Peace & Social Justice

The Peace and Social Justice (PSJ) Group exists to affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of every person by direct charitable action through projects and services external to the church community.

We aim to “Walk the Talk” through actions that align with the Unitarian Universalist 7 Principles. Members of the PSJ Group are church members who are directly involved with PSJ Projects and Initiatives. The PSJ Group operates under agreed Terms of Reference for the PSJ Group. All projects are evaluated, and actions requiring funding must be approved by the Church Management Committee, and Church Treasurer. Approved projects are funded by a separate PSJ Fund, which derives income from PSJ pledges, donations, congregational monthly offertory and fundraising events.

Monthly updates on PSJ projects and activities are given to the church congregation at every 3rd Sunday Service of the month. These updates are (sometimes) available for viewing on the church website.

Peace and Social Justice action has long been a part of Unitarianism in Auckland, much of About Us / Our History / The communion of Unitarian Saints is concerned with Peace and Social Justice issues.

Contact our Peace and Social Justice Group

Samoa’s Nonviolent Struggle for Independence from New Zealand Colonial Rule

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Speaker & Worship Leader:- Paul Henriques

Samoa’s Nonviolent Struggle for Independence from New Zealand Colonial Rule
Listen, or download the MP3

Read below or download the PDF

Follow this shortcut to the bottom of the page for the various readings, videos, etc. shared in the service.

Paul Henriques © 2 July 2023

As many of you know, with Auckland Unitarian Church support, I initiated a pilot programme to help dyslexic children in Samoa in a joint programme with their Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture. While there I came across information on Samoa’s nonviolent struggle for independence from New Zealand. Back in New Zealand, I began to read up on the subject and in asking friends and family about it, found few knew much about it and some nothing at all. I find it a very sad but interesting story, that certainly deserves knowing about, and thought I would share a bit of it with you this morning.

Continue reading Samoa’s Nonviolent Struggle for Independence from New Zealand Colonial Rule

The thrill of participatory social justice

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Speaker:- Marlon Drake of Te Ohu Whakawhanaunga,
Worship Leader:- Rachel Mackintosh

The thrill of participatory social justice
Listen, or download the MP3
Questions from the Q&A session didn’t make it into the audio.
They are on screen in the video, and listed below.

Follow this shortcut to the bottom of the page for the various readings, videos, etc. shared in the service.

Marlon Drake © 14 May 2023

Marlon attended Western Springs College and then moved to Wellington where he was a student activist at Victoria University, serving as President of the students association, campaigning against sexual violence and in favour of mental health support for students. He also worked part time as an organiser in the Living Wage Movement during his time as a law student at Victoria. Marlon is now the full-time community organiser for Te Ohu Whakawhanaunga, a broad-based coalition in Auckland working for social justice.

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Cyclone Gabrielle

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How can we help?

Our thoughts and prayers go out to all affected by Cyclone Gabrielle, the devastation it has caused, and the terrible impact this ex-cyclonic storm has wrought on our people and our land in Aotearoa, New Zealand. We are witnessing huge amounts of strength and sadness, and the media pictures portray the huge scale of this disaster.

How can we help? The need now is primarily for financial help in the recovery and rescue stage. Here are a couple of links to websites where donations can be made.

There are many people and organisations raising funds to help with this disaster, and if you haven’t already, please do help by contributing – every bit helps .

Our hearts go out to all.

Worker Protection (Migrant and Other Employees) Bill

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The Peace and Social Justice Group of the Auckland Unitarian Church have made a submission to the New Zealand Parliament in support of the proposed Worker Protection (Migrant and Other Employees) Bill. Submissions closed 1st December 2022

This purpose of this omnibus bill is to improve compliance and enforcement legislation to deter employers from exploiting migrant works, and to deter employer non-compliance with immigration and employment law. The related offence and penalty regimes are amended to ensure mirror enforcement regimes for by both migrants and non-migrants. The bill also aligns the powers of the Labour Inspectorate and Immigration New Zealand, and supports greater collaboration between the two regulators to undertake compliance and enforcement activity.

For more information, please refer to:-

The Peace and Social Justice Group supported all aspects of the Worker Protection (Migrant and Other Enmployees) Bill, and recommended that the Bill be passed in its entirety, and that the Bill obtain Royal Assent as soon as possible.

Prophet at the Gate

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You are invited to a Zoom Book Launch – Wayne Facer’s latest book

Saturday August 20th 5pm via Zoom (link below) – come and meet the author

Upon reading a copy of the book Sir Lloyd Geering said that “Norman Murray Bell deserves to have his life recorded” and he had “enjoyed reading it and seeing the grand collection of photos.”

Agenda – Launch will take no longer than one hour.

  • David Hines MC – Welcome to the speakers
  • Peter Lineham, Professor of History Massey University
  • Brent Efford, son of Lincoln Efford a contemporary of Bell, remembers meeting Norman Murray Bell
  • Wayne Facer

How to order the book? – instructions below – this can be done at any time

When the army called Bell in 1917, he flatly refused and was imprisoned for two years with hard labour. As one of New Zealand’s 2,320 military defaulters from the First World War, his civil rights were curtailed for ten years. This book details Bell’s peace activities as well as his leadership in the Unitarian movement.

The stories of our peace heroes and anti-war activists, are an important but neglected part of New Zealand and world history. Thankfully some are being documented, even though they are not given the attention they deserve by society.

Graham Murphy, writer and reviewer for Faith and Freedom, Oxford says; Wayne Facer’s biography details family history, school career, and the lasting effects of Bell’s devotion to peace. Consistent with the author’s earlier work, A Vision Splendid, this book is a fascinating read.

