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Current as of 29/09/16 05:59AM NZST
Property editor of the NZ Herald

'Eat your heart out, Air NZ' - Ryman's new uniform bursting with colour, flowers

New Zealand's biggest uniform make-over is under way, as 4000 staff at the country's largest retirement village go bright floral.

"Eat your heart out, Air New Zealand," quipped Ryman Healthcare as it announced it was having 8000 new uniforms supplied by Lower Hutt company Arrow Uniforms.

Staff at villages here and Australia will wear the bright new floral look from Kiwi designer Annah Stretton.

Staff at Ryman's Evelyn Page village at Orewa will be the first to display the new look, designed to "brighten resident and staff lives".

We used to look so clinical. These uniforms break down the barriers with residents. We've always been approachable but I think these uniforms make us look more so.
Ryman nurse Maggie Doyle

A team of 30 women modelled the designs: an indigo blue background splashed with a Pacific Islands-theme bright pink and yellow floral, complete with matching cardigan and neck scarf.

"We wanted garments that brought a smile to the faces of residents, increased the level of pride in what staff wear and emphasised the vital role they play in residents' lives," Annah Stretton said.

All women working at Ryman get the new uniforms "from caregivers and nurses through to gardeners and laundry staff", the company said.

Men's uniforms have also been redesigned, with around 2000 new men's uniforms made.

They match the women's colours and have floral ties, with cerise shirts.

Those shirts have hi-visibility stripes running through them for safety, specially designed for gardners and maintenance staff. Male nursing uniforms are also redesigned without the hi-vis stripes.

The business has 30 villages here and in Australia, home to 9000 residents.
Workers in the sector have long complained about low wages but Ryman nurse Maggie Doyle, who manages the Evelyn Page's dementia unit, was happy with the uniform make-over.

"We used to look so clinical. These uniforms break down the barriers with residents. We've always been approachable but I think these uniforms make us look more so," she said, modelling one of the new uniforms.

- NZ Herald

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