The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua | Department of Internal Affairs

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation


Wellbeing embraced at Internal Affairs

9 December 2019

Getting the balance right and supporting the collective health and wellbeing of staff has been a focus over the past week for the 2300 staff of Te Tari Taiwhenua, Department of Internal Affairs.

Wellbeing is a priority throughout the year, with a recent survey saying that 80 per cent of staff feel confident discussing it with their manager, and a variety of resources, support and tools available year-round. The Department also dedicates a week each year to wellbeing, and another to the Mental Health Foundation’s Mental Health Awareness Week to ensure staff feel supported, valued, and healthy.

Chief Executive Paul James says looking after ourselves and promoting wellbeing is critical to delivering on the Department’s objectives in connecting with communities and delivering services to New Zealanders.

“Wellbeing Week has provided an opportunity at an especially busy time of the year for our people to reflect on the value of wellbeing at an individual and collective level. We know that when our people can bring their whole selves to work, they’re happier, healthier, more engaged and more productive. Our mahi is about improving the wellbeing of New Zealanders, so the wellbeing of our own people is a priority for us.”

“For some staff, Wellbeing Week has been about getting actively involved in activities during lunch breaks like yoga, climb a mountain challenges, sports games and being an adventurous commuter. For others it might mean a walking meeting, listening to mindful podcasts, or just doing something kind for a teammate.

“The physical and mental wellbeing of our people is one of my top priorities as Chief Executive, and of our wider leadership team. I have encouraged our people to get involved in whatever way works for them.

“This week has provided an opportunity to embrace the kaupapa of wellbeing in the workplace so we as an organisation can carry forward the commitment of our daily mahi and ensure Internal Affairs is a high-performing organisation and a great place to work,” says Paul James.


For more information about wellbeing at Internal Affairs or interview requests with any of our staff involved, please contact:

Media Desk
Te Tari Taiwhenua Department of Internal Affairs
Mobile: +64 27 535 8639 email:

Other information

Earlier this year the Department of Internal Affairs was named as the runner-up in the Work-Life Balance category at the Diversity Works Awards, reflecting our commitment to being a great place to work. Flexible working and modern work environments encourage our people to work in ways that best suit their needs.

As part of our commitment to wellbeing, the Department has created a comprehensive wellness hub to support our people – see Chief Executive Paul James’ video here. The hub has an array of resources tailored to our people to support positive wellbeing.

Our people embrace wellbeing and we support them to do that. For example, one of our Wellington-based people runs a weekly bootcamp session for colleagues to participate in (called the Basement Squad). We also have an authentic self (LGBTQI+) network, a Women’s Network, as well as cultural groups to embrace diversity.

Staff survey results

  • 80 per cent of staff say they would feel confident talking to their manager about their wellbeing
  • 77 per cent agree that DIA is an inclusive workplace
  • 75 per cent believe DIA is committed to wellbeing