Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
Work smarter with a Pro licence Learn More

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


SSPA’s response to the Budget announcements

SSPA’s response to the Budget announcements and the impact for the community social services sector:

Wellbeing budget delivers some good news – and some challenges

The announcement 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.

Speaking after the briefing to social sector leaders by the Prime Minister and other ministers, SSPA National Manager, Brenda Pilott, said: “The focus on wellbeing and especially new provisions to improve the lives of children and young people is very welcome. The packages of changes in mental health and family/sexual violence should begin to make a real difference to some of these very entrenched problems.”

“The announcements of significant new programmes for transition from care and intensive support services are welcome. These will be primarily delivered by community, iwi and Māori providers and we were pleased to hear these are to be funded on a realistic and sustainable basis. We’re also pleased to see the increase in support for providers of care services.”

Brenda Pilott welcomed the increase funding of $26.7 million as a start in addressing cost pressures for community organisations, in particular wage pressures, but said more is needed.

“The wage pressure challenge in our sector is most stark for social workers, especially experienced social workers. The starting salary for newly-qualified social work graduates at Oranga Tamariki is $55,000. In community organisations that can be almost the top of the scale for highly experienced workers. The wage gap currently averages around 35% between community and Oranga Tamariki social workers.”

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

“This gap has to be further limited to ensure the sustainability of the community social service sector, and we are going to need to see more funding from government, beyond what has been committed to in today’s Budget.”

“Community organisations are struggling to recruit and retain these experienced social workers, and are losing skilled staff to Oranga Tamariki. That is having an impact on the services and support they provide to families and children, at a time where we know needs are multiple and complex.”

“These issues about fair pay are part of a wider issue about fair funding for community social services. Community social services are a vital part of the Oranga Tamariki operating model and it is critical that government moves more strongly to remediate a decade of under-funding for the NGO social service sector, to ensure its sustainability and effectiveness for those it serves.”

SSPA has commissioned research into the community social services funding gap which will report in August.

“Sustainable and reasonable funding is about recognising and investing in those people who provide services to our most vulnerable New Zealanders. This is critical to achieving the government’s wellbeing outcomes. Today’s announcements are a start. More is needed and we look forward to engaging with the government on how best to achieve the outcomes we share,” said Brenda Pilott.


Social Service Providers Aotearoa represents some 200 non-profit organisations funded by government to work with vulnerable children, young people and families. Brenda Pilott is national manager of SSPA.

© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Perils Of Joining AUKUS Pillar Two

The lure for New Zealand to join the AUKUS military alliance is that membership of only its “second pillar” will still (supposedly) give us access to state of the art military technologies. As top US official Kurt Campbell said during his visit to Wellington a year ago:
...We've been gratified by how many countries want to join with us to work with cutting-edge technologies like in the cyber arena, hypersonics, you can go down a long list and it's great to hear that New Zealand is interested...


Government: Backs Police To Crackdown On Gangs
The coalition Government is restoring law and order by providing police new tools to crack down on criminal gangs, says Justice Minister Paul Goldsmith and Police Minister Mark Mitchell. “Over the last five years gangs have recruited more than 3000 members, a 51 per cent increase... More

Government: Retiring Chief Of Navy Thanked For His Service

Defence Minister Judith Collins has thanked the Chief of Navy, Rear Admiral David Proctor, for his service as he retires from the Royal New Zealand Navy after 37 years. Rear Admiral Proctor will retire on 16 May to take up an employment opportunity in Australia... More

Government: Humanitarian Support For Gaza & West Bank

Winston Peters has announced NZ is providing a further $5M to respond to the extreme humanitarian need in Gaza and the West Bank. “The impact of the Israel-Hamas conflict on civilians is absolutely appalling," he said... More

Government: New High Court Judge Appointed

Judith Collins has announced the appointment of Wellington Barrister Jason Scott McHerron as a High Court Judge. Justice McHerron graduated from the University of Otago with a BA in English Literature in 1994 and an LLB in 1996... More




InfoPages News Channels


Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.