Previous Events

Saturday 7 May 2022 – National Interfaith Forum 2022: The 13th National Interfaith Forum, originally scheduled for the weekend of Friday 11 September through Sunday 13 September 2020 in Tauranga, has been postponed twice due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In its place, the Waikato Interfaith Council and the Tauranga Moāna Interfaith Council will jointly host a Zoom hui on Saturday 7 May 2022 from 5:30-7:00pm. Details to be announced shortly. Stay tuned for more information, coming soon!

Thursday 1 October 2020 – Marilyn Garson, author of “Still Lives: A Memoir of Gaza” speaks on the Israeli-Palestinian situation:

• Four years, two wars, and one very unlikely female-led social enterprise.

• Marilyn Garson was an experienced aid professional who created jobs at the edge of war. In 2011, she was invited to move to the Gaza Strip to lead an ambitious Palestinian team. Gaza would challenge much of what Marilyn knew about aid and conflict, Palestine and justice. Who really lives behind the Gaza blockade, and what can we do about it? Marilyn speaks from experience – including her work as a member of the UN emergency team that operated shelters in Gaza through the war of 2014.

• As a Jew with skin on both sides, Gaza required Marilyn to dig deep into the content of her own beliefs. She speaks in the unifying language of human rights and law, where she believes that solutions will be found.

• Marilyn Garson grew up in Halifax, Canada studying political science and philosophy at the University of Toronto. In 1998, she began creating jobs in communities affected by war, launching locally owned social enterprises or working with small businesses in Cambodia, Afghanistan and Pakistan, and elsewhere. In 2011 she received an offer to work and live in the Gaza Strip as the Economic Director of Mercy Corps’ Gaza programme, and then as a consultant to the office of UNRW’s then-Gaza director. In that capacity she joined the UN emergency team that remained in Gaza to shelter displaced people through the 2014 war. She is the proud co-founder of the GGateway social enterprise, whose (female) leaders were recognized by TIME magazine as emerging entrepreneurial leaders.

• Marilyn’s memoir, Still Lives – A Memoir Of Gaza, is published by Mary Egan. Copies will be available at [venue], or in independent bookstores across New Zealand. Kindle eBooks on For more, see

• Venue: University of Waikato, Management Building, Room MSB1.05, 6:00pm.

Sunday 1 November 2020 – Waikato Interfaith Council Annual Interfaith Service, Sunday 1 November 2020, 4:00-5:30pm. Hamilton City Council Reception Lounge. Multifaith service 4:00-5:30pm, followed at 5:30-6:00pm with tea/coffee social.

Saturday 18 July 2020 – Multicultural Tree Planting: EarthDiverse, the Waikato Interfaith Council, the Waikato Multicultural Council, GoEco, Kaivolution, Tui 2000, Friends of Waiwhakareke, the Bahá’í Community, Waikato Biodiversity Forum, Artmakers Trust and the Hamilton City Council are co-organising a Community-wide tree planting event to take place in Hamilton on Saturday 18 July 2020, 10:30am-1:30pm (Rain Date in case of absolutely awful weather will be on Saturday 1 August). Bring a spade or shovel, gumboots, appropriate outdoor weather gear (e.g. hat, rain gear, sunglasses), some gardening gloves, water and a big smile. If you don’t want to dig there are other ways to help out (like bringing a small food donation, or helping with setting out and serving a light lunch). A light lunch will be served (courtesy of Kaivolution, GoEco, WIFCO, the Bahá’í Community and others). Please bring your own plates, cutlery or mugs in order to minimise waste. 100 people would mean planting 5-10 saplings each. Mark this date in your diaries now! Come and help offset your carbon usage!

If you wish to be involved, or if your group would like to help with organising and or promotion, please contact us as soon as possible at <info @ earth>.

Sunday 16 February 2020 – Revering the Universe, Caring for Nature: An Ecospirituality Symposium: Please join us for this one-day symposium featuring presentations about Earth-centered spirituality and values from religious and secular perspectives. Ecospirituality means different things to different people. At its essence it comprises a basic assumption about the deep and sacred interconnectedness of all life. The aim of the symposium is to bring together people from secular and faith-based backgrounds, academics, students, environmentalists and interested citizens, to explore the meaning of ecospirituality and its role in our daily lives. Morning and afternoon coffee and tea will be available, but to ensure this symposium is free and open to all, lunch is not provided. Participants are invited to bring or purchase their own lunch at nearby cafés.


