Humanists are calling for an end to the concessions afforded to Christian groups, as the number of non-religious people overtakes all other belief groups in New Zealand combined.

This week, the release of data from the latest census has confirmed that New Zealand’s non-religious population continues to grow, with 48% of the population now identifying as non-religious. This makes ‘no religion’ the largest belief group in New Zealand.

However, Humanist New Zealand says that public policy fails to recognise the growth of non-religious beliefs, and is calling on the Government to end the privileges awarded to religious groups.

Humanist NZ President, Jolene Phipps, states, “Christianity has a privileged position in public policy today that is out of step with modern New Zealand. From parliamentary prayers, to classrooms ‘closing’ during the school day so that Christian groups can run religious instruction, the concessions awarded to religious organisations clash with human rights and our concept of a free and fair society.”

Humanist NZ is calling for an end to the discrimination non-religious New Zealanders face.

“In our hospitals ten Christian churches get 100% of the funding for chaplaincy, pastoral and spiritual support from the Ministry of Health.” Phipps states. “Religious groups are awarded charity status and tax exemptions just for promoting religion.”

“Non-religious people need more recognition, support, services, and representation. We want to work together to ensure our voices are heard.”


Contact Jolene Phipps at or Sara Passmore on 022 4356117

About Humanist New Zealand. We represent the growing number of non-religious people. We campaign for human rights, secularism, and a fairer society for all. Find out more at

Census 2018 religious affiliation statistics

No Religion 2,264,601

All other categories 2,155,248 including Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (4,248),

     Jedi (20,409), atheism (7068) and agnosticism (6,516)

Object to answering 312,795