The New Zealand Chinese Association (Inc) (NZCA) was established as an incorporated society in 1935. Over the years there have been many changes to its organisation and structure and in 1996 a new Constitution and Rules were adopted to bring the organisation into line with current requirements.
The Association was established with specific intention of being a national Chinese organisation that represented and worked for the well-being of the Chinese people in New Zealand. It main objectives include:
- To provide NZ Chinese the means of mutual help, social interchange and recreation
- To promote the intellectual, moral and physical well-being of Chinese in NZ.
- To unite and co-operate for cultural and educational purposes.
- To deal with matters concerning the welfare of Chinese in NZ
- To be and remain non-political and non-religious
The very first Chinese Association in New Zealand was established in March 1909 by Consul Huang Roliang to help the Chinese community organise its affairs and to run training courses in Chinese and English. This Association was led and run by the Chinese Consul of the day. It ceased to function after two consecutive Consuls appointed at that time tried to involve this Association in China's politics; i.e. to support Yuan Shi Kai to be Emperor of China and certain warlords.
In September 1934 in response to Consul Qinxun’s request that the many Chinese organisations (Chee Kung Tong, the Tung Meng Hui, Tung Jung Association, Poon Fah Society and Seyip Society) existing at that time come together and form one association in an effort to reduce friction, avoid clashes and to improve unity and harmony within the New Zealand Chinese community. This Association was named the New Zealand Chinese Association to differentiate it from the original Chinese Association.
The Sino-Japanese war broke out soon after the establishment of the Association and the Association chose to help China in its war effort. The Association expanded quickly into an organisation with representation of Chinese from 15 regions. It formed a central committee which collected donations from the Chinese community for direct remittance to the Chinese Government to help the war effort.
The Association operated with a central committee based in Wellington until 1996 when a new constitution was adopted to provide branches with more involvement in the decision-making process of the Association. The Association has been operating under this new constitution until the present day.