participation and well-being among people with disabilities by coming together to advance and share knowledge, practice and innovations.
An array of international guests are already confirmed to speak at the event including key note speaker Rachel Callander, author and photographer of ‘Super Power Baby Project’; a book dedicated to depicting ordinary families being made extraordinary through the journeys their children are taking them on.
Other speakers confirmed to present at the event are Ginny Paleg, Bonnie Sawatzky, Maureen Story and Kelly Waugh, with event organisers also encouraging other professionals to contribute and submit abstracts before submissions close on 31 March.
“As well as abstract submissions coming in from around the world, we are also very keen to have a strong Kiwi presence at the OSS,” says Wilson.
“I have attended numerous seating symposiums and conferences overseas and am always left feeling affirmed because a lot of what is spoken about, such as credentialing for wheelchair assessors, peer-based wheelchair skills training groups, and early power mobility for children are well established in New Zealand.”
“The OSS is a great opportunity for us to share what we do with the rest of the world, taking evidence and research into practice.”
Presentations related to wheeled mobility, seating and postural management are all welcome; including innovative models of service delivery, research findings, outcomes and evidence based practice, advances in technology, policy and advocacy.
Early Bird registration for the inaugural OSS are now open on the event website and call for abstracts will be closing on 31 March.
For more information, visit: www.oceaniaseatingsymposium.com
For further information contact:
Communications and Marketing Coordinator, Seating To Go
Ph: 07 848 1825
Mango Tree Centre for Disabilities, Tonga
This month Scott MacDonald (technician) and Sandie Grant (wheelchair and seating therapist) have joined Sue and Shamus Fairhall from the Altus Trust to work alongside the Mango Tree Centre for People with Disabilities in Tonga providing wheelchairs and seating. Deb Wilson had visited earlier in the year and met people in their homes with key worker, Lofi. Whilst the centre has a great set up in terms of a workshop and assessment rooms,equipment is difficult to access. Many thanks to Enable New Zealand and Accessable, Melrose Wheelchairs, Medifab, C 1 South, and Ebos for donating equipment this year. Also thanks to Artie Jones from Ngatea whose generous donation allowed us to buy much needed tyres and tubes.
Oceania Seating Symposium
Seating To Go will be hosting the inaugural Oceania Seating Symposium in conjunction with the International Seating Symposium in Rotorua, 20th-22nd November 2017. The Oceania Seating Symposium will alternate between New Zealand and Australia every two years. 2017 is Seating To Go's 20 year anniversary and what better way to celebrate than bringing people together to share and develop knowledge, innovations and skills. For all information go to the website.