The 2022 New Zealand Skeptics Conference, back in person for the first time since 2019!

We’d love to see you at this year’s conference, where we’re planning a jam-packed weekend of talks, entertainment and socialising. Join us and hang out with like-minded people.


On the weekend of the 25th to 27th of November. Our weekend starts with an evening of puzzles, comedy and fun at a local pub. Then there’s an entire weekend of skeptical talks from knowledgeable, engaging speakers – running from 9am to 5pm on Saturday, and 9am to 4pm on Sunday. And, if you’re not tired after the first day of talks, there will be an opportunity to join other skeptics for an informal meal at a local restaurant on the Saturday the evening.


Our venue for the weekend is the Tararua Tramping Club in central Wellington, just off Kent and Cambridge Terraces. Closer to the event we’ll also announce where our Friday evening entertainment and Saturday evening dinner will be held.


We’ve lined up some great speakers to talk to us about a wide range of interesting skeptical topics. Don’t worry, it won’t all be about COVID conspiracies! Our weekend will be both broad and deep in its coverage of skeptical themes. Keep checking this list as we confirm more speakers and add them over the next few weeks.

  • Siouxsie Wiles

    Associate Professor Siouxsie Wiles is a microbiologist and science communicator based in Auckland, New Zealand. Her specialist areas are infectious diseases and bioluminescence.

  • Chris French

    Professor Chris French is a psychologist who specialises in the psychology of paranormal beliefs.

  • TJ Mitchell & Judy Melinek

    Dr Judy Melinek is a forensic pathologist, and a co-author, along with her husband TJ Mitchell, of three books.

  • Alexander Maxwell

    Associate Professor Alexander Maxwell teaches history at Victoria University of Wellington, and specialises in the study of nationalism and cultural history in Eastern Europe.

  • Richard Arnold

    Professor Richard Arnold is a professor of Statistics and Data Science at Victoria University of Wellington. He has an interest in the public understanding of science, particularly where misunderstandings arise because of the use of statistics.

  • Henare Parata

    Henare is a self-employed educator of Māori culture; language, protocol, history, and performing arts. He is passionate about improving critical thinking and a scientific/evidence-based understanding of the world, especially amongst Māori.

  • Billie Bradford

    Dr Billie Bradford is a midwife and international expert in foetal movements. She is a Director of the Board of the Perinatal Society of Australia, and New Zealand and Senior Research Officer at the National Health and Medical Council Centre of Research Excellence in Stillbirth in Queensland.

  • Podcast logo

    YEAH… NAH!

    A live recording of the official podcast of the New Zealand Skeptics – with podcast hosts Bronwyn Rideout, Mark Honeychurch and Craig Shearer.

  • Rob Harrison

    Rob Harrison has been practising as a barrister in the area of criminal law since 1989 and was the counsel for Peter Ellis during his original trial and in the recently successful Supreme Court appeal that was brought forth on behalf of the late Peter Ellis.

  • Samuel Williams

    Samuel Williams is the Deputy Director of Psychology with the New Zealand Defence Force. He comes from a soft-science and enjoys trying to understand the fallible aspects of humanity that get in the way of skepticism and critical thinking. Today he shares some evidence based and some practical approaches to critical thinking and persuasion.

  • Mark Dunick

    Mark Dunick has recently completed a PhD in New Zealand history, and is now looking for a job. Before he began his university studies, he was involved in a range of useful community organisations including a few who researched local far right groups. He is one of the contributors to the forthcoming book Histories of […]


08:30Doors openDoors open
09:00 – 10:00How statisticians think by Richard ArnoldPutting the claims to the test by Chris French
10:00 – 10:30Morning teaMorning tea
10:30 – 11:30A short history of the radical right in Aotearoa New Zealand by Mark DunickEllis in Wonderland by Rob Harrison
11:30 – 12:30Understanding Jihad – A skeptic’s introduction by Alexander MaxwellTikanga Maori vs Contemporary Values and Ethics by Henare Parata
12:30 – 13:30LunchLunch/AGM
13:30 – 14:30Skills for Critical Thinking by Samuel WilliamsLife inside: The myths and mysteries around fetal movement as an indicator of fetal wellbeing by Billie Bradford
14:30 – 15:00Afternoon teaAfternoon tea
15:00 – 16:00My journey into skepticism by Siouxsie WilesA live recording of the Yeah… Nah! Podcast
16:00 – 17:00The Working Stiffs: Forensics and Fiction by TJ Mitchell & Judy Melinek

How Much?

It’s a bargain! For the low price of $109 for an entire weekend of talks, or $60 for a single day – plus a Friday evening of fun and entertainment – this is about as far from a scam as you can get!