Auckland Zen Centre Governance

AZC Mission

The Auckland Zen Centre fosters the teachings of Zen Buddhism by providing authentic training in its disciplines, practices and devotions. We are a community of practitioners united by a commitment to the cultivation of wisdom and compassion in widening circles, starting with our hearts and knowing no bounds.

Current Board of Trustees

Wayne Frecklington, Chair -- 
Grant George, Treasurer -- 
Richard von Sturmer, Secretary --
Adrian Croucher -- 
Kate Paulin--

Sensei Amala Wrightson, Spiritual Director --

Trustees (l-r) Wayne Frecklington, Richard von Sturmer, Grant George,
Kate Paulin 
and Adrian Croucher, with Sensei Amala Wrightson.

AZC Trust Deed

The Auckland Zen Centre is a registered Charitable Trust (IRD #94-887-291) whose deed provides for governance by a Spiritual Director and a Board of Trustees. According to the terms of the Trust Deed, the purposes and aims of the Trust include:
  1. Disseminating in New Zealand the teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha for the benefit of all living beings; 
  2. Educating all interested members of the public about Zen meditative practices and life skills that free individuals from greed, hatred and delusion, and that create citizens who are peaceful, compassionate, loving, and clear-sighted; 
  3. Training and developing instructors, priests, and fully qualified teachers of Zen Buddhism; 
  4. Providing suitable facilities and support for the teaching and practice of all facets of Zen Buddhism, including residential training; 
  5. Providing meditation equipment and educational resources on Zen Buddhism in a range of media for distribution to the general public; 
Undertaking community outreach charitable activities as deemed suitable from time to time by the Spiritual Director and the Trustees. The Trust is committed, in fulfilling its purposes, to:

  1. Upholding the Sixteen Cardinal Precepts of Mahayana Buddhism: 
    • Three Treasures: Taking refuge in Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. 
    • Three Pure Precepts: Doing good, abstaining from evil, liberating all sentient beings. 
    • Ten Cardinal Precepts: Not killing, not stealing, not engaging in harmful sexual relations, not lying, not abusing intoxicants, not speaking of others’ faults, not boasting, not withholding spiritual or material aid, not indulging in anger, and not reviling the Three Treasures (of Buddha, Dharma and Sangha). 
  2. Working to Embody the Six Perfections:
    • Giving (Dana) – offering the teaching freely and supporting it generously. 
    • Morality (Sila) – abstaining from harmful behaviour and engaging in helpful behaviour (especially as outlined in the precepts above). 
    • Forbearance (Ksanti) – being tolerant of differences and difficulties and solving conflicts peacefully. 
    • Diligence (Virya) – practicing the Dharma with energy, consistency and commitment. 
    • Meditation (Dhyana) – engaging wholeheartedly in whatever one is doing. 
    • Wisdom (Prajna) – seeing things as they are.
Click here to read the full text of the Trust Deed.

Minutes of Trust Meetings are available upon request from the Secretary.

2016-2021 Strategic Plan

Ethical Guidelines

The Centre's Ethics and Grievance Policy is available below as a PDF. The current members of the EAR Committee are Grant George, Sally McAra and Hamish Bartle. The alternates are Pilar Romero and John Hennebry.

Members' Meeting

Each Spring the Trustees present the Centre's Annual Financial  Statements to Centre members, and Amala-Sensei reports on the year's activities. The full financial statements are available on the Accounts subpage. PDFs of Sensei's report and the Treasurer's slide presentation of the Centre's finances are also available below.

Brainstorming Session on Community

In May 2015 some of the Centre's members got together to talk about how to strengthen our Dharma community. The full record of the brainstorming is available below as a PDF file. Here is a summary:

1. In what ways can we support each other to practice at the Centre and at home and to live the Dharma throughout our day?

The two main areas that became apparent during the discussion were a) ways to support practice and b) building community. It was concluded that a survey would be the best way to check out the support for some of the suggestions that are noted below. The committee for developing the survey are Anthony Pashkov, Celestyna Galicki and Fern McRae.

Sensei will join the committee as needed and approve the survey for distribution.

2. Is there the interest in, and what could be done to create, a Sangha intentional community in proximity to the Centre?

This group looked at like-minded people living close to the Centre. It was realised that the comments made below overlapped in some places with the  needs for accommodation for residential training. It was decided that a committee needed to be  set up to look at both these issues together, bringing together a long-term and short-term vision.

3.  How can we create and fund more short-term and long-term residential training options at the Centre?

This group discussed how residential training can be accommodated. It brought up questions around how long we want to stay at the current property, and if this location will meet all the needs we have around residential training, sesshins and retreats. As mentioned above, the decision was to form a committee that would look questions around our long-term plans, since our current Strategic plan only covers the next five years:

  • Do we try to develop the current Centre to meet all our needs? Residential- training and accommodation, sesshins….
  • What are the site constraints -- parking, shared driveway...
  • Do we plan to be here for 5, 10 , 20 years?
  • What is the vision around the development of the Centre that the Sangha can hold and move forward with? Is it different from what we have already articulated?

Committee members: Peter Christiansen, Sensei, Helen Gallagher, Grant George.

Amala Wrightson,
30 Jan 2015, 15:13
Amala Wrightson,
11 Feb 2015, 11:53
Amala Wrightson,
2 Dec 2015, 15:27
Amala Wrightson,
1 Dec 2015, 16:50
Amala Wrightson,
14 Sep 2016, 17:34
Amala Wrightson,
21 May 2015, 19:15