The Catholic Agency for Justice, Peace and Development

Connect with us

Caritas is a charitable agency which works to make a difference in the lives of people living with poverty or injustice. We work with a variety of groups including agencies such as St Vincent de Paul, Catholic Social Services and Christian Council of Social Services to promote the work of justice, peace and development around the world, including in Aotearoa New Zealand.

We also work with a number of Parish and Diocesan organisations – such as schools, chaplaincies, social justice groups, tangata whenua organisations and Diocesan Justice Peace & Development Commissions - to help them achieve their goals in the local context. In addition to providing written resources, we can also usually assist with providing speakers and subject matter experts for workshops, seminars, parish or community events.

Joanna Viernes (Community & Advocacy Assistant)

Joanna graduated with a commerce degree majoring in public policy and has worked as a volunteer in the Advocacy and Research team at Caritas.  She was vice-president of St Vincent de Paul (Young Vinnies) for St Mary’s College, and is also the area head of Wellington for CFC-Youth for Christ Global Mission Foundation. Joanna has also been active in the Youth Council for the Filipino Chaplaincy in Wellington and in Cathsoc at Victoria University. Joanna co-leads the Caritas work with Refugees & Migrants and for Social Justice Week. She is also responsible for Caritas relationships with youth, tertiary chaplaincies, and supports Roger in the work with Dioceses and Parishes.  |  (04) 496 1782


Roger Ellis (Community Engagement Manager)

Roger is the Community Engagement team Manager for Caritas, based in Wellington. Roger chairs the Caritas Environmental Justice team and works with Joanna in our work with Dioceses and Parishes. The CE team looks after communications, marketing, education and diocesan relations. 

Before joining Caritas, Roger worked in communications and government relations in the private sector. He was also a former private secretary at parliament and a policy advisor in the government sector. Roger graduated with a Master of Social Science degree (1st Class Hons) from Waikato University.  |  (04) 496 1339


Contact us to find out more or to request a speaker.

Sign up to the Caritas regular e-newsletter:

Tutu ana te puehu - Stirring up the dust