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An Interview with Murray - the NZNF representative on ANW


As part of ANW's want to enhance understanding and appreciation of naturism we are sharing a selection of interviews with ANW members exploring the all important human element of the naturist and ANW community. ANW believes in safeguarding naturism with a genuine, healthy and respectful approach to social nudity and in doing so has an ever growing membership of friendly and appropriate users.

We also believe that naturism unites us and connects us. Beyond national boundaries, age, gender, religion sexual orientation and culture. These interviews aim to show that ANW members, like naturism itself, come from all over the world with many different backgrounds primarily connected by our mutual respect and understanding of social nudity.


We are delighted to have Murray from New Zealand take part in this project.

Share a little about yourself and your part of the world.


My name is Murray Nash, seventy-five this year. I am ex-navy and have had an interesting life (I think). I joined a government department in 1970 and retired from that same job in 2014. When I retired, I was the manager of the facility. I am actually working at the same place now, but as a security guard, sitting in my old office, my old chair. I live in Marton, a small-town mid-way between Palmerston North and Whanganui, both a short drive away.


What was the attitude towards nudity and naturism in your home and upbringing as a child and teen?


As a child naturism was not a thing in my house and I had never seen my parents naked, or in fact ever went naked in front of them. I can not ever remember naturism being mentioned. In New Zealand, naturist clubs were only starting to be formed when I was a child.


How did you first get involved in naturism and what were your initial thoughts.


My ex-wife and I were watching a television news item in Melbourne in 1975 and the item was about the rally being held in Brisbane I think, and the lady being interviewed was Mary Weston, the President of the Australian Naturist Federation. We thought that looks like fun, rang the number on the screen, and long story short, shortly after joined the Corio Valley Naturist Club, where Mary and her husband Ted, were members. We had two young children (6 & 3), and we very quickly adapted to the naturist lifestyle and our children did too. My ex-wife and I separated in 2001 and my new partner, not a naturist at the time when we got together, did join my club, and attended with me for a number of years. However, naturism was really not her thing so she stopped coming to the club and gave up her membership. We are still together though and she does not mind me

spending time at the club when I can.


 Do you think that your initial reasons and attitudes towards naturism have changed since then and how?


No, not all.


You brought your children up to enjoy naturism - what positives do you feel naturism adds to families and for children as they grow?


My kids were involved in my naturist life from a very young age and like all kids, once they became teenagers it was a different story. They would then ring around their friends to see if their parents were going to the club on the weekend, and was that teenager going too. So, if one teenager was going, then others would too. If a teenager was not going, then often the others would opt out too.


One of my daughters, her partner and their children did join a club for a while. Another daughter, while not joining a club herself as an adult, did have in-laws that were members of a club so even as an adult had much exposure to naturism. My children have always been happy with me being a naturist and have both visited me at various times when I am at a rally or club event. One daughter even joined a club at a festival once just so she could compete in the sports (same daughter that later joined a club with her partner and children).


Your naturist adventures so far.


Where can I start. My first foray into naturism was in Australia when I joined the Corio club. The club was a two-hour drive from our house but we still managed to get their on many weekends, often camping way out in the outback with snakes, koala bears, and kangaroos all on the grounds. My very first rally was at Helios, again in Melbourne. This was the Christmas just before I returned back to NZ (I was there on a posting with my work). Our furniture had already been shipped back to NZ and we no longer had a car, so we hired a station wagon and slept in the back of that for the period of the rally. What an experience this was and we loved it. I have been to every rally (festival) since except three. I love my naturist sport, especially Miniten, and this is a major reason for attending the rallies all the time, is the competing in the sporting competitions. We returned to NZ in 1977 and immediately joined the Palmerston Sun Club (several names since, and now the Manawatu Naturist Club). We posted back to Melbourne in 1982 and again joined the Corio club, where we stayed until 1986 when we again returned to NZ. We re-joined the Manawatu club until I posted to Wellington in 2002, when we joined the Wellington Naturist Club, where I am still a member. As I said, love my sport and have won medals in many of the naturist sports played.


Have you found that attitudes towards naturism have varied much in the countries that you have visited and experienced naturism?


Other than Australia, I have not visited any naturist clubs in other countries. In correspondence I have had, I believe that naturism in Australia has changed drastically since I was there 35 years ago. I understand they do not have an annual rally any more, and that was one of the things I loved when I was living there, going to the annual rally.


How important do you see national naturist federations to be for individuals and for naturism?


 Especially important. However, in recent years there has been an increase in splinter groups starting up which are not affiliated to the NZNF. This pretty much started with the increased use of social media platforms. There is certainly a place for groups such as these, as many go on to join a club. Myself, I am a club person, love doing work around the club with other members, and enjoy being able to go there whenever I want knowing there will be other club members there and we can all socialise together, or do our own thing, the choice is ours. The NZNF try and involve the media when we can. I have been interviewed a couple of times and even appeared as a guest on a live television programme, Lion Red Sports Café, naked! This was in front of a live audience and I was completely naked except for my Miniten bat (of course), a head band, two wrist bands, and socks and sneakers. I did have a towel to sit on of course. This show always had NZ celebrities as well and I sat on the couch next to an ex-All Black, Eric Rush. He did not know where to look. Next door to the show was an actual bar as the show was filmed in an area just off the bar. My changing room was the bar and after the show I was back in that same bar, naked, and everyone was buying me drinks – how could you not want to buy a big naked guy a drink?


