Birthright is New Zealand’s only social services organisation that has a specialist focus on
families led by one person. From our early beginnings in 1955, we have grown into a national
registered charity with affiliated organisations around New Zealand.
Birthright has been supporting families led by one person for over 60 years.
The first Birthright Society was formed in Hastings on 23 November, 1955 by Peter Gifford and the
Hastings Junior Chamber of Commerce. Mr Gifford's aim was to form a voluntary organisation to
support and care for the children of women who had lost their husbands. Over time the
circumstances of those who found they were parenting alone broadened so we expanded our
services to support all families led by one person.
The term “families led by one person” was adopted to encompass the broad range of people who
may find themselves parenting alone, e.g. parent, grandparent, another whanau member, etc.
Today, Birthright comprises of a National Office, Birthright New Zealand, and 11 affiliate
organisations around the country.
Birthright through the years
Read more about our history and Birthright today: