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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Patriotism in War and Peace

A talk by Simon Keller “Patriotism is most fervently displayed in times of war and impending war. Even during times of peace, patriotism is often expressed in commemorations of war and in ceremonies involving the military. Is patriotism, then, necessarily warlike?...

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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

March 2023 Newsletter

Kia ora: Our year has opened with a cataclysm. Cyclone Gabrielle has changed our landscape forever. In Wellington I have watched News broadcasts with incredulity, the raw energy of nature escaping our human constraints. Our thoughts are with the many who experienced this fury at first hand and have lost so much. My brother, Robert, drove south, through the Volcanic Plateau, a few days after the Cyclone and was aghast at the scale of the forest destruction. He penned these words expressing the despair, we echo, that more care is not taken to value our environment. Whale oil might symbolise our time The Destruction of a majestic species The boon. Baleen stays for the ladies elite Fine oil for industry, oil for the lantern… The adoption of the concept, the Whale Created to supply the demands of Men The absurd destruction of majesty beast They contained something we wanted. Though we profit from destruction, without consent. Yet worse, blithely unaware The acronym for progress Just cause for blind destruction....

Humanist NZ Newsletter December 2022

Kia ora: 2022 is coming to a close and Humanist NZ wishes all humanist friends in Aotearoa New Zealand and around the world a refreshing and relaxing holiday break. In 2023 we can hope that Mubarak Bala is released from his illegal detention. We can hope for peace in Ukraine, and that Iranian protestors can bring change to the Iranian Islamic Republic. However, there are already clouds on the 2023 horizon. In Aotearoa New Zealand we have two issues of concern – Hate Speech Law and Religious Instruction in Schools. These two issues are expanded below in the body of the newsletter. The newsletter will reappear in March 2023. December monthly meeting: Saturday 3 December High Tea @ Carterton 2pm Our final meeting will be a get together at our President Tim Wright’s home in Carterton. An opportunity to relax and anticipate the coming holiday season. Bring your favourite culinary taste sensation and we can enjoy the sunny Wairarapa. For address and directions please RSVP to Tim at tim@tfwright.co.nz. All are...

November 2022 Newsletter

Humanist Society of New Zealand (Inc.), PO Box 3372, Wellington, New Zealand – Registered Charity No. CC36074 The Humanist Society of New Zealand is a Member Organisation of the International Humanist and Ethical Union Humanist NZ Newsletter November 2022 Kia ora: From our shores we watch the unfolding of war around the globe. At the moment the Russian invasion of Ukraine occupies our screens, our reading and our sorrow. The killing of Mahasa Amini because of improper wearing of the hijab still horrifies us, and this shocking action has ignited world-wide protest. In the last few days, a celebrity chef, Mehrshad Shahidi (Iran’s Jamie Oliver), has been killed amid the anti-hijab Protests. In New Zealand we support the protests against the Iranian regime. On a personal level, I have had good reason to be grateful for the men and women of science who have spent countless hours in investigation and research to untangle the mystery of Covid-19. The developments in vaccination and anti-viral drugs meant that when...

Humanist NZ Newsletter October 2022

The Humanist Society of New Zealand is a Member Organisation of the International Humanist and Ethical Union Humanist NZ Newsletter October 2022 Kia ora: At times of heightened emotions, I have noticed that inside my heart a small kernel emerges. It is a kernel of hope and the desire - “to do better”. With the death of Queen Elizabeth and the emotions that arise individually and collectively, is it possible to do better? Can the consequences of colonisation be remitted? What does it mean for New Zealand-Aotearoa, where our Head of State is the British Monarch? And on a completely different tangent - 19 -25 September is Basic Income Week, with the theme for the week being “Basic Income is Basic Humanism.” Humanism wishes that all people do well. The hope of Basic Income echoes this as well. October monthly meeting: Monday 10 October, 6:30pm by Meeting and Zoom 2022 Humanist NZ AGM And celebrating the publication of Maori Boy Atheist with author Eru Hiko-Tahuri On 20 August 2022, Eru Hiko-Tahuri launched his...

September 2022

Humanist Society of New Zealand (Inc.), PO Box 3372, Wellington, New Zealand – Registered Charity No. CC36074 The Humanist Society of New Zealand is a Member Organization of the International Humanist and Ethical Union Humanist NZ Newsletter September 2022 Kia ora: At our August monthly meeting, Wendy Webber from Go Humanity gave us an interesting perspective on allocating grants for projects. It is their experience that the most successful projects were those where Go Humanity did not require that the project be ‘too defined.’ By recognising that the group applying for the grant knew their situation the best, they allowed the group to use their own creativity in developing and applying a tailored solution. Not one project with these parameters failed. Go Humanity does require reporting and accounting of how the funds were spent. This is a marvellous example of what can happen when people are trusted. I have an interest in Basic Income - an unconditional regular payment to every citizen of a country. A...

Humanist NZ Newsletter July 2022

Humanist NZ Newsletter July 2022 Humanist NZ Newsletter July 2022 Kia ora: It was distressing to wake to news of deaths resulting from a Russian double missile strike on a crowded shopping centre in the central Ukrainian city of Kremenchujk. The consequences of this Russian invasion of Ukraine, and all war, are devastating. I remember reading and hearing the words-‘Never again’- in relation to World War I and II, and here we are. The decision of the USA Supreme Court to over-turn Roe vs Wade, the 1973 landmark ruling which protected a pregnant woman’s liberty to choose to have an abortion is a denial of the rights of women to good health care during pregnancy. It is suggested by commentators that the Supreme Court may now turn its attention to overturning contraception and same-sex marriage rulings which have been advances in understanding and social justice over the last decades. Such a reversal of hard-won human rights is incomprehensible. When the possibility of the overturn of Roe v Wade first emerged...

Humanist NZ Newsletter June 2022

The Humanist Society of New Zealand is a Member Organization of the International Humanist and Ethical Union Kia ora: As I begin this newsletter, I am so conscious of the dearth of good news. For good news we have the Church of Scotland acknowledging  that Churchmen and women are modern-day witch hunters, witchcraft accusers and witch persecutors. This moral leadership sends a clear and powerful message to Churches and affiliates in Africa where Churches are part of the problem of witch-hunting. And three centuries later, the last of the Salem witches has been pardoned by Massachusetts, USA, lawmakers formally exonerating Elizabeth Johnson, clearing her name 329 years after she was convicted of witchcraft in 1693 and sentenced to death at the height of the Salem Witch Trials. Elizabeth was not executed, but neither was she officially pardoned like others wrongly accused of witchcraft. And then we begin a long recitation of the problems besetting our world: climate change, habitat destruction, the...

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...