All posts by Transformer

Re-Imagining Social Work in New Zealand

Who are we?

Re-Imagining Social Work (RSW) is a collective of social workers, social work academics, researchers and others who share a passion for, and a commitment to the development of modern, progressive, inclusive, democratic, and culturally responsive social work services in Aotearoa New Zealand.  Our work in the collective is voluntary and undertaken with no external support.  The opinions we express are our own and do not represent the views of our employers, or any association to which we belong.

As a collective we do not have a lead person, contact with us can be made through the website at

What is the purpose of this website?

The purpose of this website is to provide a platform to re-imagine social work services in Aotearoa New Zealand. We intend to use this site, and other social media, to raise awareness about the threats to humane social work services in New Zealand and to promote discussion, debate and deliberation about progressive alternatives.

What is the background to the RSW?

Our collective was formed in response to the New Zealand Government’s announcement, in April 2015, of plans to review and ‘modernise’ Child, Youth and Family (the government operated child protection agency).  The review is to be led by an ‘independent’ panel of ‘experts’.  Experts who do not include a single child protection practitioner, manager, academic or researcher. The CYF review is not about the development of creative and innovative plans to support and reform a struggling public service. It is about the continuing roll out of the National Government’s ‘investment approach’ to marketise and privatise health and social services.  The terms of reference of the review include no plans to consult the New Zealand public or any of the many agencies and individuals with a stake in effective child protection services.

What do we want to achieve?

We propose to resist the silencing of our voice by creating a space to discuss, debate and deliberate on the future of modern and progressive social work services in Aotearoa New Zealand. We believe that the CYF Review has implications for all social work services and welcome contributions (blog posts, comments, video interviews, photographs, cartoons, drawings and other media) from colleagues (social workers, social work managers, social work students, policy makers, trade unionists and others) who share our concerns.  Please use the contact form to contact the RSW Collective.

The name of our collective, Re-imagining Social Work, was inspired by the book Re-imagining Child Protection: Towards humane social work with families by Brid Featherstone,  Kate Morris, and Sue White.


Auckland Action Against Poverty

Kia ora Friend,

The past year has been a big year for Auckland Action Against Poverty (AAAP).

Our busy advocacy program showed how badly people are being affected by the government’s welfare agenda. In August 2014 we ran an Impact at the Mangere Work and Income helping more than 500 people over the three days, and many more subsequently. Check out a video from Impact.

Our protests and direct actions brought focus to unfairness. A highlight came in April 2014 when we hosted a Block (the National) Party outside the Young Nats’ Ball, exposing the contradictions between the ruling elite and reality. Check out a video of the action set to the band, Street Chant’s, song There Is No Depression In New Zealand. You can also take a look at the 3News coverage of the protest.

The generous support of many people enabled us to employ Nadia Abu-Shanab and Alastair Russell as coordinators for much of the year, with Nadia having recently moved into the position of co-chair of AAAP alongside Oliver Christeller. Sue Bradford has recently taken up a short-term coordinator position, until Sarah Thompson returns from maternity leave at the beginning of March 2015.

Our advocacy service continues to grow exponentially as more and more people find out we exist. If you would like volunteer as a beneficiary advocate, please contact us. We will be running a training session for new advocates early in the new year.

UBI (Universal Basic Income)
We are hosting a public meeting with Guy Standing from the UK, an international expert on UBI, from 6-8pm Wednesday 11 February 2014, venue to be advised.
In preparation for this, there will be an education and discussion meeting about UBI at AAAP in Onehunga: 5-7pm Tuesday 3 February. All AAAP members & supporters welcome. We’ll send out more background info before then.

Funding – can you help?
We continue to rely mainly on the generous support of individual donors who support our political kaupapa and advocacy work. Thanks so much to those of you who have given this year, and/or continue to make regular APs.

For those who can assist, we welcome your support – by internet banking to AAAP at 38 9011 0832874 00. Thank you!

Jonathan, Sue, Alastair & all of us here at AAAP

Auckland Action Against Poverty
Auckland Action Against Poverty · New Zealand


NZEI Te Riu Roa

NZEI Te Riu Roa members work in every community in New Zealand, leading and advocating for quality public education.

We are the 50,000 principals, teachers and support staff who work in primary, area and secondary schools as well as early childhood centres, special education and school advisory services. We come together as NZEI Te Riu Roa – New Zealand’s largest education union, a Treaty based organisation and a powerful advocate for quality public education.


