News and upcoming events

PCANZ Moderator's message to the Church regarding Presbyterian Women Aotearoa New Zealand (PWANZ)

18 May 2023


I write to inform the Church that Presbyterian Women Aotearoa New Zealand (PWANZ) has reluctantly decided to formally wind up as of 30 June 2023.  

This has followed much prayer and discussion, and two national PWANZ meetings to vote on, and then confirm, this decision (as per their Rules/Terms of Reference). 

The major reasons they have given for this decision are: 

  • The inability to attract younger Presbyterian women to our existing parish groups or as individual members. Our current mode of working does not suit their busy lives and other commitments. 
  • No one prepared to lead and govern the organisation at a national level. There are still a number of groups operating at a parish level and there is no reason why these should not continue to exist. 
  • Insufficient income to operate and meet known expenses. 
  • No longer meeting the Charities Commission requirements to operate as a charity. 

There is much sadness and regret for the present members of PWANZ in making this decision and I am sure that sadness will also be felt in the wider Church community. This organisation has been an integral part of our Church in various forms for 117 years. Over that time, it has contributed so much in so many ways.  

PWANZ will present a final report at General Assembly 2023. This will be a time for the PCANZ to remember, honour and give thanks for the wonderful contribution that PWANZ has made over so many years. 


Right Rev Hamish Galloway 
Moderator Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand  

[Note: Read more on this decision in the PWANZ May 2023 BushFire here and in the BushFire June 2023 and BushFire July 2023 editions ]

PWANZ General Meeting Sat 22 April 2023

PWANZ Update sent to presbyteries of the Presbyterian Church Aotearoa New Zealand, 25 March 2023

Download draft here or read as below.

Would you please include the attached Notice for Presbyterian Women Aotearoa New Zealand (PWANZ) of a General Meeting to be held on Saturday 22 April 2023 in your regular newsletters and communications sent to parishes in your region. At this General Meeting we will confirm the resolution made on 25 February 2023:  

  • That Presbyterian Women Aotearoa New Zealand (PWANZ) be wound up. 
  • This second meeting is required to confirm the above decision, set the date and begin the necessary processes of winding up our organisation as per our Terms of Reference. 
  • The General Meeting is to be held at St John’s in the City Presbyterian Church, Wellington on Saturday 22 April 2023 from 10am to noon. Zoom facilities will be available. 
  • This meeting is open to all Presbyterian women. However only financial members (as at 22 September 2022) of PWANZ are eligible to vote.  

For further information, please contact: Ruth Steven, email or phone 022 0962 8811.

PWANZ Notice of Special General Meeting - 25 February 2023

Reason for meeting

In September 2022, at the PWANZ Annual General Meeting, the following recommendation was received from the Futures Review Group. This recommendation was left on the table.

That Presbyterian Women Aotearoa New Zealand (PWANZ) be closed down. In liaison with the National Executive all Parishes to be notified that their support for our continuing mission in Aotearoa are welcome but the current model of the organisation is unsustainable. The Special Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council will lapse. 

To progress this recommendation, which has brought up a significant number of issues (outlined below), a Special General Meeting is required.
Issues include:
•    Ageing membership and declining finances (currently only 111 financial members)
•    Vacancies on Executive (including President)
•    How to maintain a woman’s voice with the Presbyterian Church, especially at a local level
•    Lapsing of Special Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council
•    Loss of a dedicated missional outlook

Meeting date and venue:

Saturday 25 February 2023, 10 am to 12 noon.
St John’s in the City Presbyterian Church (corner Willis and Dixon Streets, Wellington)


In order to vote you must be a financial member. Download here for the Special General Meeting: 

  • Draft minutes form September 2022 AGM
  • Performance report
  • 2023 Budget
  • SGM registration form
  • Remittance form for those who wish to be financial members

Further information & contacts

Email Ruth Steven or phone 022 0962 8811
Email Mary Gibbs  or phone 04 383 8446 / 027 314 3188

Attend the 67th Commission on the Status of Women (CSW67) March 6 – 17, 2023

The 67th Commission on the Status of Women (CSW67) will be held as a hybrid event at the United Nations in New York and online from March 6th – 17th, 2023 with the priority theme “Innovation and technological change, and education in the digital age for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.”

If you are interested in attending please contact Mavis Duncanson.

As a member of Ecumenical Women at the UN, Presbyterian Women have the opportunity to contribute to advocacy at this event.

PWANZ 2022 Annual General Meeting

Register now for the PWANZ Annual General Meeting - 10am on Saturday 24 September 2022, Scots College, 1 Monorgan Road, Strathmore Park, Wellington. Also by zoom. Download the 2022 registration form.

PCANZ Supports Thursdays in Black

At the Special Assembly in April 2022, Presbyterian Woman Aotearoa New Zealand successfully brought a recommendation that the PCANZ actively support and promote the World Council of Churches’ Thursdays in Black campaign, committing to a world free of violence and rape. Read the Moderator's July message to the Church here or download the Moderator's 'Thursdays in Black' letter here.