About NZOIA

    NZOIA has promoted excellence in outdoor instruction and guiding through qualifications for professionals since 1987. We are the qualification body for ten outdoor activities or disciplines with three levels of qualification, which are recognised nationally as the industry standards. We also offer training and revalidation options to our members.

    We've developed New Zealand outdoor instructing and guiding into a profession with our commitment to training, standards, currency, and a Code of Ethical Practice. Assessment, through formal peer review of our instruction and guiding practices, has improved our way of working. We're responsible for promoting the highest standards of outdoor instruction and guiding, and striving to ensure that outdoor activities participants enjoy quality experiences.

    We work in a positive environment where we combine education and fun.   

    Governance Structure

    NZOIA is an Incorporated Society governed by a Board of seven people. The NZOIA Board consists of four positions elected from the membership and three positions appointed by elected Board Members.

    Read the NZOIA Constitution here 


    NZOIA became an Incorporated Society on 27 November 1987. Prior to this, there had been considerable debate about certification, qualifications and instructor standards. With the threat of government-imposed standards, those who worked in the outdoor sector quickly realised they needed to self-regulate or be regulated.

    The inaugural General Meeting of NZOIA took place in Wellington in 1987 with over 130 passionate people in attendence. The group agreed to form the New Zealand Outdoor Instructors Association and endorse the Constitution.

    Syllabuses for bush, alpine, rock and kayak instruction were written and slowly NZOIA gained acceptance and membership grew. NZOIA qualifications became the standards for outdoor instruction, with syllabuses and disciplines evolving to reflect what industry wanted.

    By the mid 1990's NZOIA was a healthy organisation with sought-after qualifications and continues to grow today.

    Read more about NZOIA's history here:

    NZOIA - The Early Days - Jo Straker

    NZOIA's History - Grant Davidson

    Self-Regulate or Be Regulated! - Stu Allan

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