Brain Day At Auckland University March 17 2012

We had a stand at the recent Brain Day, at the Auckland University the weekend of 17th March. Some of us Support group facilitators manned the small table we had at the Community stand.

Brain Day is an excellent day. Therr are always heaps of people, and so many of them showed a real interest in learning what the Hearing Voices Network were all about. All of the Hearing Voices Network team were amazed at how many fascinating indepth conversation were held with members of the public about hearing voices.

There are all perspectives, neural brain scientists, family of those that heard voices, those who have spiritual and clairvoyant experiences, and those that hear voices but " don't usually tell anyone."

It made us think, that we need to have more public awareness events such as this, and also showed how many of the public are open to all different interpretations of the hearing of voices other than the illness model we become labelled with.

All in all a great day, and I look forward to it again next year.

We would welcome the opportunity to attend other similar public events .




Ron Coleman inspires Palmerston North

Ron hit town on Wednesday night June 7 2011 fresh from the vibrant world of  Auckland.



His first task was to address a public meeting at Journeys To Wellbeing on the topic of talking with voices and recovery. He volunteered to do this on behalf of the Hearing Voices Network Aotearoa New Zealand.


The audience was a mixture of people who hear voices, family members and some non government organisations staff as well as members of the public.


The meeting was excellent in that it was the first time many participants had heard about recovery for voice hearers.  The connection with early life trauma and the high percentage among the general population and famous historical figures, of voice hearers was also welcome learning for those present at the meeting.


Thursday, an unwell Ron who was fighting of an unpleasant virus, ran a symposium for approximately 60 people some of whom, travelled from neighbouring regions.  His skill of delivering educational material with humour, relaxed style, welcome questioning and hard hitting messages is impressive to watch.


Ron left no doubt in people’s minds that he was not impressed with many services for voice hearers.  He talked about maintenance, and tranquilising, without a recovery focus.   The World Health Organisation survey on recovery for western societies at 33% versus some third world statistics of 80% was news to many.  As usual the twin studies were raised by clinical staff and as usual Ron gave further information that quashed common belief and demonstrated the myth of the so called research.


During the course of the day Ron worked with a volunteer voice hearer and demonstrated how easy it is to connect with a voice and how if asked respectfully, etc a voice would temporarily,  ‘go away’, in order for a person to have a dialogue with Ron for the purpose of increased insight for the voice hearer.  These sessions were riveting


and educational.  A trainee clinician attending the session was inspired to learn more and introduce Ron’s techniques into her practice.  A view held by many in the audience.  Great!


Another topic covered during the day was the gift among some indiginous peoples of being able to hear the voices of tupuna or spirit.  A topic not generally talked about – another new piece of learning for many attendees.


The day ended with an audience wiser for the experience and many comments regarding enthusiasm to attend any future in depth training that Ron might be available to do for clinical and community staff as well as family members. The four day workshop Ron is doing in many countries – including Australia would be welcomed in the mid central region by many of us.


Thank you Ron Coleman for your short visit to our country.


Teresa Keedwell






Hearing Voices & Other Realities Support Groups

Peer Support Groups.

For people who hear voices or see visions and other unusual sensory perceptions



Joan of ARC


Mahatma Ghandi

Anthony Hopkings

Isaac Newton

(See the end of the page for the Answer.)





People with personal experience of hearing voices, seeing visions or having other unusual sensory experiences.


“I used to think that I was the only person this is happening to. The group helped me realise that there are others out there with similar experiences. I am not alone.”





  • A safe and confidential space to meet and talk with other people with similar experiences.
  • Relaxed and flexible.
  • Open to different ideas about voices and visions.
  • Open to positive experiences, as well as distressing and difficult ones.
  • We know that there is more to you than your voices or visions. In the group, you can talk about whatever’s important to you.
  • Sharing ways people live with the experiences and research on the subject.
  • Groups are  where possible facilitated by people who have experience of voices and / or visions, or aim to be.

In New Zealand we are an Independent Society, and a Registered Charity. We do not refer to mental health services. We respect confidentiality and request all that attend do so as well.





Mt Albert , Auckland,


103 Richardson Road, Mt Albert Auckland

Every second Wednesday, 7.00pm to 8.30pm

Contact Adrienne on email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. tel 0272650266

 Next dates are 25 Sept, 9, 23 October, 6,20 November 2019



Papatoetoe, Auckland

Whariki Whaiora and Family / Whanau Service

Tuesdays 12.30pm and goes for 8 weeks every term.

