About 30 people each paid $50 to form a Nelson branch of euthanasia campaigner Philip Nitschke's Exit International this week.
The controversial Australian doctor, dubbed "Dr Death" said the group would be the first in the South Island. Groups already exist in Auckland and Wellington.
Dr Nitschke told the Nelson Mail he received more support in Nelson than he had in Auckland and Wellington.
He said all but one person at a workshop on Wednesday were aged over 50. One person was seriously ill but the others were healthy and wanted to be in control of their options for the future.
During the workshop Dr Nitschke played stills from his films Single Shot and Doing it with Betty, which are banned in Australia. The films' soundtracks were played and described such things as how to make an "exit bag" or cook up a lethal cocktail of chemicals into a "peaceful pill".