You can find out when the SWRB Board meets to approve registration applications and who our SWRB Board members on the SWRB Board page.
Chief Executive – Tumu Herenga Waka
Sarah joined the SWRB in May 2017 after holding a number of roles within the state sector.
Originally from Christchurch, Sarah has a Masters in Geography, and a thesis on female offending. Her career has taken her on a diverse path, most recently with Superu (Families Commission) as Director of Client Services, and at the Office for Seniors as its Director.
Sarah has worked on the frontline with youth unemployment and also in Parliament as a social researcher and then Director of the Labour Research Unit.
She believes the SWRB is well placed to lift awareness of the importance of social workers across the wider social sector, and to support the professionalisation of social workers.
Registrar – Pātikitiki
Hamish became the SWRB’s Registrar in May 2023.
Hamish is a lawyer with a wealth of experience from his distinguished and varied career, which includes serving as Mayor of Whanganui from 2016-2022. He values his community connections, which were further developed during his time in local government where he built enduring relationships with iwi, the voluntary sector, education and health sectors, and a range of other organisations and people across the region.
Hamish is looking forward to the challenges and opportunities this role will bring. “I have been looking for an opportunity which allows me to keep contributing to making New Zealand a better place. Social workers do such important mahi with some of New Zealand’s most vulnerable people. Working to enhance the professionalism of the sector and ensure public safety feels right.”
Chief Advisor Māori Development – Ihorei Aka Matua
E rere kau mai I te awa tupua The Whanganui river flows
Mai i te kāhui maunga ki Tangaroa From the clan of mountains to the sea
Ko au te awa, ko te awa ko au I am the river and the river is me
The Whanganui river is my source of spiritual and physical wellbeing, a living entity that binds the people to the river, and the river to the people.
From the west, the healing fonts of my ancestral river; to my mother’s side in the east, the celestial tide churns at Tokomaru Bay, the first place to welcome the new day.
From the swift rapids of the Whanganui River to the ebb and flow at Tokomaru Bay, these natural elements continue to shape, inform and guide me on my professional journey.
I believe that the solutions to wellbeing are within our Māori models. It is from the Māori world view that we extract benchmarks of best practice and excellence. This important contribution to the shared space strengthens us all.
With over 20 years’ experience providing Māori advice and perspectives to the social sector, I have worked across a broad range of organisations including SuPERU (The Social unit for Policy Research and Evaluation), Ministry of Social Development, Stats NZ, Treasury, Victoria University, Te Rau Ora, and Ngā Taonga Sound and Vision.
In my role as Chief Advisor – Māori Development at SWRB, I will be responsible for the design, development and implementation of the SWRB Māori strategy and action plan that will utilise Māori ways of being, thinking and understanding to influence and guide our organisation into the future as a modern regulator.
Ka huri te kei o te waka ki te pae tawhiti
Kia hoe ngātahi ki te pae tata
Turn the prow of the vessel towards our distant horizon
Let us begin by paddling together as one
Director of Workforce Planning, and Policy – Purapura Whetū Arataki
Liz has worked across the public sector, to central government, for government departments, in the not-for-profit and voluntary sectors, in Aotearoa and overseas for over 25 years. Liz has a Business Degree, a Masters by Research in the development of older people’s housing and care services, two Postgraduate Diplomas in Social Housing and one in Public Health.
This is Liz’s second stint at the SWRB. She previously worked on changes to our legislation in 2017 that saw the implementation of mandatory registration for social workers. This time her role is Policy and Workforce Planning Manager.
Liz oversees a small team of Policy Advisors whose work supports social workers and social work students to become and maintain their compliance as registered professionals, such as the development of the Scope of Practice, Code of Conduct, and Programme Recognition Standards for our social work education providers.
The policy team also develops operational policy and procedures for our in-house SWRB teams in Registration, Professional Standards, and Education and Complaints. The team is also currently responsible for all Crown monitoring activity, and accountability reporting to the Minister for Social Development and Education. This includes our Statement of Intent, Statement of Performance Expectations, our Annual and Quarterly Reporting, and all performance measurement and monitoring activities.
Liz also leads the social worker Workforce Planning space, a new role assigned to the SWRB by the Minister. The SWRB’s role in workforce planning is to ensure a SAFE, PROFESSIONAL, qualified, knowledgeable and ACCOUNTABLE social worker workforce, and provide INSIGHT into where and when social workers are required to meet demand for services, now and in the future.