Starts again in October 2019. You must register for this group.

54 Carruth Road


 Contact Troy on 09 279 8233



STATE OF MIND hearing voices group

Centre 401 Trust

Thursdays 3.30pm to 4.30pm

ctc: Donna or Duane or Jen

TEL : 8380199




 Realities is a group supporting people who experience, or who have experienced, living in a different reality to others.

 It provides a safe place to discuss realities, without judgement.

Your reality may include altered sensory experience- (“voices” (audial), visual, smell, taste, touch).  It may include spiritual experience and heightened awareness.  It may be that you have a different take on life than others.  There may be other ways you interpret reality differently

The meetings often allocate time for a nominated group member to describe their experience.They are held on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month at:

James Smiths Building, Cnr Cuba/ Manners Street. 1st Floor ( upstairs)- Ace HQ


 We would appreciate a $2 contribution to cover room hire.

 Call Dennis at: 0220727147 if you have any questions.




 Realities is a group supporting people who experience, or who have experienced, living in a different reality to others.

 It provides a safe place to discuss realities, without judgement.


Your reality may include altered sensory experience- (“voices” (audial), visual, smell, taste, touch).  It may include spiritual experience and heightened awareness.  It may be that you have a different take on life than others.  There may be other ways you interpret reality differently

Oasis Network, 14 Laings Road, Lower Hutt, 

Suite 208, second floor Hutt City Dental Center

call Dennis 0220727147 or Angie at Oasis  on (04) 566 1601



 To get next date, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.





Our hearing voices support groups are usually run by volunteers. If there isn't one currently in your area, you might want to consider starting one? If you are interested in doing so, please email us for some advice on how to proceed: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


We also have a facebook group where you can join in and chat: https://www.facebook.com/groups/hearingvoicesnetworkaotearoanz/







Hearing Voices Network Aotearoa NZ Vision

Our Vision Statement for the "HEARING VOICES NETWORK AOTEAROA NZ" is as follows:


People who hear voices are accepted, valued and treated with equal dignity as contributing members of the community.


To follow is a chart to show how we are working towards this at present:



All about the Hearing Voices Network Aotearoa NZ

The Hearing Voices Network Aotearoa NZTe Reo Orooro is an Independent Registered Charity made up of:

  • Voice Hearers
  • Friends and Family
  • Caregivers
  • Mental Health Workers
  • Concerned Citizens

As an incorporated Society we have established rules and aims, and are run by our members voted in committee. Membership is available to anyone who would like to be part of our network. It is a small fee of $20 for waged, and $10 or services for the unwaged. Membership is not compulsory for anyone wishing to attend our events or support groups.


  • We are part of an international organisation co-ordinated by INTERVOICE.  See www.intervoiceonline.org
  • The term "Hearing Voices" also includes, visions, tactile sensations and other sensory experiences.
  • It was inspired by Professor Marius Romme and Sandra Escher, authors of "Making Sense of Voices" and "Accepting Voices" and their work with the Dutch self help group "Foundation Reasonance".

A quote from Marius Romme conveys the purpose behind the setting up of the networks:

Groups need to be established in each country where people can talk about hearing voices…it takes groups of people with the same experience to change attitudes…in America and England at the moment, psychiatrists are conducting themselves as parents. My goal is not to change psychiatry, not to change parents but to offer the hearers of voices an organization through which they can emancipate themselves.”                                                           (Romme 1990)

Hearing Voices Network Aotearoa NZ Inc provides:

  • Information
  • Research
  • Resources
  • Peer Support groups
  • Public awareness events
  • Workshops and trainings 


By sharing the experience of voice hearers that have recovered, we listen to what they say has worked for them on their journeys. Giving credence to the voice of experience. The Hearing Voices Network supports research into non medical alternatives. We let our members decide what works and what doesn’t.

Coming together to share ways in which people can work to help themselves. For some it may be a simple regime of exercise that helps, others nutrition, others changing their point of view of the voices. In our groups we may discuss, meditation, acupuncture, reiki, or any other area of interest.


Many people hear voices and lead normal lives. It is estimated that 2-5% of the population hear voices, yet less that 1% are diagnosed as unwell.

Research by Marius Romme, has shown that many voice hearers have similar content and experiences. It is how people respond to the voices that causes the distress, not the hearing of voices.  We believe that hearing of voices is not an illness but a variation of human experience. There is no scientific test that can be taken to prove schizophrenia. Despite the plethora of information of biological causes to the contrary.

Voice Hearing in bereavement is considered a normal experience. 


