Dr Claire Achmad Headshot


For media enquiries

Contact Dr Claire Achmad
SSPA Chief Executive

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Workers and employers celebrate historic decision to extend pay equityWorkers and employers celebrate historic decision to extend pay equityto all community-based social workers

24 November 2022 - Workers and employers are welcoming the Government’s decision to extend pay equity to all social workers across Aotearoa New Zealand’s community-based social services. The Government’s decision announced today will mean 4,600 workers will receive equitable pay for the work they are doing every day.

Read the media release here

Pay equity settlement recognises undervaluation of community social workers

25 October 2022 - Social Service Providers Aotearoa is today welcoming a landmark Cabinet agreement to settle a pay equity claim against five representative iwi and community social service organisations. As announced by Minita Kelvin Davis, Cabinet has approved the pay equity settlement and funding to address the undervaluation of ‘workers performing social work’ at Barnardos,Christchurch Methodist Mission, Ngāpuhi Iwi Social Services, Stand Tū Māia and Wellington Sexual Abuse Help. Social Service Providers Aotearoa has co-ordinated and represented the social service organisations in the claim since it was lodged in August 2019 by the PSA.

Read the media release here

Social Service Providers Aotearoa reacts to Budget 2022

19 May 2022 - Social Service Providers Aotearoa (SSPA), the national peak body for community-based social service providers, says that severalBudget 2022investmentswill help children, rangatahi and whānau, and investing in changes to how social services are commissioned willsupport outcomesin the long-term. However, SSPA says next year’s Budget mustinclude social sector investment on a more comprehensive basis, to sit holistically alongside this year’s health sector investments.

Read the media release here

SSPA welcomes Te Aorerekura to guide collective journey towards safe whānau and communities

07 December 2021 - Social Service Providers Aotearoa (SSPA), the national membership-based organisation representing over 200 community-based social service organisations, is welcoming Te Aorerekura, The National Strategy to Eliminate Family Violence and Sexual Violence, launched this morning by Hon Marama Davidson, Minita mō te Arai te Whakarekereke Whānau me te Koeretanga. SSPA acknowledges the collective mahi by many people over many years that has led to Te Aorerekura.

Read the media release here.

Social Service Providers Aotearoa says Te Kahu Aroha report an opportunity to work collectively for children, rangatahi and whānau

28 September 2021 - Social Service Providers Aotearoa (SSPA), the national membership-based organisation representing over 200 NGO social service organisations, welcomes today’s release of Hipokingia ki te Kahu Aroha Hipokingia ki te katoa.  Dr Claire Achmad, SSPA Chief Executive, says that the publication of the report by the Ministerial Advisory Board to Minister Kelvin Davis, Minister for Children, highlights the importance of strengthening families and whānau, so that children and rangatahi can grow up loved, cared for and safe from harm and neglect.

Read the media release here.

Celebrating changemakers and calling for pay equity this Social Workers’ Day

September 2021 - “SSPA celebrates and recognises the incredible contributions that social workers make to our communities and hapori around the motu, often working in complex, demanding situations. I especially take this opportunity to thank and acknowledge the mahi of the social workers amongst our SSPA member whānau, who work in NGO and Iwi social services throughout Aotearoa New Zealand. Social workers are changemakers in our communities and they deserve to be recognised and valued for the work they do, every day”, Dr Achmad says.  Read the media release here.

Budget ’21 a step in the right direction but NGO social services face ongoing funding gap

May 2021 - Dr Claire Achmad, SSPA Chief Executive, says that with poverty cutting deep for so many families and whānau, SSPA was hoping to see a Brave and Bold Budget 2021, to deliver on the interrelated issues of family poverty and the underfunding of NGO social services in New Zealand. “SSPA has been calling for Government to make brave and bold choices with this year’s Budget, during an unprecedented time in the world and Aotearoa. A time when we have the chance to make a crucial difference for the children, families and whānau who need the most, and for our NGO social services that are dedicated to providing the help that’s needed”, Dr Achmad says.  Read the media release here. 

SSPA begins a new chapter with appointment of Dr Claire Achmad as Chief Executive

December 2020 - Social Service Providers Aotearoa is delighted to announce the appointment of their new Chief Executive, Dr Claire Achmad. “Claire brings with her a vast amount of experience and knowledge and I am excited for the future of SSPA under her guidance,” said Dee-Ann Wolferstan, SSPA Chairperson. Read the media release here.

Budget helps families but fails to meet funding shortfall

May 2020 - The community social services sector is welcoming the large Budget investment in jobs, training, emergency relief and public housing. This will assist families and community recovery for years to come. However, the Budget announcements fall short of the funding boost the community social services sector has called for.  Read the media release from SSPA.

