Our Organisation

The NZ Humanists are a national charity that promotes humanism, secularism, reason, and science. We work on behalf of the millions of New Zealanders who are not religious, ensuring their voices are heard in public policy and debate.

We regularly meet in Wellington, and have members throughout New Zealand.

We are affiliated internationally to the IHEU and the United Nations Association of NZ.

We are a non-profit society dedicated to Humanist thought and ideals in New Zealand.

We support ethics; giving the greatest possible freedom compatible with the rights of others; the constructive use of rational thought and scientific enquiry; democracy and human rights; personal liberty combined with social responsibility; a secular world based on observation, evaluation, and revision.

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What is Humanism?

Who better to explain some of the fundamental ideas of humanism than one of its most famous adherents

Latest News

Humanist NZ Newsletter May 2022

Kia ora: With this ANZAC weekend we can only think of the senselessness of war. And it has all been said before. After World War II, the sentiment was ‘Never again’. General Sherman, of the Union Army during the American Civil War, 1861-1865, wrote: “I am tired and sick of war. Its glory is all moonshine. It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, for vengeance, for desolation. War is hell.” Bertrand Russell 1872-1970 wrote “And all this madness, all this rage, all this flaming death of our civilization and our hopes, has been brought about because a set of official gentlemen, living luxurious lives, mostly stupid, and all without imagination or heart, have chosen that it should occur rather than that any one of them should suffer some infinitesimal rebuff to his country`s pride.” The list of present-day conflict is sobering: the Kurdish–Turkish conflict (2015–present), Persian Gulf crisis (2021–2022), Western Saharan clashes...

Humanist NZ Newsletter April 2022

Kia ora: There is much to concern us with the devastation of Ukraine by Putin. We applaud the bravery of Marina Ovsyannikova, a senior producer at Russia’s state-run Channel One, who staged a protest on air by waving a sign reading: “Don’t believe the propaganda. They’re lying to you here.” Humanists from Belgium have formed a convoy of vehicles to transport aid to refugees on the Polish border with Ukraine.  Humanist International have made a statement at the United Nations ‘at the urgent debate on the situation of human rights in Ukraine stemming from Russian aggression “Mr President, the unprovoked and illegal invasion by Russia in Ukraine is a violation of the UN Charter and international law, including human rights law. As each day goes by, we witness an increasing number of gross and systematic violations of human rights. It is a tragedy unfolding before our eyes. This Council has a duty to respond. It must adopt a robust resolution unequivocally condemning Russia’s actions and establishing a...

Humanist NZ Newsletter March 2022

Kia ora: 2022 is dawning as another turbulent year. Covid-19 Delta cases were in a decline, then the mutant Omicron arrived and cases are now on a trajectory upwards. A small but vocal segment of our population has been swayed by misinformation and fallen prey to conspiracy theories. An anti-mandate protest group has settled into camping at Parliament and is now into its third week. With universal horror we are now watching the invasion of Ukraine by Russia. Vladamir Putin wants to re-establish the Russian empire that held sway from the 18th Century until the end of World War 1. In the aftermath of World War 11 and during the Cold War, on 9th July 1955, physicist Albert Einstein and philosopher Bertrand Russell issued a Notice to the World, imploring us to “forget our nationality, our creed, and to remember our humanity.” The text of their Manifesto follows: “We are speaking on this occasion, not as members of this or that nation, continent, or creed, but as human beings whose continued existence is in...

Humanist NZ Newsletter December 2021

Kia ora: And so 2021 ends as did 2020, with the question with no easy answer- ‘When will this Covid-19 Pandemic fade into a distant memory? The pandemic effects have raised many issues to be thought about. The effects have laid bare the inequalities within society. Inequalities of housing, employment, race, immigration, travel, have exacerbated the experience of Lockdown for different members of society. We have seen too the madness of conspiracy theories surrounding Covid vaccinations aided and abetted by social media. 2021 ends with the continued unlawful incarceration of Mubarak Bala, Humanist, in Kano, Northern Nigeria. His friends continue their daily vigil counting the days and supporting his wife and child in the grief of this barbaric family separation. By New Year the days held hostage will number 582. In the words of Mubarak Bala “Doubts about my faith had always remained in my mind however. I asked too many questions and got unsatisfactory answers or was warned off with phrases like ‘there are...

Humanist NZ Newsletter November 2021

Kia ora: We are approaching DAY 550 that Mubarak Bala has been detained in prison in Kano, Northern Nigeria. Humanists International continues their advocacy for Mubarak. Humanists in Nigeria and throughout Africa continue their Vigil noting the passing of the days of Mubarak’s incarceration. We have received a thank you ‘on behalf of Mubarak Bala & all his supporters & friends in Nigeria & the rest of Africa’ for our monthly mention and tribute to Mubarak. Nigerian Humanists know that international concern has influence. Our support has been posted and it has helped morale. African humanists know that their pages are watched and news is filtered back to Mubarak’s captors alerting them that the outside world is aware of this situation. The authorities who hold Mubarak are pleased that he is silenced and no longer "brainwashing the Nigerian people with lies from the West." Mubarak’s friends think that though Mubarak has been silenced there are others who can use their voices in Mubarak’s place....

