Partnerships with the community sector as a strategy for good practice for local government : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts (Social Policy) at Massey University
This research evaluates current practice by local government in partnerships with the community sector and it considers the contribution of partnerships to the governance function of local government. This research emphasises that partnerships based on good practice contribute to effective governance by local government and are conducive to implementing the role of local government in the current policy and societal context. An analysis of the strategic plans of a selection of urban local authorities in New Zealand suggests a high level of interest in a partnership approach. However, there is little consistency in the definition and practice of partnerships by authorities. By reviewing the literature on partnerships in New Zealand and internationally, key success factors in working in partnership are considered and a definition of partnership based on good practice is defined. The experiences of two partnerships involving a local authority and a community organisation from the greater Auckland area, presented in this research, highlight the contribution of partnerships to the success of projects and to fulfilling a local authority's strategic goals. These 'case studies' also raise implementation issues. The processes used to overcome these issues in the two case studies are consistent with the findings from the European and North American research, and, hence, contribute to defining characteristics of successful partnerships.