In 1998 the Association instituted two annual awards conceived and designed by Peter Hansen, a past president of the Association.
THE CHARLES SOUTHWELL AWARD
This award is presented to a person or body who represents the values of the Enlightenment. The award is named in commemoration of Charles Southwell (1814-1860), New Zealand's first recognised freethinker.
Recipients of the Charles Southwell Award
2012: Clive Solomon
For his tireless stance against prayers being said at Whanganui Council meetings.
2010: NZ Atheist Bus Campaign
For bringing a greater awareness of Atheism, Rationalism and Humanism to the general public.
2009: Graeme Hill
For his informative broadcasting on www.radiolive.co.nz.
2008: Max Wallace
For advancing the cause of secularism in New Zealand and Australia.
2007: No award presented
2006: Andy Leleisi'uao
For challenging the role of the church in Samoan society in a way nobody else dared.
2004-2005: No award presented
2003: Michael Laws
For raising awareness of controversial issues in a forthright and enquiring manner.
2002: Andrew Williams
For his defence of the secular state in local government.
2001: Dr Philip Nitschke
For his courageous advocacy of the right to choose death with dignity.
2000: Dr Zoë During, MBE
In recognition of her many years of campaigning on moral, social, and health issues.
1999: Brian Rudman
For his many years of equitable and informed journalism, often supporting views compatible with the objectives of this Association.
THE BERTRAND RUSSELL AWARD
Named for the English philosopher and peace activist Bertrand Russell (1872-1970), this award is presented annually to a member of the Association whose efforts have significantly advanced the cause of the Association during the year.
Recipients of the Bertrand Russell Award
2013: Peter Harrison
2011: John Shaw
2010: Gerry Bolton
2009: Toby Ricketts
2008: Susan & Des Vize
2007: Stuart Landborough
2006: Russell Dear
2005: Peter Hansen
2004: Paul Litterick
2003: David Ross
2002: Bruce Robertson
2001: Jim Dakin
2000: Nick Pullar
1999: Marta McKenzie
1998: Bill Cooke