Case Manager Kaiwhakahaere Kēhi

Case managers work with individuals and families to help them overcome hardship, and access social services and support.

Case managers may do some or all of the following:

  • help people find work or return to work
  • find housing for people or organise financial help
  • help people to get treatment and attend programmes while they are in prison
  • develop plans to help prisoners live successfully when they are released
  • help clients who have made insurance claims
  • write reports, case notes and recommendations
  • give emergency assistance and support in a crisis
  • present seminars on life skills and job seeking
  • attend court or give evidence when a client complains.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for case managers includes:

  • welfare agency work
  • customer service
  • youth or community work
  • administration, processing or budgeting work
  • work with families, children or people with disabilities
  • counselling and support work
  • work within an iwi/Māori social service.

Personal Qualities

Case managers need to be:

  • excellent communicators and listeners
  • good at making decisions and solving problems
  • understanding and empathetic
  • able to cope with stressful situations
  • able to keep information private and work within a code of ethics
  • able to relate to people from various cultures and build relationships
  • well organised and reliable.


Case managers need to have:

  • an understanding of how to assess information and write reports
  • knowledge of relevant government policies and regulations
  • knowledge of the communities they work in and social agencies
  • an understanding of how to calculate percentages and money
  • an understanding of the Treaty of Waitangi.


Case managers:

  • usually work regular business hours
  • usually work in offices, but may also visit clients at home, in hospital, at work or in prison
  • may encounter angry or distressed clients.

Case Managers can earn around $60K-$66K per year.

Pay for case managers varies depending on their experience and employer.

  • New case managers usually earn between $60,000 and $66,000 a year.
  • Experienced case managers usually earn between $66,000 and $81,000 a year.
  • Principal case managers can earn between $98,000 and $117,000 a year.

Sources: Department of Corrections website, 2022; Ministry of Social Development website, 2022.

Experienced case managers may progress to jobs such as:

  • team leader or manager
  • community or project co-ordinator
  • training support person
  • work broker
  • disability co-ordinator.

Years Of Training

<1 year of training usually required

There are no specific requirements to become a case manager, as training usually happens on the job.

However, employers may prefer to hire people with a tertiary qualification such as a New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing (Social and Community Services) (Level 4) or a New Zealand Certificate in Case Management (Level 5).

Ignite Colleges arranges training for case management.

A qualification in nursing, social work or occupational therapy may also be useful.

Vulnerable Children Act

The Vulnerable Children Act 2014 means that if you have certain serious convictions, you can't be employed in a role where you are responsible for, or work alone with, children.

Case Manager