The Catholic Agency for Justice, Peace and Development


Caritas highlights the issues of poverty in Aotearoa New Zealand in areas including social welfare, employment, children’s work and housing. Globally we focus on the Sustainable Development Goals and food security.

“The way society responds to the needs of its poor through its public policies is the litmus test of how just or unjust a society it is.”

New Zealand Church Leaders, 1993

In line with Scripture and Catholic social teaching, Caritas works for the preferential protection of the poor and vulnerable.

We address structural causes of poverty. The wellbeing of many of the poorest nations are affected by decisions and policy of many wealthy countries – including New Zealand. We are currently focusing on the progress of the Sustainable Development Goals and international food security.

Within Aotearoa New Zealand, government policy on social security, work, housing and employment are key factors in the wellbeing of our citizens. Caritas speaks out for the economic wellbeing of all.

We work through campaigns, submissions on legislation, media and social media, and other forms of advocacy such as letter-writing and delegations of people to key events.


Social welfare

New Zealand has prided itself on being a fair and egalitarian society, yet in the last 30 to 40 years, the gap between rich and poor has grown dramatically and is now entrenched. We advocate for a fair and just social welfare system that benefits us all.


Work and employment

Work is a fundamental way of providing for our livelihoods and supporting those around us. Caritas advocates for the dignity of work, and the protection of vulnerable workers.


Children’s work

Under current New Zealand legislation, there is little protection for workers under the age of 16. Caritas’ research into New Zealand children’s work experiences has contributed to improved protection for children in our workplaces.


Social housing

The right to a place to call home that is safe and secure is a basic human right. With New Zealand’s ongoing housing crisis, Caritas advocates for low-income and vulnerable families to have access to safe and affordable housing.


Sustainable Development Goals

The international community has joined together to set goals to guide development work which combats poverty and injustice in every country of the world.  The Sustainable Development Goals were agreed by the United Nations in September 2015.


Refugees and Migrants

Caritas advocates on issues affecting refugees and migrants, both in New Zealand and internationally.

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Tutu ana te puehu - Stirring up the dust