We believe that voices have meaning and encourage people to look for the meaning within their voices. Often it is not literal, it may be metaphorical, or symbolic. We may discuss looking at other writings and discuss how people found the meaning in theirs.

Rather than telling people to ignore their voices we encourage exploration into all aspects and experiences of voice hearing within our support groups and in our network.  Discussing religious aspects of their voices and experiences can be a relief. 


People throughout history have always heard voices and had visions. There are examples in all religions and cultures in all countries. Often sharing information of these beliefs can help to normalise experiences. Examples:

  • The Aboriginal Dreamtime visions;
  • Krishna fighting the serpent Kaliya;
  • The Maori God sticks, used to invoke the presence of the Gods during rituals;
  • The false (Ka) door in Ancient Egyptian tombs, to allow the spirits to leave and enter as they wished.
  • Krishna battling kaliya the serpent
  • False (ka) doors in Ancient Egypt for the spirit to leave and enter the tomb through
  • Maori God sticks, used for the various gods to “inhabit” during important rituals. 
  • Kachina of the Zuni bear used by a Shaman 


Many cultures do not discount the experience of voice hearing, visions, etc, but deal with them from within their own basket of beliefs. These can provide important insights when learning how to deal with ones own experiences.

In other cultures voice hearers are not seen as unwell, but special members of the community. Examples shown:

  • Native Americans use sweat lodges to induce visions;
  • Blackfeet shaman, and other shamans, often perform "power dances, drummings", or dress as their power animals, journeying to the otherworlds to find their answers;
  • Christians have their own rituals and ceremonies, histories of prophets and visions within the bible that were rich in symbols, and fights with otherworldly forces;
  • In India, sadhus are treated with great respect, and use meditation and yogic exercises to have better control of their visions.


Within our network we like to encourage and share positive stories and examples of voice hearers. We do this by:

  • Providing Positive Role models such as Saints, Leaders, Philosophers and Artists.

St Teresa of Avila, saw visions of heaven and hell. Padre Pio had a vision of a heavenly being who thrust a lance into his soul causing agony. Winston Churchill, Socrates, Donna Summer, Sara Maitland, all have said that they have heard voices.

  • Bring together voice hearers that are not distressed together with those that are.

Looking at positive examples of voice hearers helps to remove the stigma that voice hearers feel and encourages them to see the experience as a journey rather than a destination.

We are an society run by volunteers, independent from medical services. Our committee is voted in every year at our AGM.

If you would like to see a set of our rules, please contact us and we will send you a copy. 


More Articles ...

  1. Donations and Membership


  • Complementary Therapies

    The Hearing Voices Network Aotearoa NZ, likes to share information on all ways to live with hearing voices. This includes complementary therapies that have been shown to help. Below is some information. While we provide this information, we believe it is ultimately up to an individual to decide what works and what doesn't work for them. Freedom of choice is important for our members.

  • Books

    We like to share about books we have read that we have found insightful or helpful regarding hearing voices. To follow are some reviews of them.

  • Committee and Membership Announcements

    On this page we will post announcements regarding our societies activities, the committee, snippets from our meetings and general information important to our members.

  • Helpful Handouts and Information Sheets

    Here is a collection of pamphlets and handouts by ourselves and from other associated organisations that we think are rather handy to have. So we would like to share them with you here.

  • Creativity and Voices

    People often remark on the link between those that hear voices with "creative energy', many famous artists, musicians, poets and writers have heard or hear voices. In this section we wiould like to share some of this creativity with you. If you have artwork or writing about voices and visions we would love to be able to share it here with others.

  • Hearing Voices Network Aotearoa Newsletters

    Here is a collection of the newsletters we have published. They are full of lots of helpful information, poetry and stories about hearing voices, and what we have been up to.


    Download this file (HVNANZ newsletter July 2008.pdf)HVNANZ newsletter July 2008.pdf[ ]1401 kB
  • Personal Stories

    The Hearing Voices Network believes that voice hearers are experts on the voice hearing experience. Sharing our stories is one of the ways we can help each other to understand the voice hearing experience better. If you would like to submit a story, please see our contacts page.

  • The Community
    About the millions of Joomla! users and Web sites
  • Events and Workshops

    This is where you can find any workshops or events that are held by the Hearing Voices Network, or are of interest to our members.

  • Practical Advice

    The Hearing Voices Network Aotearoa NZ like to empower voice hearers, friends and family to work together to support and help each other. Part of this is sharing what we find helpful and what we don't. In this section we would like to share articles on this topic.