International aid worker programme

Our aid workers provide humanitarian assistance and development by saving lives, alleviating suffering, and maintaining human dignity.

Sending highly skilled Kiwi humanitarians overseas since 1960

We are one of a number of Red Cross Red Crescent national societies globally that recruit and train aid workers for international Red Cross humanitarian and development field operations.

Our aid workers are stationed overseas to provide humanitarian and development assistance, through their technical expertise. They directly contribute to saving lives, alleviating suffering and maintaining human dignity on the front-line.

We prioritise which Red Cross field assignments our aid workers are put forward for, with the first priority being meeting the needs of our Pacific neighbours. Beyond the Pacific our focus is placed on meeting needs in situations of violence, armed conflict and complex emergencies.

We have a pool of over 130 trained technical aid workers who are available for deployment. Areas of skill include:

  • Water and sanitation/WASH specialists and engineers
  • IT&T specialists
  • Development and Recovery co-ordinators
  • Disaster Management specialists
  • Shelter and construction specialists
  • Community health practitioners
  • Logisticians.
Find out more about becoming an aid worker

Government support

The New Zealand Government has supported the aid worker programme since the 1990's. Currently 50% of the programme is funded through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade Aid programme.

Florence Nightingale Medal

The Florence Nightingale Medal is the highest Red Cross honour, awarded to nurses that demonstrate exceptional courage and devotion to victims of armed conflict or natural disaster. It also recognises exemplary service and pioneering spirit in the areas of public health and nursing.

Past New Zealand Red Cross award recipients:

  • Graham Zinsli - 2015
  • Janet Askew - 2013
  • Andrew Cameron - 2011
  • Joyce Hood - 2009
  • Marian Whittingham - 2007
  • Geraldo Cruz Pires-Ribeiro - 2001
  • Margaret Ann Bryson, Order of Merit - 1999
  • Louisa Akavi - 1999
  • Sheryl Thayer (posthumous) - 1997
  • Judith Owen - 1995
  • Wendy Smith - 1993
  • Philippa Parker - 1993
  • Jennifer McMahon - 1991
  • Glenys Rodger-Checchi - 1987
  • Megan Crisp - 1981
  • Ngaire Simpson - 1975
  • Moya McTamney - 1969
  • Muriel Jackson - 1965
  • Mary Gidall - 1963
  • Doris Ramsy - 1961
  • Edith Rudd - 1961
  • Flora Cameron - 1959
  • Catherine Wells - 1957
  • Edan House - 1951
  • Helen Crooke - 1949
  • Irene Campbell - 1947
  • Hester Maclean - 1920