Welcome to Canterbury Branch

Canterbury Branch is currently the only active branch in the South Island. We're hoping to be joined by Otago some time soon!. If you're in the Canterbury area, and would like to be involved in our branch activities - OR if you're in the Otago area and would like to register your interest in being involved in a new branch start-up click here for membership details!



Page Contents:

Upcoming Events

Canterbury News and Reports

Contact Canterbury Branch





Upcoming Events


Mar 8 – UN Women’s BreakfastGuest Speaker - Dr. Kate Dewes, O.N.Z.M. Peace Education Advocate and pioneer of the World Court Project, Kate was the New Zealand government expert on the United Nations Study on Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Education. Kate was an integral part of Christchurch's successful declaration as New Zealand's first Peace City in 2002. Organised by UN Women Canterbury – UNA NZ Canterbury members invited to attend.

4-6 Oct 2017 NZ Social Sciences Conference in Napier – UNA NZ Canterbury is exploring leading Workshops for secondary school Social Science Teachers about the UN educational opportunities.

United Nations Global Citizenship 2017 Canterbury Challenge EVENT– with University of Canterbury Dept of  Political Science and International Affairs–date still to be determined

July 8 2017 – 21st Anniversary of the 1996 World Court Advisory Opinion on Nuclear Weapons.

Collaboration with NZIIA & UC Centre of European Union Events – still to be determined

Diplomats & the UN – 2017 Lecture Series – still to be determined

YPP United Nations Exam for Public Service in ChCh – still to be determined

UN Youth 2017 Programmes available to Canterbury high school students 

Branch Committee meetings 

Mar 30 – AGM – UNANZ Canterbury Branch when the 2017 – 2018 Committee will be appointed. 


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Canterbury News and Reports

2016 and 2017 Branch Reports will be uploaded soon. 

2015 President’s Report to the United Nations Association New Zealand, Canterbury Branch  Annual General Meeting  27th March, 2015  at the WEA   Room 3, 59 Gloucester Street, Christchurch.

1945 to 2015:  On this 70th Anniversary of the United Nations and the United Nations Association of New Zealand it is with pleasure that I present this report, giving me the opportunity of to thank our small and loyal Committee members who have had to traverse a year that has been far from easy.  I also want to welcome those from UNICEF and UNYouth who are with us today. There is a continuing need for networking with NZIIA, WEA, CWC, and other UN Agencies to ensure that these relationships strengthen in the future. 

Since the earthquakes not only has our city been involved in the “rebuild” but our city’s cultural organisations have also needed to be “REBUILT”.   The Canterbury Branch of the UNANZ has had to go back and look deeply at our basic structures.  What are the objects in our Constitution; who are our members; what does it mean to be the People’s Movement of the United Nations through which the principles of the UN Charter can be shared widely and its vision realised here in Canterbury.

The National UNANZ Wellington office has given very generous administrative help to the Canterbury Branch this year.  All mail-outs as well as compiling our membership database has been undertaken by Peter Cowley.  In addition Peter set up a database for our UNANZ Questionnaire for Canterbury Women Researchers which was designed to develop a wider membership base.   We are most grateful for this help as it has enabled us to focus on other critical areas.

Co-hosted events to reinvigorate the membership base

On Friday November 21st 2014, UNANZ and the Canterbury Women’s Club co-hosted the Inaugural Canterbury Women Researchers Breakfast.  Over 100 women and some men attended to hear Dr Megan Woods, Historian and local MP for Hornby speaking on “Her Stories: Women, Research & Recovery “.     It was a very encouraging and inspiring event.  A second Breakfast was held to mark International Women’s Day where the international speaker Professor Christine Winterbourne from the Otago Medical School spoke.  A third Breakfast is planned for Wednesday July 1st in the newly built College House Dining Hall and the speaker will focus on Antarctica.  The fourth Breakfast is already booked for Friday 20th November at Visions Restaurant, Christchurch Polytechnic although the speaker is still to be confirmed.


New Research Networks evolving

Analysis of the two page Questionnaire which accompanied the Inaugural Breakfast Invitation has resulted in various smaller networks being formed and co-hosted by the UNANZ Canterbury and the CWC.  Postgraduate students have now established their own Greater Christchurch Postgraduate Network (including University of Canterbury, Lincoln University, CPIT, University of Otago in Christchurch & other Postgrads living in Canterbury).  A simple meeting structure on the Third Thursday of the month between 5pm and 7pm has been established for 2015 March – November.  

