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Cross-Sector Alliances

Cross-sector alliances or partnerships are a politically attractive way for government, business and civil society to achieve social and environmental outcomes that would be difficult to achieve acting independently. However, governments often raise questions about the legitimacy, governance and accountability of cross-sector alliances; businesses fear these projects will divert them from their core purpose; and the not-for-profit sector is often concerned that partnership with business threatens their integrity.

Our Cross-Sector Alliances research project has investigated cross-sector relationships that relate to environmental improvements in urban New Zealand. We have developed case studies to evaluate the feasibility of collaboration for effective ecological urban restoration. From these case studies, investigated how cross-sector alliances can be scaled-up to provide innovative solutions with exponential impact.

Review & Case Studies
National and international literature was analysed to understand different approaches and environmental outcomes of cross-sector alliances in an urban context.

Our literature review then informed the development of in-depth case studies of cross-sector collaborations for urban ecological restoration across five New Zealand cities. From the literature and case studies investigations, identified the metrics for success for each partner. This has allowed our team to quantify and monitor their accomplishments, and detect and address emerging problems.

Data from the case studies was analysed to evaluate the impact of cross-sector alliances on urban biodiversity values. From this evaluation, we are identifying the antecedent conditions needed to replicate effective collaborative relationships.

Study sites
The study sites for the Cross-Sector Alliances research project are:

  • Auckland
  • Tauranga
  • Hamilton
  • Hawke's Bay (including Napier & Hastings)
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch

Watch this space! Research findings available in early 2021.

Research Team



Elisa Casasanto