For every child, near or far

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UNICEF is the United Nations Children's Fund

For over 70 years, we've been working to protect the rights of children in over 190 countries and territories around the world.

We help all children, near or far, no matter their race or religion

We're the largest children's organisation, with offices in over 190 countries

We're a UN organisation, but we are 100% donor funded

About UNICEF

UNICEF is the global authority on children's rights. No other organisation has UNICEF's experience, expertise and reach.

UNICEF is the global authority on children. No other organisation has UNICEF's experience, expertise and reach.

Every child is born with fundamental human rights, but conflict, disease, exploitation and poor education keep millions of children from reaching their full potential. UNICEF fights for every child's right to survive and thrive into adulthood. 

UNICEF's mission is to create a better world, by advocating for the protection of children's rights. To do this, we bring people together: governments, donors, humanitarian agencies, businesses and children themselves.

This is what UNICEF does, every day, for all children around the world.

We want health, education, a fair go and protection, for every child.

read our history

70 years of saving lives

We're helping not just one child, but all children in need.
1946: Food to europe
After World War II, European children face famine and disease. UNICEF is created in December 1946 by the United Nations to provide food, clothing and health care to them
1953: UNICEF becomes permanent part of the UN
After World War II, European children face famine and disease. UNICEF is created in December 1946 by the United Nations to provide food, clothing and health care to them
1959: Declaration of the Rights of the Child
The UN General Assembly adopts the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, which defines children’s rights to protection, education, health care, shelter and good nutrition
1965: Nobel Peace Prize
UNICEF is awarded the 1965 Nobel Peace Prize “for the promotion of brotherhood among nations.”
1979: International Year of the Child
Marked by celebrations around the world, people and organisations reaffirm their commitment to children’s rights
1982: Child Survival and Development Revolution
UNICEF launches a drive to save the lives of millions of children each year.  The ‘revolution’ is based on four simple, low-cost techniques: growth monitoring, oral rehydration therapy, breastfeeding and immunization.
1987: Landmark UNICEF study
UNICEF’s study Adjustment with a Human Face prompts a global debate on how to protect children and women from the malign effects of the economic adjustments and reforms taken to reduce national debt in poor countries.
1989: Convention on the Rights of the Child
The Convention is adopted by the UN General Assembly. It enters into force in September 1990. It becomes the most widely- and rapidly-accepted human rights treaty in history.
1990: World Summit for Children
An unprecedented summit of Heads of State and Government at the United Nations in New York City sets 10-year goals for children’s health, nutrition and education.
2002: Special Session on Children
A landmark Special Session of the UN General Assembly was convened to review progress since the World Summit for Children in 1990 and re-energize global commitment to children's rights. 
Read more about UNICEF'S History here.
our history

Where the money goes

Our generous donors help protect children affected by poverty, conflict, natural disasters and famine, all over the world.

In 2016, we raised almost $10 million to help children. Our projects last year provided water, education and emergency healthcare to children in some of the world's poorest and most desperate communities. View a snapshot of how our amazing donors helped change children's lives below.

Only 3% of schools in Kiribati had access to clean water, so children often fall ill and miss school. Our generous supporters helped raise more than $120,000 to provide 36 schools with safe water and improved sanitation facilities.

When category 5 Tropical Cyclone Winston hit Fiji, our donors gave more than $350,000 to provide emergency sanitation and hygiene kits, psychosocial support, and help kids return to school so they could continue their education.

Caught in the horrors of war, Syrian children were missing out on crucial healthcare. Our donors helped us to provide nutrition supplements, therapeutic food, and polio immunisations for 3.5 million children.

We're committed to transparency. To see how we split up expenses and manage our costs, download our annual report or visit UNICEF Open for more details.

Meet our governing board

The UNICEF NZ Board of Trustees is responsible for monitoring and maximising the performance of UNICEF NZ. It governs according to the UNICEF Trust Deed and a Code of Ethics.

Liz Gibbs

Acting Chair

Liz was appointed to the UNICEF Board in May 2014. She has more than 25 years of marketing, fundraising and management experience in the corporate and NGO sectors in the UK, India, Canada, and New Zealand. 

From January 2013 to December 2016, Liz was the Chief Executive of Philanthropy New Zealand, the peak body for those active and interested in generosity. She is now the Head of Foundation for the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, a position she has held since the end of 2016.

