Save the Children has been a part of New Zealand for over 60 years.
The first branch of Save the Children New Zealand was established in 1947 by Minnie Havelaar in North Canterbury. Branches were gradually established throughout the country until Save the Children became a national organisation in 1956.
Today, over 1,000 volunteers in retail groups and local branches throughout New Zealand support our cause. Over 50,000 generous New Zealanders contribute towards funding Save the Children’s vital work.
In addition to the funds we raise for emergencies, Save the Children New Zealand currently supports programmes in New Zealand, the Pacific, Asia, Africa and Latin America.
Save the Children’s international founder was Englishwoman Eglantyne Jebb, an extraordinary woman who made a personal commitment to make positive change to her world. Eglantyne her sister Dorothy Buxton began Save the Children in 1919. Shocked by the aftermath of WWI and the Russian Revolution, Eglantyne and Dorothy were determined to improve children’s lives.
In 1923, Eglantyne also helped change the world’s attitudes towards children by writing the first Declaration of the Rights of the Child. This was later endorsed by the United Nations and became international law in 1990. It is now known as the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).
The UNCRC remains at the heart of what Save the Children does. We have contributed to many breakthroughs for children and are the world's leading independent organisation for children. We are present at the UN where we continue to advise and lobby to ensure children's rights are considered and protected. We also work at national and local level to ensure communities, children and young people have their say on the issues that matter to them.
Together we work in 120 countries, including New Zealand. We save children’s lives; we fight for their rights; we help them fulfil their potential. We work together, with our partners, to inspire more breakthroughs in the way the world treats children and to achieve immediate and lasting change in their lives.