Buddhism in New Zealand
Buddhism is New Zealand's third largest religion after Christianity and Hinduism, standing at 1.5% of the population of New Zealand. Buddhism originates in Asia and was introduced to New Zealand by immigrants from East Asia.
The first Buddhists in New Zealand were Chinese diggers in the Otago goldfields in the 1860s. Their numbers were small, and the 1926 census, the first to include Buddhism, recorded only 169. In the 1970s travel to Asian countries and visits by Buddhist teachers sparked an interest in the religious traditions of Asia, and significant numbers of New Zealanders adopted Buddhist practices and teachings.
Since the 1980s Asian migrants and refugees have established their varied forms of Buddhism in New Zealand. In the 2010s more than 50 groups, mostly in the Auckland region, offered different Buddhist traditions at temples, centres, monasteries and retreat centres. Many migrant communities brought priests or religious specialists from their own countries and their temples and centres have acted as focal points for a particular ethnic community, offering language and religious instruction. National and international groups In 2008 the Sixth Global Conference on Buddhism brought leading teachers and scholars to Auckland under the auspices of the New Zealand Buddhist Foundation. The Buddhist Council of New Zealand, established in 2007, comprised 15 Buddhist organisations engaging with local and national government over issues of concern to Buddhist communities. These included trying to make it easier for Buddhist priests and teachers from overseas to live and work in New Zealand.
According to the 2006 Census,Buddhism constituted 1.4% of the population of Newzealand.It slightly increased to 1.5% in the 2013 census.
Most of the Buddhists in New zealand are migrants from Asia with significant New Zealanders converted to Buddhism ranging from 15,000-20,000. According to the 2013 census,there are about 58,440 Buddhists in New Zealand. The converts to Buddhism is estimated to constitute between 25%-35% of the total Buddhist population in New Zealand.
There are many Buddhist temples and centres in New Zealand for New Zealand Buddhists to practice their religion. The largest being Fo Guang Shan Temple in Auckland. The International Buddhist Centre in Christchurch's Riccarton Road opened in 2007; it was designed by Warren and Mahoney. Closed after the 2011 Christchurch earthquake, the temple reopened in August 2016.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Buddhism in New Zealand.|
- Table 28, 2013 Census Data – QuickStats About Culture and Identity – Tables.
- "International Buddhist Centre". Warren and Mahoney. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
- "NZ 'paradise on Earth'". The Press. 3 October 2007. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
- "Go Guide August 5–12". The Press. 5 August 2016. Retrieved 1 January 2017.