Laurie Ross, New Zealand Nuclear Free Peacemakers says; Prophet at the Gate is a major contribution in the documentation of NZ peace history. Peaceworkers continue the noble tradition of cultivating civic pride in higher social values of humanity and the spiritual struggle for human goodness, truth and beauty.


you can order your copy of the book here whether you attend the Zoom meeting or not – Details of pricing and options below;

Options for buying book
  1. New book only (Prophet at the Gate) = $35.75 includes GST and postage
  2. New book (Prophet at the Gate) plus A Vision Splendid 2nd edition (half price) = $50 includes GST and postage
How to buy book
  • Deposit into Auckland Unitarian Bank account; 02-0100-0024691-00 and note name, and book in the payee instructions
  • Send the following details to or phone Viv at 021550180
    • Which option (1 or 2)
    • Postal address
    • Name you would like Wayne to write in the book when signing your copy
    • Email and Phone number in case we need to contact you

Cover of A vision Splendid, Wayne Facer

This book is essential reading for anyone who has an interest in New Zealand’s early history, Unitarianism, trade unionism, worker’s education and the fight for secular education.

In a world where religion is increasingly associated with hatred, bigotry, fanaticism, violence and misogyny, Jellie’s story provides an alternative – a vision splendid – where values rooted in the liberal religious tradition are the ones helpful in promoting social justice, protecting the powerless and reducing social and economic inequality. It is a story we can turn to for inspiration as we continue to work for fairness in society, equality of opportunity, and the enrichment of the human spirit.

Zoom Link

You are invited to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: Prophet At The Gate
Time: Aug 20, 2022 17:00 Auckland, Wellington

Join Meeting
Meeting ID: 874 5907 0550
Passcode: 856115

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+64 4 886 0026 New Zealand
+64 9 884 6780 New Zealand
+64 3 659 0603 New Zealand
Meeting ID: 874 5907 0550
Passcode: 856115

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Modern Slavery and Worker Exploitation – MBIE consultation

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Update 14/6/22

On 6 June, a small group of 6 PSJ members (Gary Bendall, Henri van Roon, Paul Henriques, Shirin Caldwell, Jonathan Mason and Brenda Bendall) representing the wider Peace & Social Justice Group met on Zoom to go through the MBIE survey, discussing each point, and reaching a consensus answering the survey questions. The completed survey was submitted to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment on 6th June on behalf of the Peace and Social Justice Group of the Auckland Unitarian Church.

All members had personal knowledge of situations where Modern Slavery and Worker Exploitation had occurred. The varied work and life experiences of the 6 meant that considered responses were made, and many thanks go to all for their very valuable contributions.

An opportunity to have your say on Modern Slavery and Worker Exploitation as it relates to NZ.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) are seeking feedback on new legislation that aims to achieve freedom, fairness and dignity in the operations and supply chains of entities and to address modern slavery and work exploitation, both in New Zealand and internationally. 

The proposal would create new responsibilities across the operations and supply chains of all types of organisations in New Zealand, with more responsibilities for larger organisations.  Submissions close 7th June 2022. 

The PSJ Group are working towards a collective submission, however you can submit as an individual if you wish. This social action fits well with our UU 7 Principles, so please take this opportunity to have your say.

For more information on how to make a submission, please go to

If you’re short on time, read the summary of proposals and complete a short survey. It shouldn’t take more than 20 minutes and can be anonymous, or you can make a detailed submission at Survey: Legislative options to address modern slavery and worker exploitation

Submissions and survey both close on 7 June 2022 at 5pm. 

Thank You!

Continue reading Modern Slavery and Worker Exploitation – MBIE consultation

Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis Appeal

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Thank you everyone, together we raised $690 for the Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis Appeal 🙂

As the fighting in Ukraine continues, the humanitarian need is growing, and your help in supporting the NZ Red Cross relief effort with the $690 donation is very much appreciated.  Well done everyone!  The church congregation raised $440 for the appeal, adding to the PSJ Group donation of $250 – a great effort by all.

Again, thank you !

NZ Red Cross Ukraine Appeal

“People in Ukraine are suffering. More than 11 million people are believed to have fled their homes in Ukraine since the conflict began, according to the United Nations. As well as the 5.3 million who have left for neighbouring countries, and another 6.5 million people are thought to be displaced inside the war-torn country itself.” (BBC News, refer link: How many Ukrainians have fled their homes and where have they gone? – BBC News) These are devastating times for the people in Ukraine.

How can we help?

You can help by supporting the NZ Red Cross Ukraine Appeal through our church Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis Campaign. Our church has started a Campaign fund with the Peace and Social Justice Group donating $250 to start it off. You are welcome to add to this fund by donating online to the…

Our PSJ appeal closed Friday 17th June 2022, however you can make a donation directly to the NZ Red Cross “Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis Appeal” after that date if you wish.

Thank you 😊

Note, the usual tax relief for donations apply.

Interfaith Celebration of Human Rights Day

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On Wednesday evening, 8 December 2021 at 7.00pm,

Auckland Unitarians Peace and Social Justice Committee are hosting an Interfaith Celebration of Human Rights Day which is held annually on 10 December.

All are welcome and we encourage you to join a Zoom gathering for 60–75 minutes via the Zoom Link below.

Faith representatives include Rev Clay Nelson for Auckland Unitarians, and Hindu, Christian, Buddhist, Jewish, Maori-Bahai, Sikh, Islamic speakers, each of whom will present a five-minute sharing of how their faith expresses its commitment to human rights. The event relates to Article 18 of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which begins “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.”

Voyager 1 – Earth from beyond Neptune
this pale blue dot is the only home we’ve ever known‘ – Carl Sagan