We’re passionate about ending poverty and living out God’s kingdom values of love, hope and transformation. We believe communities know the issues they face better than anyone, so we identify local community organisations around the world to partner with and work alongside.

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.

We advocate for poor, vulnerable and oppressed people regardless of who they are.

Our 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 with 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 is Chair of the Council for International Development (CID), and was previously Chair of the NGO Disaster Relief Forum, both of which represent NZ aid and development organizations.

How We Work

We believe our key distinction and strength is our partnership model. We identify community organizations who are experts in their field of development and partner with them to empower the work they do. You won’t find us setting up shop in our partner countries, with expensive offices and expatriate staff drawing away the best local talent from local endeavours.

Through these partners we work across four causes to help those most in need. We protect the vulnerable from modern slavery. We Restore hope and peace after disaster strikes. We Sponsor children in need, and we Empower the poor to help themselves. This approach empowers communities to help themselves and find local, long term, sustainable solutions to poverty.

Explore our work

Ian McInnes, MBA, MSc
Chief Executive Officer,
Tearfund New Zealand

  • 1975

    The year Tearfund was birthed with a £10,000 grant from Tearfund UK

  • 35,000

    Children from around the world sponsored by Kiwis

  • 44 years

    of Tearfund NZ saving lives and changing lives in over 46 countries.

Our History

Tearfund NZ was born out of Tearfund UK. In the 1960’s 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 6 March 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 ever project.

From small humble beginnings, Tearfund has grown to become one of the largest aid agencies in New Zealand, raising around $14 million a year to support around 29 partners in 24 countries.