Free yoga for Cera staff on taxpayer

Last updated 05:00 11/08/2014

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Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera) staff enjoy free yoga courtesy of the taxpayer.

The weekly yoga sessions are a component of the authority's "overall wellness programme", which has cost Cera about $44,000 since it was established in 2011.

The yoga classes started in February and cost Cera $60 a time for the instructor.

Cera chief executive Roger Sutton said it was money well spent.

"By helping our staff manage issues like stress and fatigue, we are also providing the best possible leadership of the recovery. Often it is the small things that can make a real difference for people," he said.

"I haven't attended one of these sessions myself, but I know some staff find it does make a positive difference for them. We don't keep numbers, but it is usually very popular."

Cera's wellness initiatives, which also include access to influenza vaccinations and annual health checks, had cost $44,316, or $14,772 a year on average, Sutton said.

"Based on current staff numbers, this averages out to about $45 per employee per year. I think this is a very reasonable amount of spending in the circumstances," he said.

Cera considered what other public service agencies and private sector firms provided for staff.

Some wellbeing initiatives were fully funded by Cera, some were subsidised, and some were offered at a cost to the employee, Sutton said.

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