Sara Passmore

Intra-Organisational Pro-Social behaviour within community social service providers that have New Zealand Government contracts.

Sara-passmore image


Supervisors: Dr Amanda Wolf and Dr Barbara Allen


Sara has 15+ years’ experience in project and programme management in education and government, and 10+ years’ experience in Senior Management in the charity and not-for-profit sector. Her governance roles include Chair of Wellington HELP, a not-for-profit organisation that provides specialised support for people affected by sexual violence; Board Member of Wellington Women’s House, a charity that provides low-cost accommodation for women who are experiencing homelessness; Treasurer of Humanists NZ, a charity that campaigns for human rights nationally & internationally; Secretary for the Guild of Agriculture Journalists and Communicators, a professional members’ association for those working with a focus on agriculture; and Vice-President of the Rationalist and Humanist Association of New Zealand.


M.B.A., Business Administration, Victoria University of Wellington, 2018

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

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

Research interests

Partnership and collaboration between government and Non-Government Organisations is widely recognised as a solution to address the challenges faced by the social services sector. In 2021, Ministry of Social Development estimated $7.8 billion will be committed in government contracts for social services (not including DHBs etc) in 2021/2022.

Although there’s been improvements to how NGOs that provide social services are commissioned by Government and how these organisations work together to deliver services across Aotearoa, the impact of adopting a partnership approach on the community organisations that enter these contracts is not well understood.

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.

By understanding these changes and the impact on the culture of the organisations entering these partnerships; we can understand how well prepared the social sector is for the changes that are brought about by social sector commissioning and the continuing move towards more collaborative contracting.

Previous research

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).

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.