NZARH Awards

In 1998 the Association instituted two annual awards conceived and designed by Peter Hansen, a past president of the Association.


This award is presented to a person or body who represents the values of the Enlightenment. The award is named in commemoration of Charles Southwell (1814-1860), New Zealand’s first recognised freethinker.

Recipients of the Charles Southwell Award

2012: Clive Solomon
For his tireless stance against prayers being said at Whanganui Council meetings.

2010: NZ Atheist Bus Campaign
For bringing a greater awareness of Atheism, Rationalism and Humanism to the general public.

2009: Graeme Hill
For his informative broadcasting on

2008: Max Wallace
For advancing the cause of secularism in New Zealand and Australia.

2007: No award presented

2006: Andy Leleisi’uao
For challenging the role of the church in Samoan society in a way nobody else dared.

2004-2005: No award presented

2003: Michael Laws
For raising awareness of controversial issues in a forthright and enquiring manner.

2002: Andrew Williams
For his defence of the secular state in local government.

2001: Dr Philip Nitschke
For his courageous advocacy of the right to choose death with dignity.

2000: Dr Zoë During, MBE
In recognition of her many years of campaigning on moral, social, and health issues.

1999: Brian Rudman
For his many years of equitable and informed journalism, often supporting views compatible with the objectives of this Association.

1998: Te Papa Tongarewa, The Museum of New Zealand
In recognition of its defence of freedom of expression during its hosting of the controversial Pictura Britannica art exhibition.



Named for the English philosopher and peace activist Bertrand Russell (1872-1970), this award is presented annually to a member of the Association whose efforts have significantly advanced the cause of the Association during the year.

Recipients of the Bertrand Russell Award

2013: Peter Harrison

2011: John Shaw

2010: Gerry Bolton

2009: Toby Ricketts

2008: Susan & Des Vize

2007: Stuart Landborough

2006: Russell Dear

2005: Peter Hansen

2004: Paul Litterick

2003: David Ross

2002: Bruce Robertson

2001: Jim Dakin

2000: Nick Pullar

1999: Marta McKenzie

1998: Bill Cooke