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December is the time when we re-evaluate our choices and make plans to improve ourselves for the new year. The new year feels like a fresh start and is a great opportunity to quit bad habits and start living a healthier, more compassionate, environmentally friendly way of life. The best way to achieve all these is to go vegetarian or vegan.

Download our free booklet now!

New Year, New You

The NZ Vegetarian Society is a registered charity and has been supporting vegetarians/vegans and those wanting to become vegetarian throughout New Zealand for seventy-five years. We are governed by an Executive Committee of volunteers. We run the Vegetarian Approved programme and our newly launched, Vegan Certified programme.

The National Office is currently in need of a Trademark, Marketing and Communications Manager as well as an Office Assistant.

For more information, go to 

In a New Zealand first, a Vegan Certification – launched today, fittingly on World Vegan Day.Vegan Certified NZVS

The easily recognised and highly credible Vegan Certified symbol will be helpful to vegans and vegetarians, people who are dairy-free and for the many people who are looking to cut back on animal products.

The NZ Vegetarian Society, who is running the programme in collaboration with the Vegan Society of Aotearoa New Zealand, is confident the scheme is going to be in huge demand and of interest to both businesses and consumers.

“The current groundswell of interest in veganism and the ever-increasing demand for vegan food and products made this a good time to launch such a programme. The new certification symbol will make simple work of finding suitable products at a time when ingredients are still very complicated and sometimes incomprehensible,” says Julia Clements, NZ Vegetarian Society President.

The certification scheme is the only one of its kind in New Zealand and has taken two years to develop. A stringent and independent audit of every ingredient in a product takes place for each applicant.

“Animal-based items such as cochineal, rennet, gelatine, bone char, chicken feathers, human hair and other oddities are often not easy to detect on product labels, but are present in a surprising number of food and ingredients, so certification is important to know what you’re really buying,” says Stephanie Lane, Certification Manager of the NZ Vegetarian Society.

The NZ Vegetarian Society has been administering the UK Vegetarian Society owned ‘Vegetarian Society Approved’ programme in New Zealand for many years, and will continue to run it alongside their new Vegan Certification NZVS programme.

“There are a dozen or so companies with products already certified, and many applicants waiting, even before public announcement of the scheme. The amount of interest in the Vegan Certification has been extraordinary prior to launching it. Though perhaps it’s not surprising given veganism is currently growing at an unprecedented rate,” says Stephanie Lane.

“It’s another positive step forward for the growing group of New Zealanders who want to protect animal rights, the environment and their own health by reducing their use of animal-based products. It’s also great news for businesses wanting to attract this ever-growing consumer base, and wanting to show their products really are 100% vegan.”

The first New Zealand restaurant to be certified is Hectors restaurant at Heritage Auckland. “We are delighted Hectors restaurant has been Vegan Certified by the NZ Vegetarian Society. We know how thorough their process is, so it’s a huge honour to have been recognised in this way,” says Gerrard O’Keefe, Executive Chef, Heritage Auckland.

Amanda Sorrenson, National Coordinator of the Vegan Society of Aotearoa New Zealand, says, “We are very excited to be collaborating with the NZ Vegetarian Society on this first of a kind certification scheme for vegan products available in NZ. It’s great to be working with businesses too, to help increase vegan options and grow veganism in New Zealand.”

The winner of the 2018 Think Kind Student Competition, People’s Choice Award is Olivia Doughty from Kaikoura.
Congratulations Olivia!
Olivia moved to Kaikoura and noticed that many people were disturbing seals and other wildlife. Found out what this 11-year-old did to help these animals. Truly inspirational. 
Olivia has won $1,000 for her school ( Kaikoura Suburban School) – courtesy of Linda McCartney Foods and some awesome treats for herself.

Thank you for all of our sponsors for making this competition possible. Heritage Auckland HotelGoodnessMe – We Love Good Food Hell Pizza Good Buzz Kombucha Proper Crisps Revive Cafe & Cookbooks New Way (Richmond Foods), Plug in Pest Free New Zealand

Launching on World Vegan Day…

Listen to Stephanie Lane,our certification manager, talking to Jesse Mulligan about it on Radio NZ.

We have received so many awesome projects for the 2018 Think Kind student competition. We are absolutely amazed by all the passionate and creative young people in Aotearoa who are making a difference for the animals.
We’ve picked our top 10, now it’s your turn to vote for your favourite project.
The winning school gets the $1000 cash prize!
(Sponsored by Linda McCartney Foods NZ)


The NZ Vegan Society of Aotearoa has launched an exciting vegan pie competition. For more details go to their website.


Congrats to Tonga from St Josephs!

You can read her essay on

Thank you for Goodness Me for providing the prize for our spot prize winners.

Only a few days left to enter. Don’t miss out, enter now!

This is one of the spot prize winner entries of our 2018 Think Kind Student Competition.
Congratulations to Hannah from Ponsonby primary school.
Her prize is a big box of Goodness Me fruit nuggets – sponsored by GoodnessMe – We Love Good Food
We are so looking forward to see all the entries when the competition closes. There is still time to enter!Temp_Spot_Prize_Winner

Here’s a colouring page by vegan artist Lynda Bell, that will keep the kid’s entertained all holidays, and result in a beautiful piece of wall art when they’re done.

Use of this artwork has been generously provided courtesy of the amazing vegan artist, Lynda Bell.

Check out her new colouring book here.

And when the kids have finished their artwork, check out our THINK KIND competition. School holidays is the perfect time to create their project. Every entrant gets a prize!

Print Page (Choose landscape)

Lynda Bell, vegan artist, colouring page - Love all Creatures

Lynda says: “My artistic motivations come from my love for animals and my passion for animal rights, mixed in with my spontaneous and somewhat wild imagination, my adoration of stories and fairytales and my belief in joy and magic. My artwork caters to people of any age. I like to capture and inspire that sense of wonder and enchantment that everybody began their life with and that everyone can find again inside.”