Liz has also held senior management roles at Save the Children and the Royal New Zealand Plunket Society

Chris Allen

Board Trustee

Chris Allen is a chartered accountant and a member of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, the Institute of Directors, and is a Fellow of CPA Australia.

In his current role as GM Corporate services at the Health Promotion Agency he is responsible for running the finance function, overseeing the organisations support services team.Chris has had a long career in a number of Finance and Management roles including audit and CFO roles in both the public and private sector.

He is currently a volunteer member of the USAR Civil Defence NZ Response Team RT8 based in Wellington and is a Trustee for the Children’s Foundation.

Gopika Gnanakumar

Board Trustee

Gopika currently works in public policy at the New Zealand Treasury. She is a Chartered Accountant, (a member of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand) and a Barrister/Solicitor admitted in New Zealand. 

She started her career at PwC New Zealand and ASB Bank before moving to London to work for Ernst & Young in financial services business tax structuring. She has recently returned to New Zealand and switched to the public sector. 

Gopika co-founded Yatra Dance Company and used to run a dance school teaching Bharatanatyam in New Zealand.

Simon Wi Rutene

Board Trustee

Simon is an accomplished and decorated International and Olympic athlete, a business director and qualified mentor to elite performers. Since 2000, he has assisted in the business operations of Hana Limited. Over the past 14 years he has focussed a considerable portion of attention to sports mentoring and administration, having been requested to do so for many national and international bodies and agencies.

In 2009 he decided to follow his passion for law and commerce, undertaking an LLB and BCOM, which were completed in 2014. 

Annah Stretton

Board Trustee

Annah Stretton is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, author and public speaker.

Annah founded the Stretton Fashion Group in 1991 The clothing label is beloved by women the world over.Since 2014 she has been the Chair of the Waikato Women’s Refuge, a role that led her to the creation of the Stretton Foundation and RAW.Annah’s latest venture is Te Atawhai, an holistic health and wellness retreat in Te Aroha. She is also planning the Annah Stretton School of Retail.

Annah is the author of several books. Her latest offering, Flourish, will be released in 2016.

Mark Oldershaw

Board Trustee

Mark is Deputy Chief Executive at Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT), having held that role since March 2015. Prior to his arrival back in Hawkes Bay Mark has held senior management and Chief Executive roles across a number of high profile New Zealand organisations. 

Mark has an interest in business development and change management. Despite a reasonably eclectic range of industry sectors that Mark has worked in and led he has also enjoyed taking entities through significant periods of growth and/or re-establishing them within existing markets.

Jenny Chu

Board Trustee

A professional engineer and an admitted Barrister & Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand, Jenny has held engineering, commercial and project management roles in various major infrastructure projects in New Zealand and currently works on the construction of City Rail Link project in Auckland. With extensive experience in humanitarian engineering work in South Pacific and not-for-profit sector in New Zealand, She is a founding member of Engineers Without Borders New Zealand and currently serves on its Board of Directors.

Anita Kileen

Board Trustee

Anita Killeen is a Barrister at Quay Chambers specialising in financial crime and fraud, civil and criminal litigation, and governance and decision-making. She has decision-making experience at board, executive and statutory levels.

She established and is the Chair of the Pro-Bono Panel of Prosecutors for the SPCA Auckland which has been recognised nationally and internationally for its innovation, leadership and service to the community.

Arish Naresh

Board Trustee

Arish is Director of Allied Health and Technical, Hauora Tairawhiti DHB, New Zealand and Founder of OWDSOCKS –Opportunities without Discrimination.

He moved to New Zealand in 2006. He then completed his postgraduate education in Leadership and Management and currently manages the dental services for Tairawhiti District Health as well as providing professional advisory and strategic leadership to allied and technical disciplines.

Arish also chairs the board of NZ Dental and Oral Health Therapist Association.

The board comprises seven to nine trustees, drawn from the community, based on their governance, business expertise and interest in children’s issues.

trust Deed
Download our Trust Deed by clicking on the button above.

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Contact us

Want to get in touch? We'd love to hear from you. Contact us using the following information, or send an email to: 2helpkids@unicef.org.nz

our office

Level 1, PSA House
11 Aurora Terrace 
Wellington, 6011
New Zealand

postal address

PO Box 10459
The Terrace
Wellington, 6143 
New Zealand

Phone us

(+64) (04) 815 9370
(+64) (04) 815 9389 (fax)
0800 243 575

UNICEF NZ is a registered charity with the New Zealand Charities Commission (registration CC35979), making all donations tax refundable.