New Zealand is a world leader in surf lifesaving, a service sport which has been followed in this country for more than 50 years. It grew spontaneously on the country's surf beaches some five years after the birth of the parent movement in New South Wales.
There is some doubt as to which was the first lifesaving club in New Zealand. This is due mainly to the fact that some clubs existed only on paper for a time before becoming active. Some of the first meetings of the senior clubs were those of New Brighton, Christchurch, in July of 1910, and of Lyall Bay, Wellington, in August of the same year. It seems above challenge, however, that the first reel to be used was imported from Australia by W. G. Morpeth on behalf of the Wellington Amateur Swimming Club for service with the Lyall Bay club. By December 1910, Lyall Bay had three reels.