How would you best explain naturism to someone new to it and what advice would you offer to them?


When people ask me why I like going naked, I say it is such a great feeling being naked with like minded people. I explain all the facilities at the club, the social events we have, the clubs we can visit with people that all enjoy the same things, the sports we play or if you prefer, simply relaxing and reading a book. The annual festivals where these same people all come together, meeting old friends, and making new ones. Friends made at a naturist club remain friends for life and even if you do not catch up for many years and then you do, it is like you last saw them only a week or so ago but now they may be 30 years older. I often say that the club is like the best backyard you could have.


 What do you think naturism has taught you about yourself and do you think it has changed you in any way?


I have always been a ‘larger’ size and visiting naturist clubs and seeing all of the body shapes that people have, I am now no longer conscious of being larger than most. When I say larger, I don’t mean overly fat as I have a big strong build, too many hours in the gym over the years. I have talked people into joining naturist clubs over the years, that would never have considered it if they had not visited with me on open days or for club functions.


When I had my 50th birthday, 17 of my work colleagues came to my club to help me celebrate. I have never made my naturist lifestyle a secret and have always been totally honest about it. As mentioned before, I have been interviewed by the media several times. One local paper mentioned where I worked, even though I had not mentioned it. I guess they did a bit of searching to see where it was. I received a letter from the Director of where I worked, two letters actually. One basically told me off for saying where I worked. The other was more personal and said I should have “kept my job undercover”, and a few other funny remarks. I knew the Director very well and appreciated the fact he had to tell me off, but then have a laugh about it. He and his wife ran a homestay at the same time and I suggested they join the Naturist Homestay Network in NZ, which he said they would think about.


 Do you think that there are certain people better suited to naturism and others that are not suited to it and if so why do you think that?


Most definitely. The naturists I have befriended over the years are those with outgoing personalities, enjoy their sport, and like to get involved. I always enjoyed my sport from my very first days in Australia and the very good naturist friends I have made over the years were generally through the sports. Of course, there those that prefer a more sedate use of the club and many of those have become good friends too, not because they were particularly outgoing or sporting, but because we would help out at working bees, social functions etc., so friendship grew just as they would at any other type club I guess. I think a naturist has to be one that is comfortable with people seeing them naked and this could be in the pool, playing sport, or generally just walking around the grounds.


 Naturism in New Zealand


In New Zealand it is not illegal to be naked in public. You could basically walk naked down the main street of any city and not be doing anything illegal. People can complain of course but unless you are doing something offensive, you are within the law. When people do complain the police will talk to you and ask you to cover up because you are ‘disturbing the peace’. This has never happened to me but we have had instances like this several times over the years. The NZNF has a fund to assist anyone that may go to court to assist them in their defence if they wind up in court for some reason relating to being naked in public.


 How would you like to see the future of naturism developing over the next 30 years and do you feel these ideas are achievable.


The NZNF adopted the brand gonatural in about 2005. One of the aims was to double the membership of the clubs in NZ. Unfortunately, that has not happened and club membership of most clubs has remained static for a number of years. I was the membership committee member at my club some 20 odd years ago and when I finished that role, our membership was 161. Today, our membership is only slightly less than that. All clubs go up and down. We strive to place naturism in the media as often as we can but it is a constant struggle to get them to be serious about the article rather than make childish remarks. I think the numbers of members in the club scene may remain static as there are many splinter groups that have many members (some are club members) that are

happy to have an online presence and only meet in person as a group on the odd occasion.


 What are the biggest problems that naturism is currently facing? Do you think these are worldwide concerns?


I think problems we face in New Zealand are the same problems faced world- wide. The Covid pandemic proved that by whatever happened in NZ, either happened somewhere else in the world, or was about to. Naturism has been around for an exceptionally long while and I don’t think it is going away anytime soon. Remember I have been a club member for my entire naturist life so whenever I think of naturism I am thinking of the club scene. Of course, there are many more naturists worldwide that are not members of a club but of course are still genuine naturists. The problems we discussed 30 years ago at my clubs are still the same problems we discuss today.


 If the world was happy to take on a clothing optional policy in most situations - how do you think it would change the way society works - what positives could you imagine and do you think there would be any negatives?


Personally, I can not imagine a clothes optional policy working for the general public. There are too many individuals that would not adapt to people walking around naked in the general public, and I simply don’t think it would be safe.


 Are there any aspect of naturism that frustrates you or annoys you or you feel let down by?


Not really, I have loved and I am loving my naturist lifestyle. What does frustrate me, just me, is that in the last couple of years my age is kicking in and my naturist sporting life is starting to suffer. Yep, I know, age catches up but this really frustrates me on a personal level. I think back actually on some of my club friends and then think of them also playing very active sports 20-30 years ago but not any more so they must have all felt just like me at some time.


