The Future is Equal

Our history

Te Kōrero Our Story with a lady and her child
A woman carring her baby; text - Te kōrero, our story

The defining moments in Oxfam Aotearoa’s work.

We’d like to thank all our supporters and partners for helping us make it through many milestones. We know the years ahead will bring many new challenges. It’s good to have you with us.

Let’s take a look back at some of the defining moments of our work.

Greek famine relief


British activists called on the Allied War Cabinet to lift the Allies’ blockade of Greece, which was causing a famine among the innocent victims of war and Oxfam was born!

Oxfam vest

1 March 1991

A small group of dedicated New Zealanders set up Oxfam New Zealand. Their initial fundraising appeal for survivors of the drought and war in the Horn of Africa raised over $25,000 in just a few months.

United Nations logo


Oxfam strongly advocated for New Zealand to use its influence as chair of the United Nations Security Council to stop the genocide in Rwanda.

Old Oxfam New Zealand logo

6 July 1998

Incorporated as Oxfam New Zealand and Oxfam Aotearoa.

Three girls was their hands


Amalgamation of Water for Survival into ONZ, which kicked off a huge expansion in programmes to provide safe drinking water and better health to communities in the poorest parts of Asia and the Pacific islands.

Make trade fair


Oxfam initiated a campaign to take fair trade into the mainstream, joining with Trade Aid, the Fairtrade Association and partners to make New Zealand the fastest growing market in the world, benefiting thousands of growers of coffee, tea, sugar and other products.



The government cited Oxfam’s lobbying as a reason for supporting the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty to control the flood of weapons to the most miserable battlefields of the world. The Arms Treaty came into force in 2014.

Climate protest

2008- present

Oxfam stands alongside communities to pressure governments to take action on climate change and injustice, including “Feel the Heat” and “Back the Plan” campaigns.

2013- present

Oxfam’s annual reports shed light on the state of global inequality and shape the political conversation, even the use of the term “the 1%”, at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum.

Covid-19 vaccines


Oxfam Aotearoa led the conversation in New Zealand about Covid-19 vaccine inequality. Over 6,000 New Zealanders signed our petition for a People’s Vaccine. We got our government to actively engage in the negotiations at the World Trade Organisation to suspend intellectual property rights on coronavirus products, which if passed would allow more and cheaper vaccine production.

Oxfam Aotearoa logo


Formally changed name to Oxfam Aotearoa.

A woman blows a conch shell

Into the future

We will continue to stand up for the rights of others and work to create a more just and sustainable world, now and for future generations. We want to ensure the future is equal.