About us

Find out more about Te Kāhui Kāhu and what we do

Who we are

We are an independent government business unit. Our team provides a professional, fair service for social service providers/organisations.

Our main function is Social Services Accreditation. We provide assurance that social service providers can deliver quality services. We do this by assessing organisations against the Social Services Accreditation Standards (SSAS) and making sure they meet these standards.

We also provide other services on behalf of other government agencies, including, Pay Equity Claim Oversight and Support and Core Worker Exemptions.

Our team

We have staff with a diverse range of backgrounds and experience.

Our assessors are qualified in New Zealand regulatory compliance. Our accreditation team is based across the country, from Invercargill to Kerikeri. This means we can visit organisations across the country.

Our Name: Te Kāhui Kāhu

Te Kāhui Kāhu is a metaphor for keen, sharp sight. The Kāhu (native hawk) reinforces an organisation that sees everything, from afar. Kāhui kāhu is a gathering of hawks. Our staff had input into our new name Te Kāhui Kāhu. Te Taura Whiri I Te Reo-The Māori Language Commission considered what we do and endorsed our new name.

Our logo has koru to represent three waka: Mana, Kotahitanga and Kia Takatū Tātou—united in their purpose, and filled with confidence and pride. The imagery suggests strength and mana - a silent challenge to any difficulties that we, and our stakeholders, might face.

Who we work for

There are a number of agencies that fund us to provide social services accreditation:

  • Department of Corrections - Ara Poutama Aotearoa
  • Ministry of Housing and Urban Development - Te Tūāpapa Kura Kāinga
  • Ministry of Justice - Tāhū o te Ture
  • Ministry for Pacific Peoples -Te Manatū mō ngā Iwi ō te Moana-nui-ā-Kiwa
  • Ministry of Social Development - Te Manatū Whakahiato Ora
  • Oranga Tamariki - Ministry for Children.

We report to a board that has a representative from all the agencies that fund us. It's chaired by an independent agency to ensure fairness and neutrality. Our board is responsible for our strategic direction and funding arrangements.

These agencies have chosen to use one accreditation service, instead of each having their own service. This means you only have to apply for accreditation once, and not multiple times.

Our history

We were set up by government to ensure there was a benchmark for the provider sector and a way to check compliance against that benchmark.

We have been around since 1989. We have previously been known by the names:

  • Community Services Funding team
  • Child, Youth and Family (CYF) Approvals
  • Ministry of Social Development (MSD) Approvals
  • Social Services Accreditation.

Historically we worked just for CYF and MSD. Now we have taken on a social sector-wide accreditation role and other oversight functions for government agencies.

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