The New Zealand Association of Organists, as it was originally called, was founded in 1964 and formally incorporated in 1975. The name was changed to New Zealand Organ Association in 2015. It is a national “umbrella” organisation with affiliated Regional Associations in Otago & Southland, Christchurch, Wellington, and Auckland.
There are two types of membership: Ordinary Members and Personal Members. Ordinary Members are members of an Affiliated Regional Association of NZOA. Personal Members of NZOA are individuals who are not members of an Affiliated Association. Those living in the area of one of the Affiliated Associations (Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, and Otago & Southland) are encouraged to apply for Ordinary Membership by contacting the Secretary of the Affiliated Association. Those who live elsewhere are encouraged to apply for Personal Membership by contacting the National Secretary.
The aims of the Association are as follows:
- To promote and foster in New Zealand an interest in and knowledge of organs, organ music, organ building and associated matters.
- To encourage young people and others to become organ students.
- To advance the knowledge of organ students and others by arranging public and other recitals, concerts and master classes and by providing lectures, discussions, conferences and practical sessions on topics of interest to and of value to organists and others.
- To enable organ students and others to develop their skills and widen their knowledge by promoting the exchange of organists within New Zealand and overseas.
- To stimulate public interest in the preservation of New Zealand organs of national or local importance and of organ building records.
- To encourage scholarly research into the organ, its composers, music, history and construction.
- To liaise closely with other musical groups with similar objectives and to encourage the formation and growth of organs societies in New Zealand.
NZOA fulfils these aims, in part, with the following activities:
- An Annual Festival, held at Queen’s Birthday weekend in different centres in New Zealand and, more recently, in Australia
- The quarterly journal New Zealand Organ News
- Scholarships and Grants for students
- Performance and Composition competitions