Being Pono: Ethical dilemmas as learning tools for student social workers


  • Sean Martin University of Otago



Social workers in Aotearoa New Zealand are bound by codes of practice and ethics, including the three Maori values of tika, pono and aroha. Ethical dilemmas occur frequently in practice situations for social workers. Student social workers on practicum may have to face these issues not only in regard to work with service users, but also in the behaviour and actions of the social workers and staff in the agency in which they are placed. Given the evidence regarding the disjuncture of learning transfer between theoretical and practical settings, this article argues that ethics and whistle-blowing issues faced by social work students are beneficial experiences in terms of translating theory and belief into practice.


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How to Cite

Martin, S. (2016). Being Pono: Ethical dilemmas as learning tools for student social workers. Aotearoa New Zealand Social Work, 28(1), 68–70.