Latest updates

Latest updates from Te Kāhui Kāhu

24 February 2022

Te Kāhui Kāhu response in Phase 2 and Phase 3

Tēnā koutou

With the recent movement under the COVID Protection Framework to Phase 2 of the Red traffic Light system and the forthcoming move to Phase 3, Te Kāhui Kāhu has formed a response to the new settings. The following changes ensure that we can protect our staff as well as you, our community service providers. These changes also reflect our understanding of the pressure that many of you are currently under with delivering front-line and urgent Covid-19 response services.

If you have an assessment in progress then you can expect your Assessor to be reaching out shortly to help guide you through the changes.

The key changes to our accreditation process under Phase 2 and Phase 3 are highlighted below:

  1. All scheduled Level 1 to 3 review assessments will now be completed as contactless assessments. These will be done with the use of attestation forms and collaboration technologies such as email, voice calls and MS Teams virtual meetings.
  2. If it is deemed necessary, reviews will be considered for a site visit on a case-by-case basis. This will only be approved after an Accreditation Manager has considered all factors.
  3. All initial applications will be deferred unless the provider and an Accreditation Manager are amenable to a site visit. The contactless assessment process may be considered for initial assessments if supported by an Accreditation Manager.
  4. Approved site visits will only be allocated to an Assessor residing within the same region of residence. This is to reduce the risks posed by travel and accommodation.

All other accreditation processes and assessment activities will remain unchanged.

If there are any questions please send them through to accreditation@tekahuikahu.govt.nz

Ngā mihi

Utulei Antipas, National Manager Policy Practice and Business Enablement


17 December 2021

Merry Christmas from Te Kāhui Kāhu

I hope this message finds you well. I expect you will be looking forward to some relaxation over the holiday period, although I know it’s a time of year when some of you will be working harder than ever for the families and whānau that you help.

If you were one of the 484 organisations who participated in our recent survey on cultural kaupapa: many thanks. This information will help us tailor how we engage with you—starting with a review of the social sector accreditation standards.

In my introduction to the culture survey, I let you know that this message would be coming soon. As you’ll appreciate, Covid-19 hasn’t been conducive to holding the forums I had imagined would take place by now.

Making sure our accreditation standards are organised and written in a way that is meaningful to your organisation is still important mahi for us. We plan to work with you on this from March 2022 onwards through a mix of face-to-face meetings in some main centres and online sessions, and we’ll take your feedback in various ways.

Of course, I will invite everyone to engage in this work; not just those who managed to respond to our survey. Look out for further email communication about this next year.

Email us at accreditation@tekahuikahu.govt.nz if you have any questions—and don’t forget that helpful accreditation information is on our website: https://tekāhuikāhu.govt.nz.

With festive wishes from me and the team at Te Kāhui Kāhu,

Barry Fisk

General Manager


28 October 2021

Te Kāhui Kāhu Annual Report 2021

We are excited to release an annual report for the 12 months ending 30 June 2021. Read this report to learn more about Te Kāhui Kāhu’s work in this period and our opportunities and priorities going forward.


18 August 2021

COVID Alert Level 4 -Site assessments postponed

It is important your staff, our staff and your clients stay safe.

Accreditation site visits are postponed at COVID-19 Alert Level 4.

Our assessors will be working from home during lockdown. We will focus on desk-based aspects of an assessment, such as reviewing evidence and writing reports. If you have an assessment scheduled, started or in progress you may still hear from us.

If you have a site visit planned, your assessor will be in touch in due course to let you know the next steps. Some aspects of a site assessment can be done remotely, for example, interviews using video conferencing. Your assessor will offer you this as an option.

If your circumstances mean you can’t attend to an email from us right now, this is ok.

For more info on what to do at COVID Alert Level 4 -please see:


17 August 2021

Social Services Accreditation is now Te Kāhui Kāhu

Kia tau ngā manaakitanga a te mea ngaro ki runga i a tātou katoa

We hope that this message finds you well.
In this message we cover:

  • Our new name, email address, website and forms
  • How your accreditation status is unaffected.

