Social Policy Unit Director Major Sue Hay's response to Dr Alice Mills' paper 'Governments engagement with knowledgeable civil society'.
As is the case with other similar organisations in the UK, many programmes in the criminal justice sector today utilise partnerships with Government to fund their services. Some of these services would not exist without such contracts. This is not unique to New Zealand. Our current NGO climate demands competition for contracts, reliance on such contracted funding, and the outsourcing of prisoner reintegration and support services to other entities.
Such a climate raises significant questions and challenges for NGOs in New Zealand. This includes the ability to retain our distinctiveness, independence, trust and innovation whilst maintaining adequate sources of funding for the vital mahi still to be done in the criminal justice sector.
Lessons from the UK may provide some helpful inspiration for further collaboration and unity with each other amidst these challenges.