New Zealand Religion

Religious freedom prevails in New Zealand. Christianity dominates, but the proportion of residents who identify as Christians is declining. In a 2018 census, only 38 percent referred to themselves as Christians, while roughly half said they had no religion at all.

Among the Christians, the Catholic Church is the largest, closely followed by the Anglican Church. Then comes Presbyterians and Reformed communities. More than a dozen Anglicans and about as many Catholics are among the Maoris. Many Maoris are also Presbyterians or members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also called Mormons. There are distinctive Moorish churches, such as ratana and ringatu. In ratana it is common with healing (to cure diseases by spiritual means) where one uses tohunga, a person with spiritual and worldly wisdom. The belief that dead ancestors’ spirits remain in the ancestral lands is important among Maoris.

As religions grow, other religions have grown. Hindus, Muslims and Buddhists are fast growing, even though they are still small groups.

The churches have long been socially involved. Commitment increased in the 1990s in connection with cuts in the general welfare system (see Social conditions).

New Zealand Population Pyramid 2020

  • Countryaah: Population statistics for 2020 and next 30 years in New Zealand, covering demographics, population graphs, and official data for growth rates, population density, and death rates.



New Zealand opens again after corona pandemic

June 8

Jacinda Ardern announces that all restrictions imposed to stop the spread of the corona virus are now lifted. But the boundaries remain closed. It is again allowed to travel within the country and with public transport in the cities, shops open again and all public and private gatherings can again take place without hindrance.


New Zealand relieves coronary restrictions

April 28

New Zealand eases slightly on the comprehensive measures to combat the corona virus that started a few weeks ago. Schools are reopened for students who do not want to study from home and restaurants and cafes may open to a limited extent. However, hairdressing salons, pubs and large malls will still be closed. New Zealand is one of the countries that has so far suffered the most from covid-19 with about 1100 cases of the disease and 19 deceased.


Abortion is no longer a crime

March 19

Parliament amends the country’s strict abortion law that is over 40 years old. According to her, it was punishable for a woman to have an abortion unless her physical or mental health was seriously threatened and this had to be substantiated by two doctors. This must be done before the 20th week of pregnancy. After that, the rules were even tougher. The new law, adopted by 68 members while 51 votes against, means that abortion is no longer criminal. Until week 20, it is up to the woman herself and her doctor to decide on abortion. Thereafter, an investigation needs to be conducted.

Entry bans for foreign nationals should stop covid-19

March 19

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announces that an entry ban will be introduced for people who are not citizens or live in New Zealand. The ban will hopefully help to curb the spread of the coronavirus and covid-19 disease. The new border restrictions will hit hard on the important tourism industry and, by extension, affect the entire economy. The government has also promised a support package equivalent to 4 percent of GDP to help the country cope with the corona epidemic. The support will go, among other things, to the health service to fight the corona virus, to subsidies for families with low incomes and to people dependent on social assistance and to lower corporate taxes.



New Zealand bans semi-automatic weapons

21 March

Following the March 15 terrorist act, the government has decided to propose a law in Parliament to ban the type of weapon used by the perpetrator. Semi-automatic weapons and automatic carbines will not be allowed after April 11. The government will also take the initiative for an amnesty and buy back the weapons that are now to be banned. Something that can cost the government big money – between $ 100 and $ 200 million, according to Jacinda Ardern.

50 dead in terrorist act

March 15th

In connection with the Friday prayer, a lone man enters two mosques in the city of Christchurch and kills 50 people, including children, while at least as many are injured. A suspected offender is arrested by the police. He is a 28-year-old Australian citizen with right-wing extremist sympathies. Another couple of people are arrested by the police, but later released. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern condemns the terrorist attack, which is the worst mass shooting ever in the country, calling it one of New Zealand’s “darkest days”.


16 dead in volcanic eruptions

December 9

A volcanic eruption on the island of White Island causes 16 people to lose their lives. They are together with another 30 people at the popular tourist destination when the volcano erupts. Some tourists manage to be picked up by boats that come to the rescue. Several of them are still being treated in hospitals with serious injuries. Two legal investigations have been initiated after the incident to investigate, among other things, whether there has been any violation of work environment legislation.

New Zealand Religion

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