Academic CV


PhD candidate, School of Government, Victoria University of Wellington, 2022present

Research area: What happens in community organisations when they partner with Government to deliver social services

Research Supervisors: Dr Amanda Wolf and Dr Barbara Allen

M.A., Business Administration, Victoria University of Wellington, 2018
Research Report: Understanding the barriers and drivers for Māori to undertake succession to ownership of Māori Land
Research Supervisor: Dr Jesse Pirini

B.A., Education, Victoria University of Wellington, 2002

B.A., English Literature, Victoria University of Wellington, 2002


Passmore, S. (2018). Understanding the barriers and drivers for Māori to undertake succession to ownership of Māori Land. (Unpublished MBA Research Report). Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand.

This report focuses on understanding the barriers and drivers for Māori to undertake succession through the Māori Land Court (MLC) to become owners of Māori freehold or customary land (Māori land).

Based on a survey developed out of exploratory workshops held with staff at Te Tumu Paeroa and the Māori Land Court, and rangatahi, a series of hypotheses were tested to measure how well the succession process is understood by owners of Māori land and what factors influence whether succession will take place. The alignment between concepts that underpin Whānau Ora and the drivers for whānau undertaking succession was also tested.

Finally, the research explored how long it takes for whānau to be ready to apply for succession, and the preparations they make in advance for the land to pass to the next generation.

Based on the findings of this research, it recommends developing the pockets of expertise within whānau into a network of highly knowledgeable succession experts who can support succession applications; focusing on increasing trust, equalising control, and reducing risk in the partnership between whānau and the MLC during the application process; and greater alignment between the succession processes and Whānau Ora concepts in order to reduce the barriers and promote the drivers that enable the legal connection to the whenua to be maintained from generation to generation

Teaching Experience

Facilitator & Workshop Designer, Te Tumu Paeroa, 2018-Present
Workshops and Courses: Understanding Barriers and Drivers to Succession; Introduction to Core Trustee Duties

Facilitator, New Zealand Veterinary Association, 2015-2016
Courses: Professional Mentoring and Wellness Programme

Instructor & Programme Developer, British Humanist Association, 2011-2014
Courses: School Volunteering Programme

Visiting Instructor, Roehampton University, 2013
Courses: Introduction to Humanism, Postgraduate Certificate in Education

Instructor, Personal Finance Education Group, 2007-2011
Courses: Personal Finance Education for Primary and Secondary Teacher; PSHE Teacher Training

Instructor, HSBC Bank, 2010-2011
Courses: School Volunteering Programme

Non-academic publications

Filament Magazine, Alternative histories: not rocket science, 2010
Filament Magazine, Women’s pro-wrestling: beyond the beauty pageant, 2010


Conference and Lecture Organising

2018 International Humanist Conference, Parliamentary Reception & International Humanist and Ethical Union General Assembly, Auckland & Wellington, New Zealand. Conference Organiser & Chair.

2011-2014 International Humanist World Congress, Oxford UK; Humanism and Religious Education Teachers’ Conference, London, UK; Centre for Inquiry UK Public Lecture Series, London, UK; Darwin Day Lectures, London, UK; Holyoake Lectures, Manchester, UK; Voltaire Lectures, London, UK; Shelley Lectures.; Oxford, UK.

Committees and Statutory Bodies

Chair, Wellington Sexual Abuse HELP, 2021 – present
Vice-President, New Zealand Association of Rationalists and Humanists, 2019-present
Steering Group Member, Community Governance Coalition Steering Group, 2020-2021
Committee Member, Wellington Women’s House, 2014-2021
Committee Member, Guild of Agriculture Journalists and Communicators, 2015-present
Treasurer, New Zealand Humanists, 2018-present
President, New Zealand Humanists, 2015-2018
Vice-Chair, Southwark Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education, UK
Representative, Further Education Religious Education Forum, UK
Council Member, Religious Education Council for England and Wales, UK

Current Research

Partnership and greater collaboration between government and Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) has often been recognised as a solution to address the challenges faced by the social services sector (Ministry of Social Development, 2020). 

Increasing since the mid-1980s, when the adoption of a new economic model in social policy (Reardon & Gray, 2007) aimed to encourage the role of competitive markets in the delivering social services (Ware. & Forster, 2017), the idea of procurement, and later, of partnership, to deliver social services has become an increasingly popular concept (Ministry of Social Policy, 2000). An estimated $7.8 billion will be committed in government contracts for social services (not including DHBs etc) in 2021/2022 (Ministry of Social Development, 2020).

However, globally research has found that the term partnership is not well-defined. As a term it is “…overused, ambiguous and politicised” (Hastings, 1996) and there’s no consensus in how it is defined or how it works in practice (Brinkerhoff, 2002). While work is being undertaken by the New Zealand Government to improve social sector commissioning by working with the NGOs to develop a shared commitment between Government, NGOs, and philanthropic agencies (Ministry of Social Development, 2020), progress is slow to move from a model of contracted service providers to partnership-based delivery models. 

Although there’s been improvements to how NGOs that provide social services are commissioned by Government and work together to deliver services across Aotearoa, the impact of adopting a partnership approach on the organisations that enter these contracts is not well understood. Calls are still being made for Government agencies to become enablers for communities to identify their own solutions to the issues they are facing, and to involve citizens as active partners in place-based solutions, rather than as consultees (Reid, 2021).  

There is some evidence that NGOs that become Government providers of social services undergo significant changes in their organisations as they move from community-funded, advocacy organisations, to organisations that operate primarily to deliver services.

In partnering with Government, the NGOs that are commissioned to deliver social services may face a need to plan for and manage a paradox – Government agencies commission NGOs that have good reputations in their communities to deliver services, in part based on their ability to be innovative, entrepreneurial, and adaptive, but in becoming a Government contracted service provider, the NGOs lose their ability to be truly transformational, become dependent on Government contracts to survive, and find their ability to respond to changing community needs restricted to the confines of a service delivery contract.

Qualifications and Training

2020 Strategic Thinking and Planning; People Management and Coaching, Victoria University
2019 Investment Governance Essentials
2018 Photography, InDesign & Illustrator
2015 Change Leadership, Victoria University; Champion Chairs and Great Governance and Dealing with Disputes, Community Law
2012 Prince2 Foundation and Practitioner Qualification
2012 Fundraising and Developing Major Donors
2010 Project Management, Open University (Pass with Merit)
2008 – 2010 Influencing and Negotiating, Writing Publications, Data Protection, Media Training, Proofreading, and Presentation Skills

Professional Memberships

Member of the Royal Society of New Zealand, Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts, Honorary Life Member of the Humanists UK, Member of the Humanist Society of New Zealand.