Press Releases

New Zealand NGOs respond to challenges

Posted on 22 March 2018


New Zealand’s international ‘mission-driven’ organisations are changing the way they work, devolving decision-making to in-country partners, and working with a wider range of organisations in both the private and public sectors.

“Collaborations are on the increase again in this year’s survey of New Zealand’s international NGOs (non-government-organisations). That’s a positive sign. Organisations are willing to respond to changes in funding patterns, and to evolve their way of working so as to have greater impact,” says Josie Pagani, Director of the Council for International Development (CID), the umbrella organisation for international NGOs.

The CID annual Member Survey provides a snap shot of the international NGO sector in New Zealand.

MFAT remains the key government partner for most members, but a growing number are forging working relationships with other government agencies. Sixty-three per cent of government or public partnerships (excluding MFAT) are now with Crown Research Institutes (CRIs), academic institutes, New Zealand local government, overseas governments, or government departments other than MFAT.

Fifty per cent of CID members now collaborate with each other on the delivery of aid and development, while seventy per cent partner with the private sector. Financial support to CID members increased from $182 million last year to $215 million. But despite this, uncertainty is on the rise about what new business models are best suited to reflect the changing patterns of donating in New Zealand.This includes the long term decline in public donations, although the
public remain the driving force behind CID member’s development assistance, providing fifty-five per cent of the funding.

“Expect to see more ‘soft-mergers’ between NGOs as CID members deepen their collaborations, and an increase in partnerships with the ‘unlike minded’ as much as the ‘like-minded’ as NGOs partner with a much broader range of organisations.”

Snapshot of New Zealand’s international NGO sector:

  • $215 million generated to reduce poverty and response to emergencies around the world
  • 55% of funding comes from the New Zealand public, 18% from government, 16% from self-generated income (sales of goods and services), and 11% from multilateral organisations
  • Revenues from child sponsorship declined for the fifth-consecutive year, while support for emergency appeals increased
  • NGO investment balanced across all regions of the world; (Africa (35%), Central Asia and Middle East (12%), South and South East Asia (26%), Americas (7%) and the Pacific (20%).
  • Active in over 70 countries (up from 60 last year)
  • 50% work with another NGO
  • 70% reported at least one partnership with the private sector
  • Health and education remain the top priorities, followed by children and youth (an increased focused compared to 2016), decent work and economic development, and humanitarian interventions
  • For the first time Fiji is in CID member’s top ten countries, reflecting the continuing need in Fiji post Cyclone Winston and the pressure on Fiji as Pacific communities relocate there as a result of climate change.
  • Vanuatu has dropped out of the top ten as CID members have focused more of their activities in Papua New Guinea.


New Zealand Partnerships