Contextualising social enterprise in New Zealand

Suzanne Grant (Waikato Management School, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand)

Social Enterprise Journal

ISSN: 1750-8614

Publication date: 8 February 2008



Social enterprise in New Zealand is still in its infancy, with no recognised framework to inform knowledge of current or future developments. In this exploratory paper, the aim is to consider four influences which are shaping the development of social enterprise in New Zealand.


A critical‐appreciative lens utilising Habermas' concepts of the lifeworld and system informs the consideration of these influences.


Four distinct cultural and historical influences are proposed as contributing to the scope and “flavour” of social enterprise developing in New Zealand: socio‐cultural norms, e.g. “Kiwi ingenuity”; the neoliberal reforms initiated by successive governments during the 1980s; Crown settlements in relation to breaches of the principles of 1840 Treaty of Waitangi; New Zealanders' as international citizens.


The paper shows how feedback and dialogue across the sectors, at local, national and international levels, is now required to determine how other scholars, practitioners and policy makers perceive this proposed initial framework.



Grant, S. (2008), "Contextualising social enterprise in New Zealand", Social Enterprise Journal, Vol. 4 No. 1, pp. 9-23.

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