Call for front line social services to be fairly funded through Budget 2020 intensifies

Community leaders are calling on the Government to recognise the critical role NGO and iwi/Māori social services are playing in Aotearoa New Zealand's recovery through adequately funding them and giving them a voice in decision making.

Read the media release here

Report shows $630 million government funding shortfall for community social services

The government is underfunding social service providers delivering services that are essential to the wellbeing of New Zealand children, families, whānau and communities by an estimated $630 million a year, an independent study has found.

Read the media release here

Wellbeing budget delivers some good news - and some challenges

The annoucement of new funding for child and family services is welcome but there is still work to be done to address the widening pay gap for social workers in community organisations.

Read the media release here

Wellbeing budget needs to close the community social worker pay gap

Social workers employed by community organisations are hoping next week's wellbeing budget will help bridge the pay gap with their colleagues in Oranga Tamariki, the Ministry for Children.

Read the media release here

Essential child and family services miss out on financial relief

Social Service Providers Aotearoa (SSPA) has welcomed the Budget’s focus on helping our most vulnerable families through improved access to primary health services, the additional learning support programme, and the focus on social housing. The much-needed funding boost for family violence services is also to be welcomed. But the Budget bypasses essential and intensive community-based child and family services which are in urgent need of more funding.

Read the media release here

Missing piece in social worker registration bill

SSPA will recommend to the social services select committee that the Social Workers Registration Board be required to define the scope of practice of social work, and that note be taken of the need to compensate social service agencies for the compliance costs of registration. Click here for the SSPA submission

Read the media release here

New magazine fills information gap in social services

A new magazine focused on social services for children, young people and families is to be launched at parliament today, Thursday 8 March, by Hon Tracey Martin, the Minister for Children.

Kia Mauri Ora: Social Service Excellence in Aotearoa reflects the outstanding work carried out daily by social service professionals. It features real-life examples of innovative approaches and the value of research and evidence-based practice.

Read the media release here

Mandatory registration needs government support

Mandatory registration for social workers, announced by Minister Anne Tolley, is supported by Social Service Providers Aotearoa (SSPA) but there are practical matters that need to be addressed to make it viable for the not-for-profit sector.

Read the media release here

Government calls a halt to collection of individual client data

Brenda Pilott, the chair of ComVoices and national manager of Social Service Providers Aotearoa, congratulates the government on its decision to call a halt to the collection of individual client data until the concerns of not-for-profit service providers have been worked through. 

Read the media release here.

Systems and resources need to match ambitions

SSPA’s submission on the Children, Young Persons and Their Families (Oranga Tamariki) Legislation Bill is being presented to the select committee today by the organisation’s chair Shane Murdoch and national manager Brenda Pilott.

Social Service Providers Aotearoa represents some 200 non-government organisations working with vulnerable children, young people and families in communities throughout New Zealand.

Brenda Pilott says the Bill has many positive aspects but SSPA has identified a number of issues that need to be addressed if we are to achieve the very best for children in need of care and protection.“For example, we cannot support the information-sharing provisions in clause 38 of the Bill. They could lead to an overly complex system with unfettered demands for information that undermine professional duties of care and confidentiality.”

Brenda Pilott says SSPA shares the Children Commissioner’s concern that downgrading the place of whānau, hapū and iwi in decisions about their children is the wrong approach and risks repeating mistakes of the past.

“We want to see a stronger focus on supporting families so children need not be taken into care. And where a child is taken into care, the place of kin care is reinforced and supported.”

She says that while members of SSPA welcome the overall intent of the Bill, there is widespread concern that the significant change process will not be adequately resourced. “The Bill is ambitious in its intent and we should be ambitious for our children and young people. But our ambitions won’t be realised if they are not matched by systems and resources that fully support both the new ministry and the service providers. Previous changes have failed, in part because of inadequate resourcing. We must not make that mistake again,” Brenda Pilott says.

SSPA Media Release 21 March 2017

Reprieve for sexual violence services not good enough

Radio interview: The government will delay contracts requiring sexual violence NGOs to hand over their clients private details. But the organisation which represents the sector says that's not good enough. The Minister for Social Development, Anne Tolley, has now directed the ministry to delay the implementation of the contracts for groups working with sexual violence victims while it works out how to securely collect and store their clients' private data. Brenda Pilott is from ComVoices, a group which represents the NGO sector. Radio NZ Nine to Noon. 16 March 2017

Access to client personal information

Radio interview: Community NGOs say the government is forcing them to hand over private information about their clients in exchange for funding. Kathryn Ryan speaks to the chair of ComVoices, Brenda Pilott. Radio NZ Nine to Noon. 2 March 2017.

Privacy Commission investigating 

The Privacy Commissioner is investigating the Government's demand for client information in exchange for funds, after non-profit groups raised concerns. Brenda Pilott of ComVoices and NGOs comment. Dominion Post 2 March 2017