Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapy : Whakaora Ngangahau


In looking through a variety of information about Occupational Therapy I stumbled across this summary which for me quite simply sums up the role:

Occupational therapy is translated as whakaora ngangahau.

Whakaora’ means ‘to restore to health’


‘ngangahau’ is an adjective meaning ‘active, spirited, zealous’.


The Maori Language Commission, in choosing this translation conveyed the idea of ‘reawakening, or restoring to health one’s activeness, spiritedness and zeal’ this is everything and more that an occupational therapist endeavours to achieve...


Here at Goldfields our Occupational Therapy team seek to maximise the ability of students to engage in functional learning and social opportunities which most children take for granted. In doing this they work hand in hand with family/whanau and staff at school to develop and adapt programmes which enable children and young adult to work towards and reach the functional milestones that their disability has thus far hindered.


In real terms this means:

  • Developing fine and gross motor programmes

  • Developing self-care and management skills

  • Advising and developing differentiated teaching and learning programmes, especially those with a sensory component

  • Assessing the functional needs of children and provided specialist and adapted equipment and resources that will enable students to actually access programmes of work

  • Ensuring the school and in deed home have an appropriate array of adapted and augmentative resources to meet the needs of our students

  • Working hand in hand with parents, caregivers and family/whanau to ensure children have the appropriate equipment and supports to meet their needs both at home and at school

An Occupational Therapist is an essential member of our wider multidisciplinary team. They help to advise and access a whole array of adapted and specialist programmes both in and out of the classroom and also access essential equipment ranging from tea spoons to tracking hoists, swings to showers and scissors to seating – all adapted to meet the wide range of needs which our students have.