The Values Trust is an interconnected philanthropic trust, focused on making a difference in Aotearoa for Climate, Creatures, and Children’s Literacy.

As a values-led trust, we lean into the wisdom around us and within us – seeking alignment with the causes we care about.

The Values That Guide Us

Valuing the interconnectedness of all life (Kotahitanga)

Listen first – act humbly, seek understanding (Maramatanga)

Guardianship & giving back (Kaitiakitanga)

Stubborn optimism

Our Purpose

We are taking an intentional role in creating the Aotearoa we believe is possible – where our land is regenerated, the animals in our care are happy & well, and children learn & thrive.

Our logo incorporates the beautiful symbolism of the koru; a shape found in nature in the way a ponga (silver fern), grows and unfurls. In Te Ao Māori it symbolises harmony, regeneration, perpetual movement, positive change, and awakening.

We are excited to be part of creating positive change here in Aotearoa.

Our Focus Areas

Climate

Animal agriculture makes up 48% of New Zealand’s emissions – with the impacts of climate change already being felt, this needs to significantly reduce if we are going to meet our carbon targets. Farmers need support and resources if they are to shift from traditional animal agriculture to more sustainable, regenerative alternatives.

Our Focus Areas

Creatures

Over 41,000 injured, neglected and abandoned animals go through SPCA’s doors each year. Some animals are adopted out but many have to be put down. Thousands more animals are left to run feral. It’s time we took responsibility for the companion animals we have created.

Our Focus Areas

Children’s Literacy

40% of adults in New Zealand cannot read at a day-to-day functioning level. By instilling a love of reading at an early age, we can see this change for the next generation.

Current Projects

We have chosen wonderful projects and partners to work with for our current 7 year cycle, each aligned with our three focus areas of Climate, Creatures, and Children’s Literacy. Some of these projects include…

Daisy Lab

This was our first impact investment – supporting this extraordinary female-founded start-up with their vision of creating animal-free proteins that enable a wide-scale transition of food products away from traditional dairy. We are working closely with the Daisy Lab team to bring this dream into reality – the first trial food products have already been created with their whey-protein, so watch this space!

HUHA

We have partnered with the passionate team at HUHA to develop a social enterprise doggy daycare franchise that will help fund their important work on education, legislation, and desexing to decrease feral populations of cats and dogs. The first centre is currently in development in the Waikato with 100% of the profits pledged to HUHA; our aspiration is to create a model that can spread around the country.

Little Libraries

After studying the reasons behind decreasing literacy rates in Aotearoa, we decided to create a beautiful, engaging program around reading in early childhood centres (which currently do not receive dedicated funding for books) – a critical age for helping tamariki fall in love with reading. The first 100 kitsets have been shipped out to centres in high-deprivation areas nationwide, in partnership with amazing literacy-focused organisations like Wheelers, Storylines, Duffy Books, Storytime Foundation, Read NZ, Public Libraries, and support from Kindello & Point Research.

Our Team

The Values Trust is a small group of stubbornly optimistic humans who believe through leading by example and being the change, we can have a real impact. We are thoughtful givers who combine compassion with strategic thinking to make a measurable difference in the areas we care about.

Tesh Hearth
Tesh HearthFounding Trustee
Tesh is a wearer of many hats (both literally and figuratively!). She is the co-founder and Head of Impact at Raglan Food Co, an award-winning plant-based food company founded in 2014. As a children’s book author, animal-lover, and an advocate for protecting our natural environment, The Values Trust is a dream project that Tesh is excited to work on over her lifetime, as an expression of her closest values and an investment of her personal funds.
Cheryl Reynolds
Cheryl ReynoldsTrustee
Cheryl is an entrepreneur and philanthropist, founder of ventures including the Soda business incubator, former CEO of Momentum Waikato, the Endangered Species Foundation, and Xtreme Zero Waste in Whāingaroa Raglan. She is currently the Head of Impact at the Edmund Hillary Fellowship, has sat on various boards including the Ākina Foundation and brings a wealth of knowledge, connections, and enthusiasm to The Values Trust.
Craig Stephen
Craig StephenTrustee
Craig is a recovering corporate executive; the former Chief Investment Officer for Tainui Iwi, one of the founders of Heartland Bank, and an investor in several ventures. He brings extensive financial & investment experience to The Values Trust, along with a genuine care for people and planet. Based in Kirikiriroa Hamilton by the river, he can often be found swimming or surfing in Whāingaroa Raglan, and loves connecting with animals and Mother Nature.
David Hearth
David HearthTrustee
Dave is a craftsman who has had a varied career as a mechanical engineer, builder, and ‘maker of things’. He has a love for aesthetics and creating beautiful spaces. One of his current projects is building an industrial scale 3D printer to find innovative ways of recycling plastic. He brings his practical and problem solving skills to The Values Trust, getting hands-on to create solutions that are both useful and beautiful.

We are grateful to have the support of these wonderful partners…

The Values Trust aims to provide proactive, multi-year funding and impact investments (catalytic capital) to organisations that align with our three focus areas. Our intention is to build long-term relationships with people who are already doing amazing mahi – or create our own solutions in partnership with others if they don’t currently exist.

Connect

Although we have already identified our partners and projects for the next 7 years of funding, we are always open to hearing about causes aligned with our three focus areas. If you know of an organisation working within one of these spaces that you think we should check out, please feel free to let us know using the form below.

We are not currently accepting any applications for funding.