For people working in the community alongside individuals, family and/or whanau. Focus on developing autonomy and using tools and strategies to reduce vulnerability and build resilience. Develop skills in building relationships, leadership and cultural responsiveness.

Flexible study options

The New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing (Social and Community Services) uses blended learning methods for delivery that combines face to face, online delivery and work-integrated learning. Students attend the polytechnic three days per course, with the remaining hours completed in the work place. Workplace hours are a minimum of six hours per week and independent study is approximately nine hours per week.

More detail about this qualification

Trimester one
HWB4001: Whānaungatanga Building Relationships (30 credits)

This course develops skills and knowledge to enable students to build effective professional relationships with people, families and whānau, and community networks in a health or social service setting. Students demonstrate an understanding of socio-cultural and historical factors that impact on health and/or social outcomes. Students reflect on their use of appropriate communication strategies that are respectful of diversity and that demonstrate working in partnership with others.

HWB4041: Safety and Practice in Social Services (30 credits)

This course develops skills and knowledge that enables students to protect and promote the health and wellbeing of people, whānau and families engaged in a social services setting. Students demonstrate an understanding of advocacy relevant to working with people, whānau and/or family accessing mental health addiction services. Students reflect on ethical and legal implications related to their role.

Trimester two 
HWB4002: Leadership and Cultural Responsiveness (30 credits)

This course develops skills and knowledge to enable students to provide culturally responsive care and advocate appropriately. Students demonstrate an understanding of their role in quality improvement and its impact on improving health and wellbeing. Students reflect on their own personal leadership and their ability to influence effective teamwork to work alongside and promote self-management and health literacy people, families and whānau.

Social Services in the Aotearoa New Zealand Context (30 credits)

This course develops the skills and knowledge to enable students to enable students to demonstrate the ability to work effectively as a supporter worker in a community setting.  Students will demonstrate an understanding of policy and theory relevant to social service practice.   Students will reflect on the tools and strategies used to reduce vulnerability and build resilience.

Entry requirements 


NCEA Level 1 or equivalent; evidence of suitability based on referees and safety check, to meet relevant legislation.


Proven equivalence for Domestic Entry Requirements plus IELTS 6.0 (or equivalent) with no band score lower than 5.5.**

How to apply

We recommend you apply online from the Whitireia website.

Before you start your online application, you will need to have the following documentation available to upload when requested:

Give the referee report to a person who is willing to be your referees. Ask them to complete the forms and either return to yourself (so you can upload with your application), or scan and email to within 10 days. Please note applications will not be processed until the referee report has been received.

Alternatively, completed applications can be printed off and either:


Mailed to:

Enrolments, Whitireia New Zealand
DX SX33459, Porirua 5022

Dropped into:

Enrolments, Whitireia New Zealand
3 Wi Neera Drive, Porirua

Funding your study

These programmes are FREE under TTAF, covering; compulsory tuition fees, compulsory course costs and compulsory student services fees. Visit for more information about TTAF.