What we do
Cultural events: Our events range from readings by visiting German writers to gallery tours of German comic book art, musical evenings and film screenings. We also provide support to the German Drama Company's annual student drama production.
Supporting German studies: Every year, the Auckland Goethe Society Exams test Auckland school students on their knowledge of the German language. In 2015, 400 students participated in these competitive examinations. 90 were then invited to the speaking examinations held at the university in August. We also arrange events for university students, such as German exchange information evenings.
Speaking German: We host regular social events where our members can speak in German. You don't need to be a native speaker to come along!
Who we are
The Auckland Goethe Society is a non-political, not-for-profit organisation. We receive generous financial support from the Goethe-Institut. We have close links to the University of Auckland’s German programme.
Our honorary patron is Honorary Consul of the Federal Republic of Germany in Auckland, Erich Bachmann.
The Auckland Goethe Society is an incorporated society. To see our rules, click here.
The Auckland Goethe Society was established in 1948 to promote German studies in Auckland. We are named after Germany’s greatest writer, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832).
To start a German society of any kind only three years after the end of World War II was a challenging enterprise. The Society's success in those early years depended on the enthusiasm and sensitivity of founder Dr John Asher (1921-1996). Dr Asher was the University of Auckland's first lecturer in German and later its first Professor of German. He remained a driving force of the Society throughout his life.
The Society was founded as a strictly non-political cultural organisation, with the main goal of promoting German studies, and Goethe as the central figure. In its early years, the Society received strong support from many refugees from Nazi Germany living in Auckland. At the time, these refugees were the only native speakers of German in the region. A number of them had a significant role in the Society's early success.
Since then, the role of the Auckland Goethe Society has continued to evolve. But the core of its original purpose and commitment, to provide opportunities to speak German, to support German studies in Auckland, and to give insights into German culture, has stayed firmly in place.