Important announcement from the ANZASW Board

Tena koutou katoa

In our first official act as President and Tumuaki we are thrilled to be able to let you know the critical decisions made during our two days of Board Meetings at the end of October. We are excited to share our vision for the transformation of the Association and our plan to meet the challenges ahead.

As many of you are aware, the Association has faced significant fiscal challenges as a result of financial, political, social and legislative changes impacting on social work in Aotearoa NZ. These changes have contributed to increased operational costs alongside decreasing income and fluctuating membership numbers. Our National Office has done an incredible job putting strategies in place to manage within increasing fiscal constraints: managing with less staff and trimming spending in as many places as possible. They should be acknowledged for their efforts to maintain the operation of the Association with a much reduced budget. However, despite these measures, the Board recognise we must take further steps to solidify our financial position and ensure a strong and sustainable future.

The Board are passionate and committed to the role of ANZASW and to this end we have made the following decisions:

Agreed a strategic plan for 2015 to 2018.

There has been much consultation and discussion amongst Board and members over an 18+ month period on this plan, and we are now delighted to present it to you, with three key priority goals around membership, voice and continuing professional development. (See final plan below: click image to download). It is our intention to use the vision, values and goals of the strategic plan as a living document against which to measure the future performance of the Association.


Strategic Plan: Approved 30 October 2015

Agreed to a fee increase for the 2016 to 2017 membership year.

This increase will be a maximum of $1 per week, depending on the membership tier you currently pay. For example the highest level of fee will now be $362, reducing to $325.80 with early bird payment discount.

With an increase in fees what will you get?

These changes are not being adopted to raise funds and continue with business as usual. They are proposed in order to transform and strengthen our Association as the voice of social work in Aotearoa New Zealand. The changes adopted to date include:

  • The development of a more modern and coherent ANZASW web presence where members can keep up to date with ANZASW activities and participate in discussion and dialogue.
  • The reinvigoration of branch and roopu engagement and reinstatement of Tangata Whenua caucus opportunities.
  • An enhanced online, open access journal produced by our new Editorial Collective with a stronger international profile for Aotearoa social work research and practice.
  • An improved magazine style NoticeBoard where practitioners and managers can share stories and issues from practice.
  • An increase in Continuing Professional Development opportunities free (or discounted) to members and with charges for non-members.
  • Changes to our Competency Assessment process to acknowledge that SWRB and social work schools now assess basic competence. As an Association we plan to move towards the support and development of experienced, advanced and further expertise levels of capability.
  • A sustainable Association that is strong, inclusive, and campaigns for social justice both locally and internationally and for the public recognition of the value of social work.

As a Board we cannot do all this without the collective vision and participation of all of our membership. We invite you all to join us on the journey ahead. Kia Kotahi te hoe (Let us paddle together as one).

Together we are strong.

Nga mihi

Karen and Anaru (President and Tumuaki)



  • Deane Davies

    Kia Ora. I too agree we as members deserve to be told the whole story in regard to the board member who transgressed. Please tell all. Also in relation to fee increase: increasing fees is likely to lose members in the long run – the choice will soon be to go with the SWRB as this is mandatory for some of us now and more will follow at some point. I accept the rational for increasing the fees but believe the board needs to prove to us that they can deliver bang for that buck – if not then what. ANZASW cannot keep asking for more but not deliver on outcomes promised.

  • I agree with BEW that more information about the present Board resignations is required.

  • BEW

    Hello. I feel that it is vital that further information is presented as to the situation that led to three board members leaving due to the behaviour of a fourth board member. The email alerting members to this was vague and left the impression of a major disruption to the board’s membership. As a member (currently), I expect to be told who that problematic board member was and what behaviour they undertook which led to the exit of the other board members. The minutes of 12 Feb are inadequate as the departures of the additional three board members is not described. Please update.

