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Our Vision

At Social Service Providers Te Pai Ora o Aotearoa, our vision is for Aotearoa New Zealand's community-based social services to be sustainable, making a positive impact every day in our communities, supporting children, rangatahi and whānau to thrive now and into the future.

The past few years have been tough for everyone, including for our community-based social services and the dedicated, professional kaimahi (workers) who walk alongside whānau and hapori every day.

They've told us there needs to be a stronger focus on supporting their wellbeing as workers, so they can continue to do their essential mahi, and remain strong and well while doing this work. Through the social services kaimahi hauora initiatives we've delivered over the past few years at Social Service Providers Te Pai Ora o Aotearoa, we've also seen first-hand the difference that a focus on worker wellbeing can make.

Last year we shared our calls to action with all political parties:

  • More investment in social services kaimahi hauora initiatives;
  • A practical commitment to social services kaimahi hauora in all social service commissioning & contracting arrangements; and
  • Co-developing with the community-based & government social sector a Social Services Workforce Plan that includes a core focus on social services kaimahi hauora.


Community-based social services kaimahi have spoken, and we’ve listened

  • 98% of social services kaimahi at Whakamanawa 2023 who participated in our poll said they wanted to see more investment in social services kaimahi hauora, so they in turn can keep supporting the whānau and hapori who they work with.
  • Participants in the innagural Te Pai Ora SSPA Social Services Kaimahi Hauora Programme 2022 told Te Pai Ora SSPA they wanted us to advocate for system change to ensure a focus on kaimahi hauora becomes integrated into how we work in our social sector in Aotearoa New Zealand.
  • Throughout the pandemic, Te Pai Ora SSPA members have told us that there needs to be a stronger focus on their wellbeing, to enable them to be as effective as possible in their mahi.

We have resources throughout our Te Whare Pupuri Rawa to help Te Pai Ora SSPA members. Many of these are from our own previous conferences, like this wellness break led by Nau Mai Tau Mai or you can see the video below from Whakamanawa 2022 featuring Khali Phillips-Barbara.

Watch now
Grounding Welcome led by Khali Philip Barbara at Whakamanawa 2022

Real workers. Real stories.

At the heart of the ‘Standing Up for Social Services Kaimahi Hauora’ campaign in 2023 we shared the direct stories and insights of a number of real community-based social services kaimahi.

These workers bravely and kindly shared their own stories for the benefit of the wider sector, and to influence change.

These real, first-hand stories emphasised how important a stronger focus on social services kaimahi hauora is, and powerfully brings forward a range of different perspectives on the kaupapa.

Kaimahi Hauora in the media

Click below to read our opinion piece on community-based social services kaimahi hauora, published in The Spinoff in 2023.

Are you a leader of a social services organisation?

Leaders in social service organisations have a key role to play in supporting social services kaimahi hauora. Discussing this kaupapa with your teams to understand what would support them to be well in their work and for their whānau is a great place to start. You might also like to consider:

  • Developing a people strategy/plan that puts a focus on supporting the wellbeing of kaimahi in your organisation
  • Putting in place an Employee Assistance Programme to enable kaimahi to access a limited number of free support sessions such as counselling or rongoā Māori
  • Assessing your employee leave arrangements and building in more flexible working policies and things like wellbeing leave days
  • Quarterly all-org checkins about kaimahi hauora, to pulse check how workers are going and understand their needs
  • Planning to build into your budget to invest in annual employee wellbeing payments up to a certain dollar amount, to reimburse partial costs of things like gym membership, rongoā Māori, mirimiri, optometrist costs, dental costs, yoga classes, meditation/te hā classes/apps – so kaimahi can choose what would support their wellbeing
  • Creating a workplace culture where kaimahi practice an ethic of collective care and shoulder each other up, look out for one another, check in on each other and where all aspects of wellbeing are able to be discussed respectfully and in ways that whakamana the individual and their whānau.

Here are some resources to tautoko you as leader or manager to place a practical focus on kaimahi hauora in your organisation:

Are you a social services kaimahi?

We’ve gathered together some resources that we think will be helpful to you in your social services kaimahi hauora journey. They’re drawn from our innagural Te Pai Ora SSPA Social Services Kaimahi Hauora Programme that we ran in October/November 2022 with the support of Foundation North, Rāta Foundation, Trust Waikato and partnering with the Centre for Social Impact. You can see recordings from this programme here

We really like Te Whare Tapa Whā and The Five Ways to Wellbeing as accessible frameworks for social services kaimahi to think about and support your wellbeing. We've also included some other practical resources you might find useful for yourself or working with your colleagues.

Check them out here:

Places to find support

Even though every day in our mahi as social services workers we’re caring for and helping others, sometimes we need some help ourselves. If any time you’re feeling distressed or need some immediate support, you can free text or call 1737 the National Telehealth Service to talk to or txt with a trained counsellor at any time.

For additional support if you need it at any time, you can get in touch with one of these organisations:

Lifeline – 0800 543 354 or (09) 5222 999 within Tāmaki Makaurau

Anxiety New Zealand – 0800 ANXIETY (0800 269 4389)

Suicide Crisis Helpline – 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)

Healthline – 0800 611 116

Rural Support Trust – 0800 787 254

Samaritans – 0800 726 666

For free counselling support for children and rangatahi who you work with or in your whānau, get in touch with:

0800 What's Up - 0800WHATSUP

YouthLine - 0800 376 633 / free txt 234