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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.
You can trust our years of experience working with partners all over the world.
We work with farmers and entrepreneurs to build capacity and make lasting change, lifting themselves out of poverty
With donations, kiwi's just like you are making a difference all over the world.
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
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
Chief executive officer
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.
Slide the panels below to see all our board members.
Chair. BCom, CA
Ross is a sixth-generation Raglan dairy farmer and has been working the farm for the last 20 years. Prior to this he and his wife worked as full-time volunteers for Youth with A Mission in various parts of the world, leading teams and training schools. Ross has a passion for farmers in developing countries and is a supporter of Tearfund’s dairy development programme in Sri Lanka, to which he brings his experience within the dairy industry to help build and empower strong farming communities.Currently, Ross is on the Fonterra Shareholders Council representing Waikato west farmers.
Treasurer. MCom, CA, FCPA
Mark is Chief Financial Officer of Beca Group Ltd, a New Zealand headquartered engineering and professional services organisation delivering projects across Asia and the Pacific. Mark and his wife Lisa have been supporters of Tearfund’s work for many years. They are both highly motivated to help bring justice and hope to families impacted by oppression, war and disaster. Mark has been on the Tearfund Board since 2013 in the role of Treasurer.
BA History (Hons), BA Theology (Hons), PGCertEd, DipPastStud, PhD
George is Director of Mission Research and Training at Carey Baptist College, Auckland. His background includes cross-cultural work in Brazil, church-based ministry and community work in the UK, and tertiary teaching. He travels frequently in connection with mission and community development work in several countries, is involved with Micah and other integral mission networks, and he has developed a course on Theology and Development. He has had experience on several boards and has been on the Tearfund Board since 2015.
Nikki is a co-founder of Exposure International and has worked in 40 countries capturing stories of the refugee crisis, orphans, children in prison, famines and human trafficking.Nikki also has a health background specializing in gender issues and founded the national New Zealand FGM and African Refugee HIV/AIDS education programmes. She recently co-founded The Light Project to help equip the young people to navigate the new pornography landscape in Aotearoa.Nikki has published a photographic book on the lives of women and children in prisons, serves on the board of LIFT International, and was recently made a member of The New Zealand Order of Merit for her humanitarian advocacy and photography.She joined the Tearfund Board in 2022 but has had a longstanding relationship with Tearfund through her media projects, engaging donors and advocating for Tearfund’s anti-trafficking work.
MNZM, BSW, MPhil (Social Policy), Post Grad Dip Social Sciences
Emeline joined the Tearfund Board in 2022 and can be best described as a social entrepreneur. She founded Affirming Works in 2001, which uses a Pacific model of collective mentoring to provide life skills to young people in Auckland. This work led her to Fofola Consultancy Ltd, which has contributed to public policy development in New Zealand and the Pacific. With her husband, Emeline owns Tupu'anga Coffee, which harvests, roasts and packages in the Kingdom of Tonga, supplies local establishments, and exports to New Zealand.Alongside this, they started four social enterprises – community cafes in the Auckland area. In 2006, Emeline was named a Sir Peter Blake Emerging Leader and won the Westpac Woman of Influence award in 2014. She was awarded The New Zealand Order of Merit Award in 2015 and in 2018 became a member of the NZ Westpac Sustainability Panel, tackling poverty and the disadvantaged. In 2020 she was invited to become part of the leadership group for Mana Kai and the Aotearoa Circle.
Hanna has recently returned to Aotearoa, New Zealand with her Danish husband and two young boys, after 14 years as a global water, sanitation, and hygiene advisor in conflict and crisis zones, including Syria, Lebanon, Darfur, Pakistan, Haiti and Mali. Her practical field roles as a humanitarian were followed by liaison roles engaging with the European Commission amongst other global donors, and strategic management roles at headquarters of Save the Children and Danish Refugee Council. Hanna brings a wealth of practical and academic experience in the environmental and humanitarian field, with an earlier Honours Degree in Engineering, a Graduate Diploma in Theology, and a Master’s in Environmental Management from SOAS, London University. Her passion aligns closely with the Tearfund mission of seeing God's justice and mercy realised for the vulnerable and disenfranchised.
Maureen is a senior management professional with experience in international non-government and public sector organisations, both in New Zealand and overseas. Her background includes governance, strategy, policy, business planning and performance, risk management, marketing and communications. As chair, she served ECPAT International for 8 years and been instrumental in the movement’s global growth and expansion of advocacy against the sexual exploitation of children. She is motivated to help bring justice, hope and freedom to children and communities affected by exploitation, trafficking, oppression, and poverty. Maureen is an Institute of Directors member and joined the Tearfund Board in 2023.