For a more just, inclusive and sustainable world.

The gap between the rich and the poor is growing, and tearing our societies apart.

IT’s Time to even it up

It is in our power to shape a world where everyone lives a meaningful and fulfilling life. We can make an economy that prioritises people’s happiness. Our economy is like a railway network – it is built to take people to particular places.

Right now, we have an economy that prioritises profit over people, and places wealth in the hands of a small few. We can change this. Together, we can build the economic and social tracks that get everyone to where they need to go, and leave no-one behind.

For all people to arrive at a meaningful and abundant life. These tracks are the laws and policies that shape the journeys people take through their lives – both in New Zealand and across the world. When these tracks are not there, or broken, people struggle to get food on the table for their families, can’t see a nurse when they are sick, or can’t get a job simply because of who they are.

We refuse to accept this situation. We devote our energy to making sure tracks are in place to get everyone to a place where they can flourish. You can join us.

Is inequality a problem?

Yes. People and organisations that study inequality, like Oxfam, see that globally a small number of individuals are accumulating wealth that they will simply never benefit from. At the same time, world hunger is rising for the first time in years.

Inequality is a lop-sided society where some people have far more than they need, while others struggle to get through the day.

This isn’t right. None of us likes to be left behind or watch somebody else forgotten on the sidelines.

At the most fundamental level, inequality is about human rights. As long as some people are being left behind, it means that their human rights are being denied.

Inequality hurts us and our societies. We know that inequality erodes trust, fuels crime, makes us unhappy, and undermines economic growth. Inequality also acts as a brake on our work to end poverty.

Can we create a world where no-one is left behind?

The good news is, together we can fix this. We know what the policy tracks are that can prevent and reduce inequality. All we need to do now is get people in governments and corporations to make the decisions to lay down these tracks, to make sure every individual can enjoy a fulfilling life, no matter where they live.

There are three types of tracks that need to be in place: progressive social spending on health, education and social protection; progressive tax systems; and labour rights that protect all workers, including women.

Oxfam assesses governments across the world on the state of these policy tracks. You can see this here. This shows us where the tracks are smooth and where there are broken ones that need fixing. Then we get to work to tell people in power to fix them and how.

What Oxfam is doing to even things up

International Development Cooperation

As New Zealanders, we believe in justice and compassion. We want everyone to have the opportunity to thrive. That’s why we support our government giving some of our taxes to help countries that are poor to provide for their people.

And up until 2015 these efforts across the world made great strides, getting millions of people out of extreme poverty. But recently this has stalled, and still over half of humanity suffer poverty’s indignity every day.

Despite our differences, we share a responsibility to make sure everyone has a decent standard of living and the same chances in life. This is what our overseas development assistance – or aid – is for.

But our aid is only as good as the policies that shape it. Oxfam works to make sure our overseas aid is spent to help people who endure poverty and are being left behind, including through focusing on getting the right policy tracks in place for social spending, labour rights, and taxation.

Our collective resources – taxes

We all want safe communities where our kids can play, clean rivers and oceans, decent roads and public transport, thriving communities, and the health, skills and knowledge to enjoy meaningful work. We need nurses in health clinics, teachers in schools, police on our streets, rubbish collected, and the right policies to protect us at work. These are the things that we collectively contribute to through our taxes. Governments around the world use tax to invest in the big-ticket items that none of us can get on our own.

In countries that are poor, corporate taxation is a very important source of government income. Because the tracks that our economy runs along wind all over the world, big global companies use the breaks and bumps in the international tax rules to shirk their responsibilities and avoid paying their fair share in tax to poor governments. In fact, multinational corporations are now paying less tax than before the 2008 financial crisis, and they continue to shift up to 40 percent of their foreign profits to shadowy tax havens so they can avoid contributing where they should. This isn’t right.

To mend the tracks we work with our people in government, people in corporations, and our colleagues across the world, to get tax rules that make sure wealthy individuals and corporations make their fair contribution to help people be safe, healthy, well-educated and in meaningful work, no matter where they live.

The latest news


Oxfam Aid Report

Collective Resilience NZ’s Aid Contributions In Times of Inequality & Crises

This report examines New Zealand’s overseas aid contributions against six principles of a quality aid programme that reduces inequality and poverty. The report finds that while New Zealand’s aid contribution has some firm foundations, there is room for substantial improvement. Sixteen recommendations outline steps that will contribute to building a …
Unpaid care work traps millions of women in poverty

Unpaid care work traps millions of women in poverty

New Oxfam Report Reveals Sexist Economy Women and girls put in 12.5 billion hours of unpaid care work each and every day, a contribution to the global economy of at least $10.8 trillion (NZD$16 trillion) a year, and more than three times the size of the global tech industry, reveals …
Unpaid care work

Oxfam Report: Time to Care

Economic inequality is out of control. In 2019, the world’s billionaires, only 2,153 people, had more wealth than 4.6 billion people. This great divide is based on a flawed and sexist economic system that values the wealth of the privileged few, mostly men, more than the billions of hours of …

World screams out for action but climate summit responds with a whisper

Responding to the final communiqué of the COP25 climate talks in Madrid, Chema Vera, Interim Executive Director of Oxfam International, said: “The world is screaming out for climate action but this summit had responded with a whisper. The poorest nations are in a sprint for survival yet many governments have …

Oxfam G7 Verdict: Big Issues, Little Commitments

Oxfam held a climate change protest on the eve of the G7 summit in Biarritz, as world leaders put pressure on Brazil to do more to save the Amazon rainforest from wildfires. French president Emmanuel Macron put inequality at the top of the agenda, but G7 leaders failed to make …

5 Steps Governments Can Take To Prevent Another Mauritius Leaks Scandal

A 5-point plan to stop big corporations cheating poor countries out of billions of dollars in tax revenue, was published by Oxfam today in the wake of the Mauritius Leaks. When multinational corporations and the super-rich use tax havens to dodge paying their fair share, it is ordinary people, and …

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