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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.
Gary is a financial consultant and has previously worked in roles with Ernst & Young and as the Chief Financial Officer for Paymark Limited. Gary has a particular interest in mentoring leaders and assisting organisations to perform more effectively. Since his teens, Gary has been an avid supporter of Tearfund and its focus on empowering those affected by poverty and injustice. Gary has been on the Tearfund Board since 2006 and has held the position of Board Chair since 2011.
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.
Harriet works as an independent consultant. Her background includes 25 years’ experience working in Programme Advisor and Programme Director roles in the aid and development sector. She has worked for both international and domestic organisations, which has involved frequent travelling. She has been on the Tearfund Board since 2010 and is the Board Representative on the Partner & Programmes Committee.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Julian is one of New Zealand’s leading global marketers with over 20 years experience in creating, building and growing international brands through differentiated marketing.
Julian combines both digital marketing and brand experience having held roles as a Partner at one of NZ leading brand agencies Richards Partners and at high growth NZ companies Les Mills International and Orca.
As a brand marketer, Julian has helped some of NZ leading businesses grow in international markets including PushPay, Fisher & Paykel, Icebreaker and Turners & Growers. Julian worked with Tearfund on the rebrand project in 2015 as the lead strategist and joined Tearfund as a Trustee in 2021.
Julian is currently working with Pioneer Capital on a VC investment Rockit Apples to drive the high growth model and the global marketing function and has an Advisary position with Glorious Digital a Web3 Digital Art business.