About Us

The New Zealand Healthcare Chaplains' Association is a national body that serves the interests of chaplains in both public and private healthcare settings in New Zealand. Voluntary chaplaincy assistants may also be members when they hold contracts with a healthcare chaplaincy, and the national body, the InterChurch Council for Hospital Chaplaincy.

The Association was formed in 1966 as the New Zealand Hospital Chaplains' Association. In 2000, recognising that some chaplains were working in healthcare settings other than hospitals, the Association changed its name to the New Zealand Healthcare Chaplains' Association.

The Association serves its members by providing communication of chaplaincy news, promoting professional development, and pursuing issues important to chaplains and their work.

A newsletter is distributed quarterly. The C-Mail (Chaplains' Mail) gives an update on chaplaincy developments, and includes educational articles, book reviews, and abstracts.

Members of the association can access the association's on-line subscription to two professional journals; Journal of Pastoral Care and Counselling and Health and Social Care Chaplaincy.

Every two years the Association organises a five day residential Conference. The Conference has a theme supported by one or more key-speakers. The theme is suggested by the current needs of chaplaincy and local resources. The Conference is usually well-attended and becomes an occasion for fellowship. Ecumenical worship is organised for each day. A highlight of the Conference is the Conference Dinner which is accompanied by entertainment. Part of the Conference is taken up by the General Meeting of the Association. The meeting elects the Executive Committee which comprises a President, a Secretary, and four other members. Five people are elected to form the Accreditation subcommittee, and an auditor is appointed.

The Executive meets in the two year period between Conferences and directs the affairs of the Association. Matters requiring decision by the General Meeting of members are brought to Conference. The Executive meets about two or three times a year and is represented on the Trust Board of the InterChurch Council for Hospital Chaplaincy (ICHC).  The President or other executive member may represent the Association at events of national significance to chaplaincy.

The Association has its own Constitution and Code of Ethics (last amended 2014), and is developing Standards of Practice.starnet/data/nzhca/media/NZHCA_CONSTITUTION_2008_Amended_2014.pdf 

There are three types of membership.

Full members are those whose applications have been approved by the Executive and have paid a full subscription.

Associate members are those whose applications have been approved by the Executive and have paid a lesser subscription. Associate members do not have the right to vote or hold office. Associate members may be past full members who wish to keep in touch with the Association but are no longer eligible for full membership, or those who wish to be merely informed of the work of the Association.

Honorary members are those chaplains or former chaplains whom the Association wish to recognise and have been elected to honorary membership by a General Meeting. Honorary members do not have the right to vote or hold office and do not pay any subscription.