What we do

Creating a socially just and inclusive New Zealand. Kia hua mai he whenua ka toko i te tika me te pono hei korowai mō Aotearoa.

Responding To Communities

Sir John McKenzie who set up the J R McKenzie Trust in 1940 wanted to improve the quality of life of New Zealanders. This purpose, insightful for its time and set out in its Trust Deed, allows the Trust Board to make donations for any charitable or educational purposes it wishes to select.

It does this by responding to grant applications received twice a year from registered charities, community groups and non-government organisations seeking funding.

Over time the focus and the language of the Trust has expanded and changed  but the current vision statement  of contributing to achieving a  “A socially just and inclusive Aotearoa New Zealand” is still aligned with Sir John’s and later Sir Roy Mc Kenzie’s original purpose.

Today our key areas of focus are disadvantaged children and their families, and Māori development. Other issues of social justice that require community mobilisation and advocacy can also be funded.

To apply for our funding or to meet our current grantees click here.

Our Strategy


Our Programmes

  • Connecting Education and Communities

    CEC aims to disrupt disadvantage by working with innovative, locally-led initiatives to strengthen the connections between communities and education. The CEC project is proactively funded by the JR McKenzie Trust.

  • Peter McKenzie Project

    The J R McKenzie Trust recently established the Peter McKenzie Project – a project and fund dedicated to reducing child and family poverty in Aotearoa New Zealand.

  • Te Kāwai Toro

    Te Kāwai Toro was established in 2003 by the J R McKenzie Board as a strategic response to lead, proactively address and enable Māori Development. The catalyst was a review that identified an under representation of Māori in J R McKenzie Trust’s philanthropic activities.

Our Resources

Below you can find our published reports and resources in PDF format.

Voice, Influence, Action: Funding Advocacy for Impact

May 2019 - J R McKenzie Trust & Centre for Social Impact

This report explores philanthropic funding of advocacy. It shares J R McKenzie Trust’s (JRMT’s) experience in the last decade of funding advocacy, views from organisations funded by JRMT for advocacy, views from other funders of advocacy and key messages from recent literature.


(SUMMARY) Voice, Influence, Action: Funding Advocacy for Impact

May 2019 - J R McKenzie Trust & Centre for Social Impact

This is a summary of the findings of the above report "Voice, Influence, Action: Funding Advocacy for Impact". It explains what advocacy is, why it should be funded, the many ways of supporting advocacy, and provides a list of cautions and pointers to consider.


Advocacy and Lobbying Toolkit

May 2019 - J R McKenzie Trust & FinCap

This toolkit provides interested parties with a guide to advocacy and lobbying in New Zealand. It focuses on the cycle of advocacy and lobbying, and touches on scoping, reviewing, planning, and taking action.


The Philanthropic Landscape: A Review of Trends and Contemporary Practices

July 2019 - J R McKenzie Trust & Centre for Social Impact

This review has been developed to collate key trends and contemporary practices from philanthropic literature – with a focus on identifying emerging ideas, practices relevant to New Zealand’s bi-cultural context, and practices relevant to the J R McKenzie Trust’s size and identity as both a family foundation and innovative philanthropic leader. The review offers insights that are intended to support self-reflection and new-thinking as the J R McKenzie Trust engages in a journey of organisational review and planning.

Annual Reports