The New Zealand Water & Waste Association (NZWWA) background can be dated back to the 1950s when it was a combination of separate independent organisations. In 1992, all the organisations formally amalgamated as one and birthed NZWWA. Among those organisations was the New Zealand Sewage & Industrial Waste Association (NZSIWA) which was the oldest of them all, Ron Hicks, a staff of the defunct Auckland Metropolitan Drainage Broad was one of the pioneer founders who assisted in pushing it in 1957 to California. He made solid contact with Federation of Sewage and Industrial Wastes Associations (FSIWA), an American organisation while in California which later led to the creation of a new member association in New Zealand.
With the aid of his colleagues like Keith Davis & co, Hicks went further and engaged individuals, organisations and Government parastatals in a bid to establish an affiliate of FSIWA in New Zealand. It was formally named the New Zealand Sewage & Industrial Wastes Association after it was officially established in 1958. On September 1, 1959, the association witnessed its first Annual General Meeting (AGM) which was held at the Government buildings, Wellesley Street in Auckland and had 39 members in attendance excluding visitors. All the administrative activities of the association were circled around the Auckland Metropolitan Drainage Board offices and they were clearly voluntary. The support and willingness of dedicated members was the most valuable asset and resource the association had for the first three decades.
The 1963 AGM which was the association’s fifth meeting recorded lots of remarkable changes. Based on the duration of the meeting which was held for two consecutive days, their constitution was revised which finally led to the association changing its name to New Zealand Water Supply & Disposal Association (NZWSDA). This followed a creation of Waste Water Disposal Section by the Sewage and Industrial Waste members. Due to the expansion of the association as it consisted of two key groups- a combination of waste water and water supply; appointments were made for two vice – presidents, one representing each group.
After proposals regarding change of name for the association repeatedly rose in 1975, 1986 and 1989, the association then resolved in 1992 to rebrand itself and the name – New Zealand Water and Wastes Association (NZWWA) was adopted.
They were a body of professionals who acted as a voice for the sustenance of the environment by ensuring clean and portable water supply for drinking, waste management and recycling. Their membership cut across many specialties included engineering, social sciences, public health, law and management, physical and social sciences. Technologists and decision makers were attracted from research and academic communities, local and central government, consultants and service/equipment supply organisations, industries who all engaged in information exchange about waste and water issues. One of their core aims was to promote sector leadership and advocacy in New Zealand. The level of experience and expertise that the association had can be attributed to the interlocking blueprint of Special Interest Groups (SIGs) which was accessible to every member.