About Us

Tearfund is a Christian non-profit organisation working for a just and compassionate world.

We believe that poverty is not God's plan. You are

We’re passionate about ending poverty and living out God’s kingdom values of love, hope and transformation.

47 Years

Working around the world since 1975

You can trust our years of experience working with partners all over the world.


People's lives impacted in the past

We work with farmers and entrepreneurs to build capacity and make lasting change, lifting themselves out of poverty


Raised for our global partner organisations

With donations, kiwi's just like you are making a difference all over the world.

Our Work

We believe our key distinction and strength is our partnership model. We believe these communities know the issues they face better than anyone, so we identify community organisations with expertise in development and partner with them to empower their work. That’s why you won’t find us setting up offices in our partner countries and employing expensive expatriate staff who take away jobs from experienced locals.

Through these partners we work across four causes to help those most in need. We help protect the vulnerable from modern slavery. We help restore hope after disasters strike and help those affected by conflict to find peace and safety. We Sponsor children in need, and help struggling farmers and potential entrepreneurs to create sustainable incomes. Using a collective approach, we empower communities to help themselves and find local, long-term, sustainable solutions to poverty


Explore our work

Our History

Tearfund NZ was born out of Tearfund UK. In the 1960s, when 40 million people worldwide were made refugees by war or disasters, coverage of the suffering sparked a spontaneous outpouring of compassion among UK Christians. These Christians sent money to the Evangelical Alliance, and a fund was created to distribute the cash to evangelical agencies caring for the needs of refugees around the world. The Evangelical Alliance was determined to marry Christian compassion with practical action.

Powerful images, striking design, and provocative messaging such as “they can’t eat prayer,” propelled Tearfund onto the Christian stage, urging a new, radical understanding of what it means to bring good news to the poor, caring for their physical as well as spiritual needs.

Tearfund UK was registered as a charity on March 6, 1973. In 1975, the Evangelical Fellowship of New Zealand embraced the idea of a humanitarian arm of local churches. With a $10,000 grant from Tearfund UK, Tearfund NZ was birthed, raising $2,000 to construct a village well in Guinea Bissau in its first project.

From humble beginnings, Tearfund has grown to become one of the largest aid agencies in New Zealand, raising more than $14 million a year to support multiple partners across many countries

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Chief executive officer

Ian McInnes

Ian McInnes' introduction to aid and development came when he happened to be in Sri Lanka during the Boxing Day Tsunami in 2004 and helped with the aid response alongside his wife Himali.

Now, Ian is one of New Zealand’s leading disaster response managers, having worked at the forefront of international humanitarian response in countries such as Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Haiti, Pakistan and Samoa.

Ian was formally Chair of the Council for International Development and the NGO Disaster Relief Forum—both represent NZ aid and development organisations.

"We believe aid should never be used to further political or religious standpoints, or be withheld on the basis of race, gender, religion, nationality or sexual orientation."





Our Board

Slide the panels below to see all our board members.