Interactions between academic researchers and government officials in New Zealand – Potential and challenges

A/Prof Nessa Lynch1, Professor Tracey McIntosh3, Associate Professor Ian Lambie2, Ruth Wilkie4, Dr Kim McGregor5, New Zealand Police6

1 Victoria University Of Wellington, , New Zealand,

2Clinical Psychology, University of Auckland/New Zealand Government, , New Zealand,

3University of Auckland, , New Zealand,

4Ministry of Justice, , New Zealand,

5Chief Victims’ Advisor to the New Zealand Government, , New Zealand,

6Evidence Based Policing Centre, , New Zealand

New Zealand is a small jurisdiction of less than 5 million people. While this sometimes limits the scope of academic research, it can also allow for and help facilitate a relatively high level of engagement between the academic research community and the government crime and justice sectors. There is both great potential, and considerable challenges in our interactions, raising as it does issues of academic freedom, the political life-cycle, and mutual understanding of our different perspectives and goals.

New Zealand is in the midst of a significant reform process which involves deep reflection on the over-arching purposes of the criminal justice system and the need to reduce the harm which the system is currently causing, particularly to Māori.

In this roundtable, we will discuss the potential and challenges where academic researchers (some of whom are also practising clinicians) and government officials work together, discussing our various roles and contribution to the questions of principle and evidence underpinning the current reform programme, as well as where we see potential solutions.

Our roundtable spans the academic and government sectors, with all participants having experience across both perspectives, and all are involved to various degrees in the current criminal justice reform programme.


Associate Professor Nessa Lynch, Faculty of Law, Victoria University of Wellington

Ruth Wilkie, Ministry of Justice

Professor Tracey McIntosh, Te Wananga o Waipapa, University of Auckland

New Zealand Police, Evidence Based Policing Centre

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