Who Is Zeal

Community Of The Year Finalist 2016


We are Zeal. We are a family of passionate, creative misfits who believe that every young New Zealander is creative and who dedicate our lives to helping them discover, express and develop their unique creativity.


“It took me out of this place where I was feeling completely helpless and useless. Gave me heaps of confidence and gave me something I’m passionate about.” – Georgia, 18
“The thing about being at Zeal for a while is that everyone is a bit weird, so you can be your own bit of weird and still fit in.”– Grace, 18
"I honestly am so thankful for the amazing people at Zeal. Without them I would be a completely different person.” – Mish, 17
"I would be so forever screwed without Zeal. I can't put into words how thankful I am... They have constantly supported me and loved me.”
“This place is like a second home to me... actually, no it’s my first home.” – Joey, 17
“I played around with music a bit before Zeal, but with all the resources I could try new things and explore music. It gave me so much more opportunity.” – Matt, 16
“They have supported us every step of the way and we will always know Zeal as the band’s home.” – As Colour Fades
“I used to have no goals... just doing the same thing every day. But now I have goals and someone I want to be in the future.”– Levi, 19
“Zeal offers something that no other place does.” - Zack Marshall, Zeal young person turned touring sound engineer.
“Becoming a volunteer here was one of the best decisions I ever made.” – Jordan, 16
“Above all, I think Zeal gave me hope.” – Maggie, 17
“I am reminded every week at Zeal that there are people who believe in me, that I am capable of so much!” - Maggie, 17
“Being a consumer at Zeal made me happy, but being a contributor has brought joy to my soul.” – Ben, 22, Zeal young person turned social entrepreneur
“Zeal has helped me turn my life around.” – Ben, 18
“Now I can express myself.” – Mitch, 15
“Zeal’s not just a word, not just a place. It’s a family, it’s my family. I’ve gained Zeal for life.” – Abby, 17
“Zeal gave me a skill that I now use for work.” – Niwa, 19
“If it wasn’t for working with Zeal, I would never have developed a passion for youth work. I’m so grateful.” – Cody, 17
“If it wasn't for Zeal I would be in prison.” – Dan
“The more that you’re willing to support Zeal, the more that they can help us out.” – Gian
“I learnt more here in the first hour than I did in my whole year in photography at high school.”
"Ultimately the best way for me to describe zeal is life changing.” - Taylor Finderup, 16
"I wish every venue we played was like Zeal." - Bribry, international musician
“Pushing young people to be the future of the world. Why wouldn’t you support that?” - Reyne
“I learn real skills that I can put to the real world and I don’t feel pressured to learn it. I’m here because I want to.” - Gian, 17
“Zeal’s just this big warm blanket of awesome that just wraps around your community.” - Beth, 18

Our Mission Statement

We are a youth organisation committed to the transformation of young people’s lives in Aotearoa. Our mission is to make transformative spaces and experiences accessible to all young people in Aotearoa.

Our Vision 

Every young person in Aotearoa living into the fullness of their identity and infinite self-worth and value, connected to healthy, safe communities and deep relationships.

What We Do


Youth Care Programmes

We provide safe spaces for young people to explore themes of identity, belonging and connection. We do this through strength-based activities, workshops and mentoring, all aimed at contributing to a young person’s mental health and wellbeing. 

We run youth development facilities in Hamilton, Hawke's Bay, Kāpiti, Taranaki, Wellington and West Auckland. These facilities are homes and hubs of creativity and belonging for young people from all walks of life.


Youth Creative Experiences

We provide low-cost programmes, workshops, showcases and events in the creative arts. These are aimed at giving young people the opportunity to discover their passions, build their confidence, gain new skills and realise their potential, enabling them to thrive. 


Innovative Projects

We incubate innovative youth care and empowerment projects, including our Online Crisis Intervention project and social enterprise businesses such as a container café.

We also reach young people online and celebrate youth creativity through our social media and website. 

We Provide

  • Places of acceptance and belonging
  • A listening ear and practical help
  • Vocational pathways in creative pursuits
  • Moments of creative celebration
  • Action on social issues affecting young people

Our Promise

Zeal’s promise to every young New Zealander is that we will passionately pursue, enable and support the fulfilment of their creative potential.

Our Values


Zeal speaks, acts and projects enthusiasm all day, every day. This energy comes from a steadfast belief that every young person has a creative spark.


We believe in the power of creativity and the transformational effect it can have on a young person, their communities and society. We pursue creativity across all of our services and activities.


We challenge convention and look for new and better ways. We are collaborative in this endeavour, innovating with others to solve problems and create opportunities.


We welcome all young people, from all walks of life, offering belonging and joint ownership of Zeal's vision and services. 

The Way We Work 

Zeal is strengths-based and holistic in our approach, aligning with leading youth development model The Circle of Courage.

Responsive to wants

Zeal looks to current trends in pop and youth culture, going to where young people are in order to capture their attention. By doing so we position Zeal as a relevant brand in the minds of young people.

Responsive to needs 

Zeal recognises the unique gifts of young people and the importance of personal connection. Zeal’s approach is to walk alongside young people, responding to individual needs with services that develop them in a holistic way.

Passive consumers to active contributors

We offer young people a sense of belonging, an opportunity to master skills and gain independence, and encourage them to model generosity. In doing so, we move people from passive contributors to active contributors. 

How We Are Funded




Read our Annual Report

Check out our latest Annual Report, as well as all of our previous years, at Issuu.


Thanks to our key partners

Auckland City Council, Wellington City Council, Hamilton City Council, Napier City Council, Hastings District Council, Kāpiti Coast District Council, Ministry of Social Development, Ministry of Youth Development, Foundation North, Momentum Waikato, Lottery Community Facilities, Lottery Grants Board, J R McKenzie Trust, Lion Foundation, Wilberforce Foundation, New Zealand Community Trust, Vodafone Foundation.

Zeal is a not-for-profit youth organisation, with registered charitable status in New Zealand. We are governed by a Board of Trustees. View our latest audited accounts here.





0800 FIND ZEAL (0800 346 393)

© 1998-2016    
  Zeal is a not-for-profit youth organisation dedicated to helping young kiwis discover, express and develop their unique creativity. In supporting us, you support the care and development of young people.