Volunteer Service Abroad (VSA) today signed a five-year Memorandum of Understanding with Massey University to continue to work together to promote and deliver great development outcomes in the Pacific and beyond.

The partnership was signed in Wellington by Massey Provost Professor Giselle Byrnes and VSA Chief Executive, Stephen Goodman.


VSA CEO Stephen Goodman and Massey University, Provost Professor Giselle Byrnes

“We’ve had a long and supportive relationship with Massey University’ Development Programme, which provides intellectual leadership in our sector,” Mr Goodman said.

Over the past 11 years, VSA has run a successful UniVol programme, sending graduates of Development Studies and related disciplines from New Zealand universities to the Pacific put theory into practise, living and working alongside local communities.

“This MOU will cement Massey’s place in the UniVol programme,” Mr Goodman said, “as well as provide opportunities for research and volunteering for Massey faculty.

“Massey’s focus on innovative leadership fits well with our model of collaborative partnership.” Mr Goodman continued. “Our partners who support their staff to volunteer find improved leadership and resilience skills, as well as greater cultural intelligence.”

He noted that VSA already benefits from Massey’s programmes: “Several volunteers on assignment now studied at Massey, along with a good portion of our staff, including me. Our Council President, Simon Mark, is Senior Advisor Strategy and Policy at Massey.”

Professor Byrnes said VSA’s recognised ability to work with communities and provide pragmatic solutions to problems resonates strongly with Massey’s focus on supporting both pure and applied research.

“At Massey we are also committed to producing world-ready graduates with entrepreneurial acumen and capability, who create jobs for others and who are committed to making a better world; this clearly aligns with VSA’s objectives.”




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From left to right, Mary Curnow, Director - Fundraising & Business Development, Dr. Mark Simon President of VSA, Sarah Hutchings, Business Manager, College of Creative Arts, Massey University, Prof Giselle Byrnes, Massey Provost, Debbie Snelson, former VSA CEO (2004-2012) and current Manager Student Life Services at Massey, Stephen Goodman VSA CEO.