The newly-installed head of the New Zealand Freemasons says the brotherhood is not a secret society.
Lawyer Stanley Barker has been inducted as the new Grand Master at the society's biennial conference in Christchurch.
He said there are many negative perceptions about Freemasonry, and while members do have secret handshakes, the organisation is completely open about its principles.
Mr Barker said the society's entire ritual is available on the internet, a sign that the organisation is transparent. About 10,000 New Zealand men are Freemasons.