Humanist NZ Newsletter October 2021

Kia ora: Another month and it is now DAY 518 and the despair at Mubarak Bala’s detention by Kano, Nigerian Islamists, continues for African Humanists, Mubarak Bala’s Nigerian humanist colleagues, and especially for Mubarak’s wife and young son who was only six weeks old when his father was detained. When will this end? Humanists International defends humanists like Mubarak Bala at risk of persecution and violence, campaigns on Humanist issues, lobbies for Humanist values at international institutions, including the United Nations, and works to build the Humanist movement around the world. Have you considered joining as an individual member? Humanist NZ is a member organisation. A statement of the fundamental principles of modern Humanism was agreed by the founders of Humanists International at the first World Humanist Congress in 1952. They called it “The Amsterdam Declaration”. Fifty years later, in 2002, the Declaration was updated and now, seventy years later, Humanists International is again looking at...

September 2021 Newsletter

Kia ora: In ten days it will be DAY 500 that Mubarak Bala has spent in detention in Kano, Nigeria. Mubarak Bala, a chemical engineer by training, is a prominent member of the international Humanist movement and as President of the Humanist Association of Nigeria he has played a vital role in the Humanist community in Nigeria. In recognition of his efforts and contributions to promote humanist values in Nigeria, the General Assembly of Humanists International awarded Mubarak Bala with the 2021 Freedom of Thought Award during its General Assembly. Mubarak has been working to promote freedom of religion or belief in Nigeria and has been an outspoken religious critic in the conservative northern region, where open religious opposition is unusual. He has campaigned for the decriminalization of apostasy and blasphemy laws in states that implement Sharia in northern Nigeria. In addition, he has engaged in human rights education and raised awareness on the importance of freedom of thought and conscience to peace,...

August 2021 Newsletter

 Kia ora: Before the advent of modern global communication with Email and Facebook and various other social media platforms, the Internet, which allows us to search out information, we were isolated and insular in what we knew about the situations of other people and communities beyond our shores. But today, we are frighteningly aware of so much hardship and difficulties for others in various places around the world. Today is DAY 455 of Mubarak Bala’s unjust imprisonment. His court case for 14 July 2021 was postponed to 22 July 2021. But again, this date has gone with no Court Hearing and no further news except the Facebook Vigil which continues with a daily post recording this cruel passing of time. Moderate Muslims make no comment on this barbaric situation. There are water shortages in Khouzestan province, South Iran, as the Iranian regime has closed water sources forcing Iranian Arabs and Sunni minorities to leave their lands and cities. The Islamic regime are killing people of this area protesting...

July 2021 Newsletter

Kia ora: Mubarak Bala’s Humanist friends have now marked 425 days of his illegal detention. It is also 425 days of pain and anxiety for his wife, Amina, and 425 days that his son, just new-born at the time of Mubarak’s arrest, has not been able to know his father. With no means of communication with his family, these 425 days are very dark.  On Day 424 Leo Igwe, Humanists International Board member, wrote "Bala’s life is in peril, not in America or in Europe but in Africa, to be specific in Northern Nigeria. Bala’s life has been in danger not for being black in a dominantly white society, but for being an atheist in a predominantly Muslim section of the country. Bala’s life has been at risk due to institutionalized oppression and persecution of persons who are open about their atheism in Muslim communities. Bala’s case has highlighted the inability of atheists and persons who hold views that are critical of Allah or the prophet of Islam to ‘breathe’ in Muslim majority societies." Humanists...

June 2021 Newsletter

Kia ora: Humanists in Nigeria have maintained a daily Vigil of Facebook posts for the unlawful detention of their President, Mubarak Bala. Today’s Facebook post - DAY 398 (31 May) Human Beings over Human Beliefs. A year has now past and still no release to freedom for Mubarak. Humanist NZ continues our monthly Vigil of noting the passing of the months. One year of months has already passed - when will freedom be gained? Mubarak is a symbol for all humanists who fear for their lives in dogmatic theistic countries. · Monthly Meeting Monday 14 June 6.30 pm until 9.00pm (Note usual 1st Monday 7 June is the Queen’s Birthday public holiday) Talking Humanism Sara Passmore will lead us in a discussion on the basic principles of humanism. There are a number of statements that encapsulate humanism, and both Humanists International and the American Humanist Association have great summaries of what humanism is: “Humanism is a democratic and ethical life stance which affirms that human beings have the right and...