  • 12:00pm: Welcome and whakawhānaungatanga
  • 12:20pm: Dr Vicente L. Lopes: Reimagining the Nature-Human Connection: An Ecospiritual Perspective
  • 12:45pm: Dr Norman Franke: Languages of nature: an eco-poetic approach
  • 1:10pm: Dr Will Taegel (via Zoom): Ennake: Bridging the Split Between Humans and Earth’s Quantum Eco-Fields
  • 1:35pm: Earna Walker: Kaitiakitanga and Spirituality
  • 2:00pm: afternoon tea (provided)
  • 2:30pm: Workshop: Exploring spiritual practices that draw our attention to creation
  • 4:30pm: Poroporoaki: reflections and discussion

Sunday 20 October 2019: ANNUAL INTERFAITH SERVICE: The Waikato Interfaith Council is pleased to announce its annual Interfaith Service, to be held at the Hamilton City Council Reception Lounge, Garden Place, Hamilton, on Sunday 20th October from 4:00-6:00pm, with representatives from Waikato’s Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish and Muslim communities. Come join us in an interfaith celebration of our various spiritualities, meet members of other faith and belief communities, and stay and mingle for an early light supper and informal conversation. This event is family friendly, free, and open to the public.

Spirit of Art / Art of Spirit:  A Collection of Events Celebrating the Sacred Nature of Creativity.  A month-long celebration of exhibitions, music and dance performances, talks, poetry readings and practical workshops to be held between  24th August and 30 September 2019.

EarthDiverse, Artmakers Trust and the Waikato Interfaith Council are pleased to announce a a series of talks, readings, practical workshops and an ongoing exhibition devoted to the theme of Art and Spirituality to be held between 24th August and 30 September 2019. Event venues: Lady Goodfellow Chapel, University of Waikato, and Artmakers Trust, Norris Ward Park, 2 Seddon Rd, Hamilton.

Through the arts, poetry, music and architecture, religious traditions around the world have communicated their most important values ​​and organised their cultural life. Many contemporary artists also engage with religious narratives and ideas in a critical or affirmative way. Some see creativity and enthusiasm as forms of a spiritual existence: if the divine is involved in the creation of the world, artists are, as it were, co-creators.

The grand religious narratives continue to strongly influence contemporary culture.. That is why a multi faith group in the Waikato has decided to explore the relationship between art, spirituality, and academic/political discourse. Through an art exhibition at Lady Goodfellow Chapel, and public talks, discussions and workshops, we aim at bringing together art makers and art lovers to explore the connections between art and spirituality.

Monday 19 August 2019COMPASSIONATE CONVERSATIONS: Talks on the subject of Compasssion from a range of faith & belief perspectives. Clarence Street Theatre, Hamilton, 7:00-9:00pm.

The Waikato Interfaith Council, the Waikato Muslim Association and EarthDiverse are pleased to present an evening of talks from a variety of faith and belief perspectives on the topic of Compassion. The evening will also include a presentation of a series of short digital stories from WIFCO’s Tales of Compassion website,  as well as a performance from the Waikato Interfaith Choir. This event is a part of Islam Awareness Week, and is one of the many events taking place between 19 August and 30 September as a part of the Spirit of Art/Art of Spirit celebration. It is also free and open to the public. All are invited to attend!

Saturday 17th August 2019: EarthDiverse, the Waikato Interfaith Council, the Waikato Multicultural Council, GoEco, the Waikato Muslim Association, Friends of Waiwhakareke, and the Hamilton City Council are co-organising a Community-wide tree planting event to take place in Hamilton for Saturday 17 August 2019, 10:30am-2:00pm (Rain or Shine). Bring a spade or shovel (if you have one), and gumboots, hat, some gardening gloves and some water. Otherwise, just come and bring a a smile. If you don’t want to dig there will be other ways to help out (like helping out with serving a light lunch). A light lunch will be served (courtesy of Kaivolution, GoEco, WIFCO, the Bahá’í Community and the Waikato Muslim Association). 100 people would mean planting 5-10 saplings each. Mark this date in your diaries! Come and help offset your carbon usage!

Wednesday 24th April 2019: EarthDiverse and the Waikato Interfaith Council are pleased to announce a talk entitled: “Mahātmā Gāndhī and Nonviolent Action for Social Change” by Shobhana Radhakrishna of the Gandhi Forum based in New Delhi, India. This talk is in honour of the 150th birth Anniversary of Mahātmā Gāndhī, which is being celebrated this year. The talk will take place at the Lady Goodfellow Chapel, University of Waikato (Gate 1, Knighton Rd) in Hamilton. The talk is free and open to the public. Free parking is available inside Gate 1. 5:30-7:00pm.