5:00pm     Snacks & Networking

5:30pm   My Research in 3 minutes (3 women share)

6:00pm   Guest Speaker: a Woman Grad now working shares her story

7:00pm   Close of Meeting

Four Further Research Networks for researchers working in diverse fields will be launched via email post Easter.  These research groups will very likely follow a similar structure to the Postgraduates and will focus on -

1.       Global

2.       Community

3.       Social Science

4.       Health & Well-Being


Canterbury Schools & Re-Thinking the UN Charter and its Vision

This year the UN Speech Awards are not being organised in Christchurch.  The UN Youth are organising the Model United Nations very successfully.  It is now time to re-think how the United Nations Association can share the principles of the UN Charter more widely and enable its vision to be realized within our school population throughout Canterbury.


Gil Barker and Mathew Ayton are exploring ways to engage Canterbury School students in the United Nations.  Discussions are still at the idea stage but ways are being explored to develop a UNANZ Canterbury project related to NCEA approved subjects that qualifies for NCEA credits which is then entered into a UNANZ Canterbury competition.  The competition will be peer judged.  The winner is able to become a “NZ ambassador “to shadow UN committees (in New York) or to similar shadow youth committees worldwide.  The top six projects are placed on line in UNA websites. Both the school and students are acknowledged.  This idea is targeted at students heading for careers such as law or the social sciences or resource management. The prize(s) will enable valuable experience prior to tertiary studies. Possible GAP year involvement/links could also be considered. There could also be valuable feedback for the UN in the entries.

Two other very successful educators Claire Cowells and Dr Cheryl Doig have also offered to assist the UNANZ Canterbury and we look forward to their creativity developing an innovative project(s). 

The NZ Visit/Canterbury Visit of the two 2014 Nobel Peace Prize winners – Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi was initiated when a local business person indicated that he is willing to help with their visit.  The UNANZ Auckland is also exploring a possible visit and it is expected that regional UNANZ branches would want to collaborate as much as possible to make this a national visit.

Rosemary Banks will lead the 2015 a programme where Diplomats talk about their countries responses at the United Nations – This is building on Joy Dunsheath’s 2014 UNANZ National programme in Wellington which was highly successful.  Rosemary is keen to focus initially on NZ’s present involvement on the Security Council. 

These are exciting projects that require strong leadership.  We are grateful that very able individuals are willing to step up at this time and re-invigorated the UNANZ Canterbury Branch.  We are aware that what is happening here in Canterbury will permeate nationally throughout all UNANZ regional branches.

Nov 18 – 22nd 2015 WFUNA in Vancouver will be celebrating the 70th year of the United Nations.  It is hoped that some people from Canterbury might join the NZ delegation.  If you are interested you should contact Joy Dunsheath (Wellington)

Canterbury Branch UNANZ Charitable Trust

As President of the Canterbury Branch, I have become a Trustee of the Canterbury Branch UNANZ Charitable Trust which was established in the late 1980’s to benefit our Canterbury Branch.  This Trust presently holds over $80,000 and I have been grateful to the support and advice that Graham French, Margaret and Ted Arnold, Kate Dewes and the local Committee have given me.  In addition the time, support and efforts of UNANZ National Council members must also be acknowledged, in particular President Graham Hassall, Paul Oliver, Helena McMullin and Joy Dunsheath.  It is hoped that this Charitable Trust will provide important seed funding so that the Trust’s aims and objects are carried out.  The Canterbury Branch UNANZ Charitable Trust must remain financially sound and be well managed to support the work of the UNANZ Canterbury Branch well into the future.


The Canterbury Earthquakes have been particularly devastating for community organisations including the UNANZ Canterbury Branch. We hope that new life will emerge with lively networks that see new leadership emerging in our region.  Canterbury has already contributed much nationally - Women’s Suffrage and Peace Initiatives.  The Canterbury Rebuild includes rebuilding our UNANZ Canterbury Base so our local UNANZ Future has new visions which will emanate nationally.

Dr Lynette Hardie Wills, President

UNITED NATIONS Association, Canterbury Branch

CC 38918

190 Worcester Street Christchurch, 8011.


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Contact Canterbury Branch:


Branch Officers (after 2015 AGM)

President: Lynette Hardie-Wills - [email protected]

Vice-President : Margaret Arnold - [email protected]

Secretary: Vacant

Treasurer: Janet McGiven -


Mathew Ayton

Gil Barker

Claire Cowles
Janet McGiven
Kate Dewes
Graham French
Lynnette Ellis
David Pine 




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