Public Seminar: Why do bad things happen to good people?

All welcome.

WhenTuesday 7 May 2024, 7:00 pm
St Joseph’s Church
152 Brougham Street
Paul Morris (Jewish)
Paul is Emeritus Professor of Religious Studies at Victoria University / Te Herenga Waka. He is the author of the National Statement on Religious Diversity. He is a member of the Wellington Jewish Community Centre.
Neil Vaney (Christian)
Neil is a Catholic priest of the Marist order, ordained in 1969. He has been a university chaplain, lecturer, writer and spiritual director. His doctorate was in environmental ethics and the theology of nature.
Tahir Nawaz (Muslim)
Tahir is a senior analyst of Muslim affairs. He has been involved in community service as the President of the International Muslim Associations of New Zealand (IMAN), and he is the Chairperson of Deen Welfare Trust, which provides social services to migrant communities.
ChairJenny Dawson
Jenny is an Anglican priest who has served in various pastoral roles in the Waipu and Wellington dioceses. Her doctoral thesis was about the future of the church as community in this country. She is an Ignatian spiritual director.

Why do bad things happen to good people?

This question, and the answers given in our religious traditions, have framed what is often referred to the problem of evil, or theodicy, and of the meaning of justice. These religious and spiritual responses have generated profound reflections concerning the uncertainties of religious experience and human existence.

In modern times, for some, the answer to this question has been the gateway out of religious belief, for others it has served to reinforce belief and religious commitment. It remains one of the significant questions facing us as human beings.

Tickets are mandatory to attend. Get your (free or koha) ticket at:

You can download a poster for this event – we’d appreciate you posting it in your church, mosque, or synagogue.

Image credit: Imjustwalkin on Flickr CC BY-NC-SA

Reflecting on our faith and belonging post Christchurch

In this short interfaith roundtable, Professor Stephen Dobson (Dean, Faculty of Education, Victoria University of Wellington), Hon Luamanavao Dame Winnie Laban (Assistant Vice Chancellor Pasifika, Victoria University of Wellington), Prof Mohamad Abdalla (Director, Centre for Islamic Thought and Education, University of South Australia), and Tahir Nawaz (President of the International Muslim Association of New Zealand, and member of the Wellington Abrahamic Council) discuss wellbeing, and how to be well in multiple cultures.

We need to be speaking about the interconnectedness of civilisations as opposed to the clash of civilisations.

Prof Mohamad Abdalla

Thank You NZ from the Muslim Community

Thank you, New Zealand

I want the world to know the appreciation, love, and gratitude we have for New Zealand.

Thank you for the way you handled the unthinkable catastrophe that struck this nation on Friday 15 March 2019.

No nation is immune to such events but we are remembered for how we handle them. Thank you for showing the world how to deal with disasters of this magnitude.

Thank you to the people of this blessed nation. It was never easy but you showered the victims with care.

Thank you to the Government, with all its agencies, units and branches. Thank you to the Prime Minister for her leadership as we grieved and mourned. Her honest and personal approach, along with her swift actions, showered love and compassion on the nation.

Thank you to the law enforcement agencies, with all its units. Thank you to our health professionals. Thank you to the NGOs, political parties, community leaders, individuals, churches, synagogues, temples and people of other faiths, as well as the general public.

The intention was to strike at our core values, our social, political and religious fabric, our identity as a nation and our dignity as New Zealanders. Our enemy intended to weaken us. Instead, New Zealand emerged stronger, more united, and harmonious.

We must learn positive lessons from this tragedy and redouble our efforts to protect our future. We must enhance our education system. We must focus on our youth.

Above all, we must strengthen our ethnic relations so that we can build a better future for our nation, our children, and so that no evil action can divide us.

Tahir Nawaz, Muslim leader
President, International Muslim Association of New Zealand
Member, Wellington Abrahamic Council

Our holy day of the week

Update:  Listen audio from the talks (see below)…

Public Meeting Announcement

Our holy day of the week in the three Abrahamic traditions

Temple Sinai
147 Ghuznee St
Wednesday 24 October 2018, 7pm

All Welcome.


Jewish Tadhg Cleary
Christian Rev Jenny Dawson
Muslim Tahir Nawaz

Audio from the event –

Tadhg Cleary (Jewish):


Rev Jenny Dawson (Christian):


Tahir Nawaz (Muslim):


Where does our holy day of the week come from?
What do we do that is different from other days of the week on our holy day?
What happens in the ritual on our Holy day of the week?
What is the meaning of the ritual we participate in on our holy day?
Is our holy Day celebrated differently in different communities and places
Has the celebration of our holy day changed over time?

Our three speakers will each talk about the Holy day of the week in their own Abrahamic tradition, then answer questions in a group discussion.

Light refreshments will be served.

Come to the event, learn and contribute to the conversation.

You can help us publicise this event by downloading, printing, and distributing our poster.

For more information, please contact Nick Polaschek
( or 020 4797956).

The care of our Earth

Public Meeting Announcement

The care of our Earth –
Three faith perspectives

Salvation Army Citadel, 92 Vivian St
Wednesday 8 March, 7pm

All Welcome.

[Update: you can listen to an audio recording below]


Jewish Dr Paul Blaschke, Ecologist, Otago University
Christian Catherine Gibbs, The Catholic Institute
Muslim Tahir Nawaz, President, International Muslim Association of NZ

The continuing degradation of the natural environment in which we live as human beings is a major issue in our world today.

What do the Abrahamic faith traditions affirm about our responsibility as human beings to care for the earth that our Creator has given us to live in?

Has the contemporary environmental crisis changed or developed the understandings within our faith traditions?

Do our faith traditions have a distinctive contribution to make to discussion of this issue in our contemporary secular western world?

Our three speakers will address the audience, after which we will hold a group discussion.  Light refreshements will be served.

Come to the event, and contribute to the conversation.

You can help us publicise this event by downloading, printing, and distributing our poster.
For more information, please contact Dave Moskovitz.

Update: You can either listen to or download the audio from this event.