In New Zealand the main FNZI club meeting is a monthly meeting.
When and where it is held is at the discretion of the local club. Typically, this meeting lasts for two hours with refreshments at some stage during the meeting time. Even though the meetings are relatively formal our motto is that club life is about Friendship, Fellowship and Fun.
Clubs are autonomous. This means that the day and time on which each club meets is determined by the club itself. Most clubs in New Zealand meet in the mornings, but the meeting days include every day of the week, but not the weekends. The most common meeting time is from 10.00 am. Also see our Club lists per district in the section "Find our Clubs".
A typical meeting programme would include:
Greetings, local club business, notices of planned mid-month activities, a short talk or interview, a main speaker. Since each club is autonomous, the way meetings are conducted varies. Some are quite formal, others are informal. The order in which meeting items are conducted also varies – some meetings start with refreshments, others break half way through for a cup of tea.
From the beginning of our movement, members were encouraged – even expected – to share their own life experiences. So typically, the short talk or interview would focus on a club member. The main speaker, in contrast, would be someone of some repute from the wider community who had a stand-out story to tell. They will often bring a digital screen presentation. But at other times, a speaker may be dispensed with and a performer of some kind will be invited to give a short programme of entertainment and talk about the performance in an intimate way.
Note, however, that FNZI is not a forum for commercial presentations and is non-political and non-denominational.
The extent to which club members are responsible for arrangements also varies, with some clubs prepared to pay for catering. Almost all clubs use a hired venue for their meetings.
Many clubs in New Zealand have additional things that their members can do during the month between main meetings. There are no rules governing whether a club has extra activities or not. But many members enjoy the opportunity to do something more relaxed between the formal meetings.
Whether members participate in these additional activities or not is entirely over to them. Some members may never join in the ‘in-between’ activities, whereas others go to as many as they can.
Some clubs organise quite extensive trips away – even overseas for a few weeks at a time. Others may have a half-day trip into the country or to some place of special interest. There are book readings groups, walking groups, coffee shop groups, card-playing groups. Some are very regular, but quite small. There may be a theatre group or a cinema outing.
The sky is the limit. Because clubs are autonomous, there is no-one to deny them an outing or activity and it is entirely at the whim of the members and any creative person with an idea.
How far clubs go with these extra activities depends on the organisational skills of those prepared to lead the activity, because as is quite evident, some of these more extensive activities require a lot of organising and could require a considerable outlay by members.
As would be expected with many human activities, a prominent feature of Club activities is the sharing of food and drink. The regular monthly meeting for most Clubs in New Zealand has an allocated time for tea, coffee and nibbles. But sometimes, the members will meet for a meal. It is common for clubs to have a meal to celebrate Christmas, and often a mid-winter meal as well. Most Clubs also have a special meeting each year to celebrate the Club's birthday, i.e. the month that it was founded.
Bearing in mind that one of the primary aims of FNZI is to enjoy social stimulation and a good time together, many clubs lay strong emphasis on organising events and activities.
Many clubs, but not all, produce their own in-house newsletters. These will typically contain important information about the leadership of the club and details of up-coming functions, trips and particular contact people. The newsletters may also contain a short report and photographs of mid-month activities, especially when they involve a trip away or a visit to a special place. It is common for clubs to share their newsletters with each other, especially within regions.
This particular website is the channel through which Friendship New Zealand Incorporated, the national support centre, shares its information with clubs and the wider community. You can use this website to obtain specific information or find answers to your particular questions. It is constantly monitored, so that if you wish to send a message or make an application to attend a club as a guest, or even better to actually join a club by using the facilities on this website, we can assure you of our active interest in your queries and of a prompt reply.
To send a message or ask a question in general you can contact the Centre Administrator via the Contact Us menu.