Friendship New Zealand Incorporated
is a social organisation where
Friendship, Fellowship & Fun
have real meaning

Who We Are

Friendship New Zealand Inc. is a welcoming social organisation for people living in New Zealand who are retired, semi-retired or soon-to-retire. It aims to stimulate thought, interest and participation in activities at a time of life when it is easy to lose interest and engagement. Members typically come from business and professional walks of life, but not exclusively. We encourage people who are not yet retired to consider joining. There are no age restrictions. If you feel at home with us we welcome you to stay with us. We have many very active members in their 80s and 90s. As long as you feel you want to be engaged with us, we will keep a place for you.

If you are partly or wholly retired from professional or business life, man or woman, FNZI may be a great option for you. We'd love you to join us.

Frequently asked questions...

Do you have to be a Professional or Business person to join?

How old do you have to be to join our Clubs?

Our organisation evolved out of the international Probus organisation. At the time that Probus was started, members were meant to be retired. Indeed, Probus was started to help men who had retired from work and missed the social stimulation of meeting others at work. At the present day retirement ages and rules have changed the world over, and in our organisation retirement is no longer the primary reason for membership. Also, whereas retired people once seemed to have time on their hands and little to do, retirement has changed dramatically. Many club memberships have aged significantly with the passing of the years, so are particularly welcoming to younger people. Many clubs in New Zealand have few members in their early 60s, but things are about to change as FNZI is looking seriously at how to bring in more younger members.

Do you have to be retired to join our Clubs?

No, it is not a requirement that you must have retired to be a member. However, since almost all of our clubs in New Zealand have their main meeting in the daytime (and most in the mornings) it may be difficult for a person still working to get to the meeting. If you are in this position, please let someone in our organisation know, because we are looking at the possibility of starting some later afternoon or evening groups so that people not yet retired can attend.

Do you pay to belong to an FNZI Club?

Because the members of our clubs are mainly retired, every effort is made to keep the membership subscription as low as possible. What the membership fee is set at, is the responsibility of the local FNZI club, so there is fairly wide variation. This is a question you would need to ask a local Club representative, if you are interested in joining. In general, the fee is charged to only cover the costs of room hire and morning tea, so is quite low.


Our History

How Friendship New Zealand Incorporated (FNZI) transitioned from the Probus organisation

Probus clubs were originally formed in the UK and became one of Rotary’s most successful community service projects throughout the English speaking world. The clubs were formed solely to provide fellowship, friendship and fun for their members.

The movement came to the South Pacific when the first club was formed on the Kapiti Coast in 1974 and soon after that clubs were formed in Australia.

These clubs were originally serviced and supported by Rotary Down Under, but in 1981 the Probus Centre South Pacific was set up to perform this service. PCSP was formed into an Incorporated Society in 1986 and continued until 2011 when it changed to Probus South Pacific Limited, a company limited by guarantee.

PSPL as it became known assumed powers over Probus clubs requiring them to pay whatever affiliation fees they demanded, that they alter their Constitutions for PSPL’s benefit and developed a five-year plan of commercial activities which it expected to be funded by capitation contributions from the then 180,000 club members in Australia and New Zealand. It embarked on business activities and also made demands on clubs that did not sit well with New Zealand members.

In 2014 things came to a head and an independent New Zealand service and support centre Probus New Zealand Incorporated was established and successfully recruited well over 60% of New Zealand clubs.

However, in due course PSPL exerted its rights to the Probus name that the organisation had trademarked in November 1985 and demanded that clubs not authorised by them cease using the Probus name by the end of October 2016.

Probus New Zealand Incorporated by Court order had a name change in 2015 and in 2016 became Friendship New Zealand Incorporated (FNZI). Affiliated clubs followed with changes of name of their own choice, many of them retaining “Friendship” as part of it. New regalia and logo were introduced in 2017 and a fresh Constitution drafted. The new Constitution was adopted by FNZI member clubs at the FNZI 2017 Annual General Meeting.

Whatever their name FNZI Friendship clubs retain the original ethos of FRIENDSHIP FELLOWSHIP AND FUN and continue to operate independently and successfully, serviced and supported by Friendship New Zealand Incorporated.


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