Mission

To promote understanding, appreciation and respect for religious diversity among the religious, spiritual and secular communities in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Background

New Zealand, over the past three decades, has become a country with an increasingly diverse population. In 1987 the Immigration Act permitted immigrants from a wider range of countries and cultures than in previous years.  Over the succeeding years the bi-cultural nation that was founded on the 1840 Treaty of Waitangi has seen this diversity grow exponentially – and with it the diversity of religious beliefs and allegiances.

In response to this rapidly increasing diversity of cultures and consequently of religions a vigorous Interfaith movement developed. Interfaith Councils and Abrahamic Groups formed in cities across the nation.  They continue to provide opportunities for people from different religious traditions to visit one another’s places of worship, to share their stories and learn from one another. A national Interfaith Forum has brought them together every year, now every second year.

The Religious Diversity Centre was launched in Parliament in March 2016.   A national Centre of educational research excellence – the go-to place for information, contacts, education, training and policy advice,  all reliant on evidence based research,  – a meeting point for religious leaders, political and community leaders, academic and educational staff and students, a safe place for inter-religious and intra-religious dialogue.

Our Purpose

A national centre of educational research excellence dedicated to fostering appreciation and understanding of religious diversity among all New Zealanders

  • Providing high quality religious diversity training and resources for professional development
  • Providing high quality research and publications
  • Contributing expert advice for policymakers, media organisations
  • Encouraging inter and intra religious dialogue
  • Promoting co-operation, friendship, peacemaking
  • Honouring Te Tiriti o Waitangi