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About us

 What We Do

  • Fund groups tackling poverty and help people build decent livelihoods in their own communities.
  • Respond to humanitarian emergencies.
  • Aotearoa New Zealand.
  • Campaign against the causes of global poverty and injustice.

CWS is the development agency of New Zealand churches.

Christian World Service is a registered charitable entity.  Charities Act 2005 registration CC22288. View Charities Commission Certificate of Registration.

How We Work

  • We provide help where needed, regardless of race, religion or region. 
  • We do not parachute into a community but work through strong long term partnerships.
  • We work in partnership with local groups who are the experts and the activists.
  • We work at the grassroots with vulnerable and marginalised people.
  • We trust the wisdom of the local community to know what is needed and how best to do it.
  • We support self-determination and the role of women in development.
  • We share their stories and concerns with New Zealanders so we can look after each other.

Our approach

Justice underpins and shapes CWS’s understanding of and approach to development. CWS works with its partners and international networks to meet the immediate needs of people for food, water, dignity and justice.  Together we strive to give people the support they need to escape poverty, forever.  With networks, skills and resources they have a better chance.  We tackle the causes of poverty at every level as well as its effects.


CWS supports organisations that share this perspective based on:

Community ownership

The task is in their hands, not ours. Development objectives are best decided by local people who carry the hope and vision for their own community but need our financial support to run their programmes. CWS does not send New Zealand staff to manage field programmes. Funds are spent in, by and for the community, and not returned to New Zealand through salaries.

A true relationship

Development takes time so CWS does not pick and choose programmes each year, funding issues or countries according to the latest development trend. CWS is instead committed to building long-term relationships and funding local partners until they can manage on their own.

More than funding

For CWS, the idea of partnership goes beyond funding community development programmes. Solidarity and advocacy can be as significant as funding. It is equally important for people who have been denied political, social and economic rights to know they are being listened to, their problems are being addressed and people care enough to take action.