Social Services Accreditation has a new name and logo

Social Services Accreditation is now Te Kāhui Kāhu. You will start to see this name and our branding appear on communication from our staff, and on our documentation.

Logo image

Te Kāhui Kāhu has a new email address

With the new name comes a new contact address for accreditation queries: accreditation@tekahuikahu.govt.nz.

Please note the absence of tohutō (macrons) in the email domain. This is a technical limitation; our name is still correctly written elsewhere as: Te Kāhui Kāhu.

Te Kāhui Kāhu has a new website

Our website, 🌐tekāhuikāhu.govt.nz has been designed to make it easier for you to understand what we do and how we work with you. We recommend that you add this to your bookmarks now for handy reference.

The website includes:

As the website is a big change and we want it to be a meaningful resource for providers, we would love to hear feedback from you.

Your organisation’s accreditation is not affected

Your accreditation status is still the same

  • If you are accredited, you still are. Your organisation’s next accreditation review will still happen as scheduled.
  • If you are currently going through an accreditation assessment or review, this will carry on as normal.

Te Kāhui Kāhu still provides Social Services Accreditation

We independently accredit for six government agencies:

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

If you have questions, please contact us.

We look forward to continuing to work with your organisation, to provide government and your communities with the assurance that you can safely deliver social services.

Ngā mihi nui
Te Kāhui Kāhu tīma, the Kāhui Kāhu team


1 July 2021

Update to level 1 providers

Assurance functions now shared between Oranga Tamariki and Social Services Accreditation

New arrangements for accreditation of care providers

Your organisation is approved as the provider of an iwi social service, a cultural service or a child and family support service under s 396 of the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989 (“Act”). You were approved by us, Social Services Accreditation, and we were empowered to act by a formal delegation of authority from the Chief Executive of Oranga Tamariki.

To obtain approval, you were assessed against a range of standards that many social sector providers need to meet, as well as the specialist Level 1 Care Services standard and, where applicable, the Iwi Social Services standard.

From 1 July 2021, under s 396 of the Act, Oranga Tamariki is responsible for assessing and approving care services and it has devised new procedures for doing so. A new business function, Oranga Tamariki Quality Assurance, will contact you to advise how it will carry out this care service approval.

To maintain your contract with Oranga Tamariki to deliver care services, you will still need to meet our core standards and Social Services Accreditation will continue to be responsible for assessing you against them.

Social Services Accreditation changes

There will be some changes to the accreditation service that Social Services Accreditation operates:

  • Recruitment and selection procedures for caregivers and care staff contained in the Oranga Tamariki (National Care Standards and Related Matters) Regulations 2018 are now included in our Level 1 Staffing standard that applies to you from 1 July 2021. A copy of the revised Level 1 standards is available on the website.
  • We will no longer visit care homes, interview caregivers or review care service user files.
  • Our standard Level 1 review cycle is extended to 24 months (but your Oranga Tamariki assessment cycle against care services may be different).
  • Providers accredited against the level 1 care standards but who are no longer providing care services will only be assessed against the level 2, 3 or 4 standards that are relevant to the services they currently deliver.

Oranga Tamariki and Social Services Accreditation co-operating

Oranga Tamariki Quality Assurance and Social Services Accreditation are committed to minimising duplication for providers. To save you providing the same information twice, where practicable we will share relevant accreditation and approval information with each other to achieve this.

Further information

An accreditation assessor will discuss with you changes to your next Social Services Accreditation assessment when it is due.

If you have a general inquiry about these changes, email accreditation@tekahuikahu.govt.nz

For inquiries about the new Oranga Tamariki processes, you can contact your existing contract advisor or care lead, or email the new Oranga Tamariki Quality Assurance team at PfOQuality@ot.govt.nz

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