  • Adrienne Baird

    Kia ora Karen and Anaru
    I appreciate the decisions which have been made by the Board in consultation with members and the open, friendly and transparent way in which those decisions have been communicated. While it is a struggle for members on low salaries to pay both ANZASW and SWRB fees, the reality is that this is politicial! Sometime in the recent past Lucy made available a chart which illustrated the fees paid by other professional groups and it seemed to me that ANZASW membership fees were modest by comparison. If we want recognition of our profession and the corresponding benefits we are obliged to participate in ANZASW to raise those issues, debate them and make them known to politicians. Before this however, it is my belief that we must work at a personal level and as Association members, with and alongside whanau and community advocacy groups to raise the issues and bring about change for those most marginilised by the current and historical policies of the state.

  • Dawn Jefferies

    It is getting to a point fiscally when agencies are going to have to consider whether paying for their staff to be members of both the ANZASW and the SWRB is financially viable…if I personally had to pay out of my pocket there is no way I could afford to be members of both…

  • Michele

    I don’t agree with such a massive fee increase when this membership doesn’t seem to give you much as a member. The website is not user friendly and there are no opportunities that warrant the current let alone an increase. If SWRB are undertaking competency, then I can see a lot of people, who are not having their fees paid through employment asking the question what do I get for memnership? Anzasw seems to be motivated by the people who work tirelessly to advocate for social work within self directed groups/lots of unpaid work for publish. I think focus needs to be what are the true benefits are for anzasw members – extra funds for IT? Another sad reality of socially driven expectations.

  • Karen Shepherd

    Thanks for your comments and apologies if our blog post is misleading or unclear in any way.
    Yes a fee increase will create more funds. It will create funds to cover the ever increasing cost of base line services and to assist us as an association to be able to cover our bills.
    As a board we grappled for some time about whether we should increase fees or instead drastically reduce services and functionality of the association in order to continue to function. Clearly we opted for a fee increase after members had indicated that they sought a stronger and more present voice in their association not a further diminished one.
    However in increasing this fee we are ever mindful of the low pay rates and financial stress within our communities, for those in paid employment as well as those who are not. We are mindful of the challenges this may bring and have some further innovative ideas (which are no way near developed or fully thought through yet to announce as this time) to mitigate against fee payment hardship and to support those of our members who would find this $1 a week increase un-affordable.
    As a board we felt it important that if fees increased, to cover essential costs, that we also consider new ways of doing some things and ensured that this extra $1 did not just ‘disappear’, but could be shown to being effectively used in creating changes.
    We hope our strategic plan reflects to members a new vision forward and over time we will continue to roll out announcements demonstrating more of the changes we envisage to support our membership, voice and CPD.
    Apologies again if our initial blog did not put this in a way which was clear enough.
    Please keep your comments coming however,; the Association is all of us, and we value feedback, engagement and participation of all members as we re-imagine our association into the next 50 years.
    Nga mihi nui

  • Jacob Verbeek

    Kia ora Karen & Anaru! I think the vision developed is exactly what is needed at this time. I appreciate the clarity that the three key priority goals bring and the transparency offered in this post! Congratulations and kia kaha as you carry forth the mantle!

  • Virginia Wright

    Please be upfront about reasons for increasing membership fees.
    Of course it is about raising more funds!! Saying so acknowledges the intelligence of members. Saying it is not, does the opposite!

    I am sure the reasons given are genuine and important, but so is transparency that any increase in fees is just that – an increase to raise funds.

    I wish the board all the best. However, this does not give me confidence that members will be treatedas colleagues, as we should be.

    • Rhian

      The fee increase is way more, % wise ,than a average wage increase . most of your proposals are on line base and limited in the amount of resources needed .
      I got a cent hr wage increase this year and wage talk will not take place again for another 3 years for my employers so there is not more money coming into our pay packets.
      Between ANZASW and SWRB this would put the yearly fees over $700 a year ,and with employers tighten the budgets .if you can offer a $40 discount for early payment then why does the fee need to be so hight.
      $52 a year increase to much
      I wonder if this is a way to loss more members