Rebecca Matthews-Heron

[email protected]

Health Care Aotearoa

Health Care Aotearoa represents many community & iwi controlled primary health providers.

“Our primary health services every day see the results of low wages and the lack of sustainable incomes in the health problems that we deal with in our communities. This is not just a cost to the families living in these communities but also to the taxpayers who foot the bill for our public health services,” says Healthcare Aotearoa National Co-ordinator Muriel Tunoho.

Muriel Tunoho |

Living Wage Movement Aotearoa NZ

What we do to reduce inequality

Two in five children living in poverty comes from a household with at least one full time worker or self-employed person. The Living Wage Movement Aotearoa NZ is an alliance of faith-based religious groups, unions and community/secular groups committed to reducing poverty among working people in New Zealand. It is not aligned to any political party but seeks to influence those who have the power to change the lives of workers and their families through a Living Wage. In particular, the Movement focuses on where incomes are funded through public money, the large employers who can afford to pay a Living Wage, and those ethical employers who choose to pay.

The Living Wage is independently calculated by the Family Centre Social Policy Unit which in February each year releases the Living Wage rate for New Zealand. The current Living Wage is $19.25 per hour.

Dozens of employers have already signed a licence to become Living Wage Employers from a range of sectors including NGOs, manufacturing, and hospitality.

Helpful support

Sign in to our website for more information, join our Movement as a Member Group, be a volunteer and support our growing influence across civil society as we raise the standards for workers and their families and change the debate about wages in this country. or our Facebook page: Living Wage Aotearoa New Zealand.

Contact: Annie Newman |

Inequality Calculator: 100,000 hits!

More and more people are talking about the growing gap between rich and poor. But what does it actually mean for you?

Just answer the two questions in this Inequality Calculator to find out how much you earn compared to everyone else – and how much better (or worse) off you’d be in a more equal New Zealand…

The project, a collaboration by data journalist Keith Ng, journalist Max Rashbrooke and Matthew Bartlett from the NZ Council of Christian Social Services, has caused an online sensation. Check it out now.

Hikoi for Children a Success

About 1000 people marched up Queen Street on Saturday September 6 calling for the Government to do more urgently to eliminate child poverty.

The hikoi was part of the Tick 4 Kids election campaign which is made up of almost 36 organisations including Plunket, the PPTA and the Public Health Association.

Tick 4 Kids is designed to encourage voters to keep children in mind come election time, and it’s also encouraging political parties to have policies for children.

Deborah Morris-Travers from Unicef is the campaign spokesperson. Ms Morris-Travers said there needs to be a much more comprehensive approach from the government.

“We still have a number of people in government who think that we can leave this issue up to the economy and the market. We can’t just rely on economic wealth to solve this problem, we need to have a redistribution of wealth.”

She said housing needs to be warm, of good quality and affordable.

“We would be encouraging the newly elected government whoever it is to be much more aspirational around this issue, to really keep the focus on children, and especially the youngest children who are those most likely to be in poverty.”

Read more about it here.

Where do the parties stand on inequality: candidates forum

Inequality has become a defining issue for this election. But what are the political parties planning to do about it? This is your chance to hear from the candidates and ask them the tough questions.

Connolly Hall, Guildford Tce, Wellington

Confirmed speakers:
Chris Finlayson (National)
Grant Robertson (Labour)
James Shaw (Greens)
Mataroa Paroro New Zealand First Candidate Hutt South
Ngaire Button (Maori Party)
Gordon Copeland (Conservatives)
Dave Stonyer (United Future)

Blind Foundation: Election Forum on Disability Issues

One in four New Zealanders has a disability. When you add family members, sector workers and friends the importance of disability issues becomes even more obvious.

Find out what the political parties have to say on the big issues that effect disabled people.

We’re hosting a national event for politicians to front up and answer questions about what they’ll do for people with a disability.

The election is on 20 September but you can vote now.

Sign Language interpreters and Hearing Loop will both be available and we look
forward to seeing you there.

This is a chance to get the information you need to make an informed decision at this year’s General Election on 20 September 2014.

When: 2pm, Thursday 11 September
Where: The ASB Sports Centre
72 Kemp Street, Kilbirnie, Wellington