NZ Skeptics

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NZ Skeptics
NZ Skeptics.svg
Formation 1986
Founders Bernard Howard, David Marks, Denis Dutton, Gordon Hewitt, Jim Woolnough, Kerry Chamberlain, Ray Carr[1]
Type Nonprofit organization
Legal status Incorporated Society, Registered Charity[2]
Mark Honeychurch[3]
Main organ
Formerly called
New Zealand Committee for Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal

The NZ Skeptics is a New Zealand incorporated society, with the aim of promoting critical thinking.[4] The main areas of interest to the NZ Skeptics are claims of psychic abilities, alternative medicine, creationism and other pseudoscientific claims.


The NZ Skeptics was co-founded (as the New Zealand Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal) by David Marks, Denis Dutton and others in 1986.[1] Other similar organisations exist in the USA (Committee for Scientific Inquiry), Australia (Australian Skeptics) and India (Indian CSICOP). Denis Dutton was the first chair; Vicki Hyde took over as the first chair-entity (a title devised by Hugh Young both to be all-inclusive and to parody inclusiveness[5]) from 1997–2010; Gold (his only name), who founded the New Zealand Skeptics in the Pub, was chair-entity from 2010-2014; Mark Honeychurch is the current chair.[3] Vicki Hyde continues in the society as a media spokesperson.


The NZ Skeptics hold an annual conference, held in November or December. Conferences generally alternate between the three major New Zealand cities of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, with other cities hosting as and when there is sufficient interest. Each year at the conference the NZ Skeptics give awards,[6] notably the 'Bravo Awards' for "critical thinking in the public arena",[7] 'Bent Spoon' award for "the most gullible or naive reporting in the paranormal or pseudo-science area"[8][9] and the Skeptic of the Year award (created in 2014).[10] The name "Bent Spoon" is a reference to the psychic power claimed by Uri Geller.

The NZ Skeptics produce a quarterly journal, called The New Zealand Skeptic, which they send out to all members. The journal has been produced continuously since shortly after the society's inception in 1986.

On 30 January 2010, members in Christchurch participated in a mass overdose, a protest against the selling of homeopathic remedies in pharmacies.[11] The protest was in line with similar activities held on the same day by the 10:23 campaign in the UK.[12][13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Our History". NZ Skeptics. Retrieved 18 March 2015. 
  2. ^ "Society Status". NZ Skeptics. Retrieved 18 March 2015. 
  3. ^ a b "Officers and Committee". NZ Skeptics. Retrieved 18 March 2015. 
  4. ^ "NZ Skeptics". NZ Skeptics. Retrieved 18 March 2015. 
  5. ^ "The changing of the guard". NZ Skeptics. 1 November 2010. Retrieved 18 March 2015. 
  6. ^ "Awards". NZ Skeptics. Retrieved 18 March 2015. 
  7. ^ "Skeptics' prize goes to education group". New Zealand Herald. 2005-09-24. Retrieved 2008-05-21. 
  8. ^ "Skeptics: Critical Coverage Needed at the Listener". Scoop. 2006-09-20. Retrieved 2008-05-21. 
  9. ^ "TV3 wins praise and criticism from Skeptics". New Zealand Herald. 2007-09-19. Retrieved 2008-05-21. 
  10. ^ "Skeptic of the Year". NZ Skeptics. Retrieved 18 March 2015. 
  11. ^ "Plea for pharmacists to ditch stock". 2010-01-30. 
  12. ^ "Liverpool anti-homeopathy campaigners stage protest". BBC News. 2010-01-30. 
  13. ^ "Mass "overdose" in Leicester city centre". Leicester Mercury. 2010-01-30. 

External links[edit]