Less excess, more equality – sharing the world’s resources equitably

The Butterfly Trust received New Zealand charitable status in February 2009. The Trust is dedicated to working for all people and the environment in accordance with the charitable purposes laid out in its Trust Deed.

The butterfly was chosen to represent us because it symbolises transformation, hope, freedom, beauty, and the idea that a small ripple on one side of the world can create large waves on the other!

Our primary aim is to support education and health projects designed and run by indigenous communities.


Our vision and mode of achieving this vision

Our vision is a world without major inequalities of wealth and opportunity.

While we seek to promote a more equitable sharing of the world’s resources, at the same time, we want to encourage an understanding of the deeper meaning of abundance, that profound happiness, that contentment in simplicity, which is often apparent in people regardless of external wealth and social status.

To realise our vision we first discuss an issue, sometimes over many months, with any community seeking our assistance. If everyone agrees, we then support the project in whatever way we can. We always try and ensure, however, that the responsibility for the running and development of a project remains with the community.

In this way we hope to be a bridge between cultures over which resources, material and intangible, can flow, in both directions.


Our working principles

  • We support projects that are initiated or directed by local people for the benefit of their communities.
  • We help communities increase their skills and knowledge to ensure independence from indefinite aid.
  • We ensure recipients account for funds and provide feedback to the Trust and its sponsors.
  • We make an effort to evaluate and monitor the impact of our work on the communities we work with. 
  • We are aware that introducing any values from our world can affect the dynamics, and indigenous values and customs, of the communities we work with. We take care to minimise our impact.
  • We approach projects aware of the need to be flexible and to make changes and adjustments when necessary.
  • We recognise the value of teamwork. We work with like-minded organisations, both large and small, as well as individual and group volunteers to coordinate efforts and share expertise and resources.
  • We place 100% of donations directly into projects. No deductions are made from donations to cover administrative costs. However, a proportion of funds raised at fundraising events, as distinct from pure donations, will be applied towards administrative costs.