On 1 October 1949, the Society came into existence. It had one member, Mr Henry G. Lambert, who was declared President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Editor of the NZSS Bulletin.
At that time very little was known about caves in New Zealand. Information was gleaned from Borough Councils, Museums, University geologists, Geological Survey and private people. The Society was set up to collate this information and make it available to earnest enquirers to stimulate further exploration and to add to this knowledge.
A month after the Society came into existence Judd Davey joined, and since then membership has increased steadily. There are currently about 300 members.
The Society is administered by a “Council” which meets up to four times a year, consisting of the President, Secretary, Business Manager, and five other officers with special responsibilities. These are the:
Job descriptions for all council officers is laid out in the NZSS Handbook. You can contact council officers via the Contact Page.
The Council has the power to appoint persons from the Society's membership to serve as Society officers outside of Council. The officers appointed usually include the North Island and South Island Maps Officers, Tomo Times editor, Bulletin editor, webmaster, and librarian. Council members may hold these positions.
Any member of the Society may attend any Council meeting, and shall have speaking rights but not voting rights.
Annual General Meeting
The Society's Annual General Meeting is held on the Saturday of Labour Weekend in October and is followed by the photographic and survey competitions and a semi-formal dinner. The AGM is hosted by a different group each year, usually in a location suitable for caving. A full weekend's programme of varied activities including caving trips, is organised by the host group.
Election of NZSS Council officers
Nominations for Council officers are called for prior to the AGM. If more than one nomination is received for a position, or the incumbent officer wishes to stand again and another one or more nominations are received for that position, a vote will be held. All members will be advised if a vote is to be held. For full details of the nomination and voting process refer to the constitution Clause 11.