Under the Institute for Governance and Policy Studies (IGPS) charter, vested interests and the role of political party funding in providing undue leverage for vested interests are an important focus for IGPS research and public engagement. The IGPS, building on the work of its predecessor, the Institute for Policy Studies, has undertaken or supported considerable research and public engagement on these issues. To build on this work, a special issue was planned for May 2020, under the editorship of Grant Duncan of Massey University. Work was well advanced when the Covid-19 pandemic struck and, in line with the IGPS charter’s recognition that our work programme needs to be responsive to the evolving policy context, we deferred the vested interests issue to focus on the policy challenges presented by the pandemic. We thank Grant for deftly changing horses mid-stream and overseeing a very different special issue from that planned through to successful publication. We also thank Grant for generously allowing us as editors of the deferred issue to draw on the work he had done on the special issue before its postponement. The articles in this issue cover a wide range of interrelated topics on the overall theme.
Policy Quarterly (PQ) is targeted at readers in the public sector, including politicians and their staff, public servants and a wide variety of professions, together with others interested in public issues. Its length and style are intended to make the journal accessible to busy readers.