The number of New Zealand women choosing a life of religion in the Catholic church is dwindling.
Figures from the Vatican directory show there are only 182 Catholic Sisters across the country.
Numbers include 77 in Auckland, nine in Hamilton, 18 in Palmerston North and 58 in the capital.
In the South Island 16 nuns reside in Christchurch while Dunedin hosts only four.
One of those four is Saint Joseph Sister Ann Gilroy.
She believed young women these days don't find the church an easy place to be.
"Women have far more options of belonging to groups or professions that help change the world than they did in my time," she said.
Historian Professor Peter Lineham said the numbers are in stark contrast to those in the past.
"Fifty years ago every Catholic family felt obligated to supply at least one daughter to a religious order and ideally one of their sons to be a priest," he said.
"It is a very telling reflection of different conceptions of both the role of religion and its significance and also the ways that religion gets expressed.
"For example, there are many devout Catholics today that would never, ever consider the possibility of entering a religious order."
Recently, The Vatican women's magazine, Women Church World, blamed the decline in numbers worldwide in part to working conditions and abuses of power.
The magazine revealed that Pope Francis had authorised the creation of a special home in Rome for nuns who were kicked out of their orders and all but left on the street.