Has there ever been a specific day, location, venue, activity that at the end of it has made you think - this is naturism at its best?


I think this whenever I attend a rally/festival. These are my best times as a naturist, a lot of hard work in the organising, but when every one attends, plays sports, socialise, evening entertainment, the meeting of all the club delegates, just so much fun over a week or so. These have always been what I look forward to every year from 1975. In New Zealand, the decision has been made that they do not have to be held at Christmas any more, but the hosting club can decide what time period. For example, a club may decide to hold it in March, and the event can be sporting or non-sporting. Personally, I would like this to have stayed as it was but the clubs voted so a democratic decision. The annual general meeting of all the club delegates still needs to be held at a certain time so the

festival and the AGM may not be held at the same time any more.


Do you speak to friends and family about your naturism? Has it ever had a bad effect on a relationship?


Yes, I have always told my family and friends I am a naturist, work colleagues too. It has never affected any of my relationships. During my work career I was in a high-profile work role and I even told work that I was a naturist. I remember getting back to work after Christmas one year – I had attended a rally in Auckland. During the rally I was photographed along with three others and this photo made it onto the front page of the Auckland paper. When I got back to work this photo was on the wall in the lunch room, my photo ringed with highlighter, and written on it – “now we know where Murray goes at Christmas”, quite funny really. My children were staying with their grandmother at the same time I was in Auckland and she was reading the paper one day and said to the kids – “god, that looks like your father”, and of course they responded – “no, can’t be, he is on holiday”. In reality, my ex and I were attending the rally just up the road from where our children were staying with their grandmother.


What five words would you use to describe naturism that people who haven't tried naturism may not have considered


 Friendship, freedom, vitamin D, camaraderie, relaxation.


...and what five words would you say doesn't describe naturism that those same people may wrongly consider to be true.


 Wife swapping, exhibitionism, voyeurism, perversion, weirdos.


  Considering ANW.


I have only just become involved with ANW and my first impressions are it is a very good site with lots of things that a member can do. I think it is a great platform for newbies to get a feel of what naturism is all about – I would have no hesitation in recommending ANW to others as I have done already on the NZNF social media platforms.


I recently became the Social Media Coordinator for the NZNF and I take my roles seriously. The new President, David, asked me to investigate ANW and consider the NZNF joining. After talking to you Anna, and the obvious passion you have, I thought it would be a clever idea so we took out a membership. I have been involved with the NZNF for many years, having created the first NZNF website in 1998 and remained the webmaster for some 15 years. I have had other roles too. I see the ANW site as being an extension to the NZNF reaching out to a wider global audience and being the social media coordinator, I intend placing a lot of stuff on ANW to entice the international visitors to our shores.


 If you could go anywhere in the world as a naturist where would it be?


Hire a yacht in Greece.


Many naturists incorporate naturism into the daily home life - how important do you think that is to naturists?


My partner, while she did join a naturist club with me, is not actually a naturist. I do not walk around at home naked but do sunbathe naked. I know others spend most of their time naked when they are home. I am more of a club naturist.


When in Australia, when naturists visited my house or I visited theirs, it was common to all be naked – just how it was back then.


Australians were pretty much like Kiwis. The weather over there made it easier to be naked at all times, generally.


 If you were to close your eyes and consider naturism as an animal, a colour and a food item what three answers would come to mind?


Gorilla (silverback), dark grey, roast pork.


Do you have any naturist regrets?


None, I have loved my naturist life. I have been involved in some way with every club I have belonged to. I have also been on the NZNF executive or involved with the NZNF since about 1998. I also collaborate with the clubs on a regular basis assisting them where I can. I am not an IT expert by any stretch of the imagination, but I have been using computers, Microsoft, websites etc., for many years and enjoy helping club (or the NZNF) with their digital problems. I also enjoy creating websites and have done so for many of the clubs in NZ over the years.


Share a little more about your role in NZNF and how this works within your daily life.


My current role is Social Media Coordinator. As indicated earlier, I have been involved with the NZNF in many separate roles over the years. Even when I was not the Social Media Coordinator, I was the administrator of all the social media platforms, in the background. I enjoy being involved and even yesterday, met with the President of my very first club in New Zealand in 1977, to sort out their email issues. Not actually a responsibility of mine but as I have the skills and knowledge to help, I offered my services which were greatly appreciated. Being semi-retired, and an early riser, my roles with the NZNF does not affect my daily life at all. Although, as I am writing this I am thinking I should be hanging up the washing or mowing the lawns... soon.

ANW thank Murray for sharing these wonderful insights into his life and naturism. Murray is actively sharing aspects of New Zealand and Naturism within ANW and would be happy to answer any questions you have this and about NZNF.

ANW welcomes all who are respectful and interested in naturism and invite all genuine naturist organisations, clubs, events, venues and other opportunities to be part of the ANW community and work with us to encourage the growth and acceptance of naturism around the world. If you have any questions email Anna and Steve at [email protected]

© 2023  Murray Nash and All Rights Reserved