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Browse the 1966 Encyclopaedia of New Zealand
Graphic: An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand 1966.


This information was published in 1966 in An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock. It has not been corrected and will not be updated.

Up-to-date information can be found elsewhere in Te Ara.



Present Constitution

At the annual meeting of the council of the association in 1931, it was decided to delete the word “Dominion” and to alter the name of the association to “New Zealand Bowling Association”. Since the original constitution was adopted there have been, of course, radical changes. The council at first comprised a president, a vice-president, a treasurer, and 12 councillors elected (six from the North Island and six from the South Island) by a comprehensive poll of the bowlers in both Islands. This number was subsequently increased to seven from each Island and remained at that figure for many years. The growth of bowls in the North Island and the pressure of demands for representation caused the first constitutional change in 1946 when a system of joint representation of adjacent centres was introduced, resulting in an increase in the council to 10 members representing North Island centres and nine representing the South Island centres. In 1951, at a special meeting of the council held in February, the principle of direct and individual representation of all centres was accepted by the council and the separate office of treasurer was abolished. The council comprises four executive officers (the immediate past-president, the president, the junior and senior vice-presidents), and 30 council members, three from each tournament centre and one from each other centre. There are now 22 centres, 11 in the North Island and 11 in the South.

The present constitution provides for a Tournament Committee which shall each year consist of the officer of the association for the time being resident in the tournament centre and the three councillors for the time being representing that centre, together with such other persons as the council members of the Tournament Committee shall appoint. The Tournament Committee has power to appoint a resident Tournament secretary-treasurer, so that the functions of the administration of the general affairs of the association, by its Administration Committee and permanent secretary, are entirely divorced from the control of the annual Championship tournament, which is completely under the jurisdiction of the Tournament Committee with its executive officers and the tournament secretary-treasurer. There is no larger sporting fixture, from the point of view of competitors taking part, than a New Zealand Bowling Association tournament. The efficient organisation of this event in itself requires weeks of detailed preparation.

The growth of the game after the Second World War has been remarkable, the 416 clubs, comprising 23,242 players in 1945, having grown in 16 years to over 600 clubs with about 45,000 players. It is not too much to say that the New Zealand Bowling Association today is the largest active sporting body in New Zealand and its growth still continues. Most clubs have had to provide their own playing surfaces and premises at their own expense, and if one cared to place the low average value of £5,000 on the assets of the bowling clubs throughout New Zealand, it appears that the players have invested something over £3,000,000 in providing suitable facilities for their games.

For the season 1963–64, the Dominion membership stood as follows:

Centres Clubs Members
North Island 11 378 31,589
South Island 11 236 13,626
Totals 22 614 45,215

The following table compares the club and membership figures at the date of formation (1913) with those at 31 December 1961.

Number of Clubs Club Members
North Island Centres 1913 1961 1913 1961
Auckland 30 88 1,795 9,163
Bay of Plenty 17 1,587
Gisborne, East Coast 11 767
Hawke's Bay 12 17 686 1,400
Northland 38 2,251
Taranaki 12 42 569 2,691
Waikato, Thames Valley 18 66 948 4,515
Manawatu 9 20 467 1,907
Wairarapa 5 9 242 528
Wanganui 7 23 428 1,641
Wellington 16 43 1,232 4,943
109 374 6,367 31,393
South Island Centres
Nelson 8 16 465 937
Marlborough 11 480
Buller 9 274
West Coast 4 12 227 482
Christchurch 20 65 1,000 4,956
South Canterbury 6 15 335 976
North Otago 3 12 176 586
Dunedin 20 34 1,253 2,437
South Otago 7 8 237 265
Central Otago 5 16 224 550
Southland 16 41 628 1,481
89 239 4,545 13,424
Totals 198 613 10,912 44,817