Partnership to provide tauira better access to period products

Tuesday 26 March 2024

A collaborative effort is underway to help reduce mental and physical health impacts faced by tauira when trying to access safe and hygienic menstrual products.

Menstrual hygiene is considered a basic need, yet many students face difficulties purchasing the necessary products while managing increasing living costs. The resulting impact is multifaceted and can present a barrier in education participation and attending employment, as well as engaging in daily activities and social interactions.

Recognising the significant impact the lack of safe and hygienic menstrual products can have on mental and physical health, Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa Massey University and Te Tira Ahu Pae are working together to better support students and mitigate the barriers they face.

The collaboration has resulted in a partnership with AWWA Period Care and HELLO Period, enabling Massey students to access discounts on their products. Additionally, Te Tira Ahu Pae is providing free single-use menstruation products across the three campuses.

Associate Director of Student Wellbeing Leanne Radovanovich says that the collaboration with Te Tira Ahu Pae will help reduce some of the stress and negative impacts around sourcing menstrual products.

“Menstrual hygiene is fundamental, and without access to the necessary products, there can be lasting implications including decreased employment and health issues. It can cause people to use unsafe products or use products for longer periods of time than is safe, resulting in further risks to health.”

She adds that the Student Wellbeing team have played a pivotal role in driving this initiative forward.

“The dedication of the Student Wellbeing team has been instrumental in reaching this point. It’s been incredibly rewarding to work alongside them and witness the tangible results of this mahi, knowing how far we’ve come and how this will positively impact the lives of our tauira.”

Massey’s Sustainability Engagement Coordinator Charlie Potter, who has worked with the Student Wellbeing team in this space, says partnering with AWWA and Hello will help sustainable options become more available to students.

“There are lots of low-waste period products available now, but the more significant upfront costs can be a barrier for students. With our partners kindly providing discounted reusable menstrual products like cups, washable pads and period underwear, it will help our students make choices that will keep single-use products out of landfill.”

Manawhakahaere of Te Tira Ahu Pae Cameron Taylor (Ngāti Awa, Ngāpuhi, Te Arawa, Waitaha) says there is more happening in this space following two separate surveys completed by Massey and Te Tira Ahu Pae last year.

“We wanted to hear feedback from students on how funding could be spent and be most useful to them. The consensus is that there is a desire for education and health promotion in this area, as well as access to both single-use and discounted products. As part of our commitment to identifying and removing barriers as well as providing comprehensive support services, we’re looking to hold a series of information sessions in the coming months.”

If you're a student, you can learn more about how to receive a discount on AWWA and HELLO products via MyHub. To find out where to access free single-use period products, please reach out to your local Te Tira Ahu Pae representatives.

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