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It's a challenge to which the Crown Forestry Rental Trust (CFRT) has responded in style - by offering its team a suite of employment benefits that include Southern Cross health insurance and the innovative 'Healthy by Choice' health and fitness programme.

Planning for the future

CFRT was set up in 1990 to expedite the settlement of M?ori claims against the Crown involving, or potentially involving, Crown forest licensed lands. With claims due to be settled by around 2017, it's developing a phased wind-down strategy. Part of this is having the right incentives in place to retain employees to the key milestone dates in CRFT's remaining years.

We appreciate that individuals may well choose to leave us before we close, but in the meantime, we're keen to offer everyone a competitive employment package that also supports and encourages their personal and professional wellbeing, says Denise Weir, HR Advisor at CFRT.

As a result, every permanent employee benefits from KiwiSaver employer contributions, an annual training allowance for their role within CFRT, and a career development allowance in preparation for their future once they leave. They're also entitled to fully-subsidised Southern Cross health insurance and - for the past three years - the Healthy by Choice programme.

A winning combination

Healthy by Choice is an online interactive health assessment and support programme, through which employees can assess, manage, and improve their health and fitness. It's proven a popular investment for CFRT, with 100 percent take-up and an overwhelmingly enthusiastic response.

The great thing about Healthy by Choice is that it's easy for our staff to use and accessible nationwide via the internet, says Denise. It's also interactive, enabling people to assess their own health and fitness, get practical suggestions on where to go next, track their progress, and identify opportunities for improvement.

Our people also understand and appreciate its value - both to their personal wellbeing and as a significant boost to their total employment package. We've noticed the development of a real sense of community in the organisation, with people helping and encouraging each other to improve.

Customised to CFRT's requirements, Healthy by Choice includes annual health and fitness assessments through Synergy Health. Those who participate, qualify for a $300 'wellbeing allowance', which they can spend on such items as gym fees and sports shoes.

We're delighted that Healthy by Choice has been such a success story, says Denise. In conjunction with our other programmes, it's a great way to keep our employees happy and help them to prepare for the future as healthy, fit individuals.

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Our Account Managers/Advisers can set up a coffee catch up or have a phone chat to provide more information.

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