The 2023 New Zealand Skeptics Conference.

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, at the southern most skeptics conference in the world!


On the weekend of the 24th to 26th of November.

Friday night, join us for a fun social gathering at Magic Moments – 53 Stuart Street, Dunedin. Doors open 5pm, our event starts 7pm, Quiz starts 7:30pm. Dinner and beverages are available at the venue, you can check out the menu here: http://magicmomentsnz.co.nz. 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 a meal at a local on the Saturday evening.


Our venue for the weekend is the Toitū, Otago Settlers Museum in central Dunedin. A gala dinner will be held on Saturday night at St Margaret’s College. Friday night, join us for a fun social gathering at Magic Moments – 53 Stuart Street, Dunedin, full details above.


We’ve lined up some great speakers to talk to us about a wide range of interesting skeptical topics. 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.

  • Anke Richter

    Anke Richter was born and raised in Germany and immigrated to Aotearoa New Zealand in 2003. She works as a foreign correspondent, columnist and freelance reporter for international and NZ publications like North & South, The Spinoff, NZ Geographic, Canvas and NZ Listener. Her investigation about the disastrous aftermath of Centrepoint was nominated for the…

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  • Melanie Trecek-King

    Melanie Trecek-King is the creator of Thinking Is Power, an online resource that provides engaging and accessible critical thinking content. Trecek-King is an Associate Professor of Biology at Massasoit Community College, where she teaches a general-education science course designed to equip students with empowering critical thinking, information literacy, and science literacy skills. An active speaker…

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  • Greg Dawes

    Greg Dawes gained his first graduate degree at the Pontifical Biblical Institute Rome (1988) before completing PhDs in Biblical Studies (1995) and Philosophy (2007). His earlier work examined the challenges to belief that arose from the historical study of Christian origins. This led him to the study of the relations between science and religion and,…

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  • Susan Gerbic

    Affectionately called the Wikipediatrician, Susan Gerbic is the founder of Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia (GSoW), Monterey County Skeptics and is a self-proclaimed skeptical junkie. A Skeptical Inquirer contributor Gerbic is a fellow of CSI and winner of the James Randi Foundation award for 2017. In 2018, Susan founded and manages About Time a non-profit organization…

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  • Elise Provis

    Elise is a New Zealand-born writer with a passion for science and storytelling. Born in the small town of Tuatapere, Elise then spent her formative years in Muscat, Oman, before returning to her homeland and settling in Invercargill in her teens. After completing a BA in English, and driven by a curiosity and a deep…

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  • Frank Kueppers

    Frank Kueppers is a urology cancer surgeon and director of CURT (Canterbury Urology Research Trust) in Otautahi/Christchurch who immigrated to Aotearoa 20 years ago after a locum on Tokelau in the South Pacific. Before the End-of-Life referendum passed in 2019, he was advocating for the right to a dignified death in the media and on…

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  • Lynley Hood

    Lynley Hood has an MSc in Physiology and a LittD from the University of Otago. Her fourth book “A City Possessed” won the History Award, the Readers Choice Award and the Montana Medal for Non-Fiction at the 2002 NZ Book Awards

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  • Zafir Ivanov

    Zafir has spent most of his life trying to understand belief formation and revision. Recently, he has focused on exploring why many people seem resistant to even the most compelling counterevidence. This pursuit has led Zafir to become familiar with research literature, experiment with difficult conversations, and conduct amateur ethnography. Through his work, Zafir seeks…

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  • David Hood

    David Hood has been involved with the use of open data in the public sphere, and in the last few years has been particularly involved in interpreting open data around covid.

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  • Keli van Gerwen

    Keli is a midwife in Dunedin. At aged 18 she was actively recruited into the ‘Hare Krishnas’ where she lived with other women as a celibate nun, or ‘bramacherini’ and underwent a profound change in world view. At 21 Keli had an arranged marriage with one of the ‘bramachari’ monks and worked and lived wholly…

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  • Mystery Guest…

    A real life acupuncturist will present his ideas on how acupuncture works, what he thinks it works for and what it doesn’t and the similarities with more mainstream medical knowledge, its history, and how modern and traditional techniques differ. We expect that this talk will generate some robust discussion and questions around the nature of…

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09:00 – 09:55Susan Gerbic09:00 – 09:55Zafir Ivanov
09:55 – 10:50Lynley Hood09:55 – 10:50Frank Kueppers
10:50 – 11:05Morning tea10:50 – 11:05Morning tea
11:05 – 12:00Melanie Trecek-King11:05 – 12:00David Hood
12:00 – 13:00Lunch12:00 – 13:00Lunch/AGM
13:00 – 13:55Anke Richter13:00 – 13:55Keli van Gerwen
13:55 – 14:50Elise Vermazeren-Provis13:55 – 14:55Yeah… Nah! Live Podcast Recording
14:50 – 15:20Afternoon tea14:55 – 15:10Afternoon tea
15:20 – 16:15Greg Dawes15:10 – 15:50Panel discussion – with Susan, Melanie, and others
16:15 – 16:55Mystery guest speaker from outside the mainstream15:50 – 16:00Conference close
19:00Gala Dinner

How Much?

It’s a bargain! For the low price of $170 (Members and unwaged people get further discount) for an entire weekend of talks, or $100 for a single day – plus a Friday evening of fun and entertainment – this is about as far from a scam as you can get!

Gala Dinner Saturday at St Margaret’s College night only $70

Note: closer to the event the ticket price will increase – get in quick snap up this special offer!

Accommodation can also be arranged through St Margaret’s College – please fill in this form to book: https://stmargarets.college/conference/accommodation/request/ 

$110 per night (single including breakfast)


A whole weekend of skepticism

  • Friday evening entertainment
  • A weekend of fascinating skeptical speakers
  • Catered morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea



Members Weekend

A whole weekend of skepticism

  • Friday evening entertainment
  • A weekend of fascinating skeptical speakers
  • Catered morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea


Unwaged Members

Saturday Dinner

Gala Dinner and entertainment

  • An evening of entertainment
  • Buffet Dinner


One day of skeptical talks

  • Friday evening entertainment
  • One day of engaging speakers
  • Catered morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea


One day of skeptical talks

  • Friday evening entertainment
  • A day of thought provoking speakers
  • Catered morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea