An open letter to all progressive organisations in Aotearoa New Zealand

Tēnā koutou katoa,

Greetings from Re-Imagining Social Work (RSW) 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 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 family violence researcher . In our view 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.

We launched the website Re-imagining Social Work in order to create a space to discuss, debate and deliberate on the CYF review and other social welfare reforms impacting on children, families and all New Zealand citizens. We consider that these changes are likely to have far-reaching and deleterious effects on the future of all social work services in Aotearoa New Zealand.

We are a small group of individuals and have no illusions about the scale of the task ahead.  We want to work in solidarity with the ANZASW, TWSWA, PSA/SWAN, NUPE, CSWEANZ and all other progressive bodies who share our concerns. We invite you to let your members know of our existence and to let us know how we can work in partnership with your organisation to challenge the CYF review and promote progressive social welfare reforms in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Ngā mihi  nui.

The RSW CollectiveRSW

  • Neil Ballantyne, Senior Lecturer in Social Work, Open Polytechnic of New Zealand.
  • Liz Beddoe, Associate Professor in SocialWork, University of Auckland.
  • Ian Hyslop, Lecturer in Social Work, University of Auckland.
  • Emily Keddell, Senior Lecturer in Social Work, University of Otago.
  • Simon Lowe, Senior Tutor in Social Work, University of Waikato.
  • Deb Stanfield, Social Work Academic, Wintec.

7 replies on “An open letter to all progressive organisations in Aotearoa New Zealand”

Great stuff! I go off tramping (and offline) for a few days to come back to a host of insightful pieces and a brand new collective for more of the same. Really looking forward to being part of the ongoing discussions. Thanks for the initiative.

Thoroughly needed and will add my tuppence worth if it will help. Don’t like cliches but I guess we need to “draw a line in the sand” and owe it to all future people we support to make sure this is about them and keeping the caring in society.

Ka pai he tautoko ana ngā whakaaro.

‘Re-imagining Social Work in Aotearoa New Zealand’ great opportunity to support and actively contribute to such a kaupapa. The day when whānau do not need the intervention of community and social work practitioners is the day that I know that for me ‘tiaki ngā mokopuna’ and ‘whānau ora’ are lived realities. I would hope that it is the true desire of all current and future community and social work practitioners to operate on the ethos ‘that they work themselves out of a job, the support that they provide for individuals and or their whānau is not required’. Whānau ora remains at the center of whānau enrichment and the korowai of ‘Tiaki Ngā Mokopuna’ frames the patterns and woven threads that unite whānau.

Mauri ora

It is deeply concerning and to a point “insulting” what the govt is doing. I fully support you in your efforts to avert such nonsense and bring to light the “real” facts underlying this initiative to review CYF and the integrity of the social workers there. Nga mihinui kia koutou

Kia ora and thank you for your support Michael, Luana and Alby 😉

We really do appreciate the encouraging voices of our colleagues. Please let colleagues know we welcome contributions of any kind in support of our work: blog posts, comments, video interviews, photographs, cartoons, drawings and other media. The identity of contributors can be kept anonymous if preferred.

Just use the contact form to get in touch.

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