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SOWK111 Working with People: The New Zealand Context

An introduction to the context for academic and professional work in social services in New Zealand.

This paper provides students with an introduction to the integration of social science concepts and their application to the social services from a Treaty-based perspective. Students will gain knowledge of, and the ability to critically analyse, the historical conditions that have shaped the relationship between tangata whenua and tauiwi. In addition, students will gain knowledge of the development of social services in Aotearoa/New Zealand, an understanding of the planned change process and ecological model and its relevance to the social services, an understanding of their own cultural origins and the way in which these shape attitudes and values, as well as the skills necessary to access and present information.

Paper title Working with People: The New Zealand Context
Paper code SOWK111
Subject Social Work
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period Semester 1 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $955.05
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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COMF 111, SOWX 111, COMX 111
Schedule C
Arts and Music
Suitable for first-year Bachelor of Social Work and Bachelor of Arts students.

Teaching staff

Course Co-ordinator to be confirmed.


Paper Structure
The paper utilises:
  • Thirteen 2-hour lectures
  • Twelve 1-hour tutorials
Readings provided and recommended texts:
  • Connolly, M. and Harms, L. (2013) Social Work: Contexts and Practice (Third Edition). Oxford University Press, Auckland
  • Chenoweth, L., and McAuliffe, D., (2012) The Road to Social Work and Human Service Practice: An Introductory Text (Third Edition). Cengage Learning, Australia
Course outline
A course outline will be made available at the commencement of the semester.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete the paper will develop:

  • An understanding of the knowledge base that underpins social work in Aotearoa New Zealand
  • The ability to locate themselves in relation to the practice context in Aotearoa New Zealand
  • Knowledge of the ecological model and a variety of theories, models and approaches across the ecological systems
  • Knowledge of te Tiriti o Waitangi and the ability to analyse the historical and contemporary conditions that influence the practice landscape in the Aotearoa New Zealand context from a tiriti-based perspective

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Semester 1

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
L1 Monday 13:00-14:50 9-14, 18-22


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
T1 Wednesday 13:00-13:50 10-14, 16-22
T2 Wednesday 14:00-14:50 10-14, 16-22