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Membership Benefits  |  Membership Fees  |  Membership and Registration Terms and Conditionsnzoia renew      

Why Choose NZOIA? 

NZOIA is the professional body for outdoor instructors. We aim to reflect the passion, determination, and spirit of our members.  NZOIA has promoted excellence in outdoor instruction and guiding through qualifications for professionals since 1987. We are the qualification body for nine outdoor activities or disciplines with three levels of qualification, which are regarded by employers throughout NZ as the benchmark of professionalism.

We've developed New Zealand outdoor instructing and guiding into a profession with our commitment to training, standards, currency, and a code of conduct. Assessment, through formal peer review of our instruction and guiding practices, has improved our way of working. We're responsible for promoting the highest standards of outdoor instruction and guiding, and striving to ensure that outdoor activities participants enjoy quality experiences.

NZOIA is run by people of the industry, for the industry. The NZOIA Board and NZOIA office staff comprise of people with extensive outdoor backgrounds and experience. They are members of NZOIA and qualification holders themselves and are subject to the same standards and processes that all NZOIA members are required to adhere to.

Your support allows us to work on your behalf and in the best interests of the sector by acting as an advocate to other bodies such Sport New Zealand, WorkSafe, New Zealand Recreation Association (NZRA), Water Safety New Zealand (WSNZ), Education Outdoors New Zealand (EONZ) and the Mountain Safety Council (MSC) to name a few.

What Does NZOIA DO?

We promote the highest possible standards of outdoor instruction by:

  - Providing a nationally recognised assessment scheme for leaders and instructors.

  - Establish benchmarks for instructional quality and safety management.

  - Promoting and supporting the interests of our members, including providing a voice at decision making levels in the outdoors sector and government.

  - Maintain a register of qualified instructors that the public can access.

  - Communicating regularly with our members through newsletters, our web site and national conferences.

  - Fostering strategic partnerships with other groups, to reach common goals for the outdoor sector.

  - Contribute to industry projects and offer expert advice.

  - Promote the enjoyment and conservation of our natural heritage.

  - Acting as a regulatory and disciplinary body ensuring the highest level of professional conduct within our membership.

NZOIA has four types of membership: 

Full Member

A Full Member is an active outdoor instructor committed to qualifications and enhancing the quality of outdoor instruction. You need to be a full member to apply for an NZOIA assessment.

Students and those with only Leader qualifications pay a lower fee. 

Associate Member

Any person or organisation may apply to join NZOIA as an Associate Member. If you have qualifications but they are 'on-hold/shelved' you may step-down to an associated membership.



Affiliated Membership

NZOIA Affiliated membership is a low-cost and flexible membership option for outdoor operators, offering guides and instructors access to NZOIA leader qualifications and membership benefits. 

Read more

Honorary Life Membership

An Honorary Member personifies the best combination of an excellent instructor, a high achieving personal performer, and an outstanding contributor to the work and promotion of NZOIA. 

Our current Honorary Members are Ray Button, Jill Dalton, Grant Davidson, John Entwisle, Jo Straker, Mick Hopkinson and Matthew Cant.

Honorary Member Criteria



Membership Benefits

Full and Associate Members receive:

- The NZOIA magazine ‘The Quarterly’

- The weekly newsletter ‘NZOIA 4YA’

- Access to discounts on publications and products (we currently have the New Zealand Whitewater Guide | Rope Rescue & Rigging Field Guide | Waterproof Notebooks | SurfEars Earplugs available with great member discounts).

- Access to the Jobs Board

- Access to discounted Training Courses.

In addition, full members also receive:

- 20% discount from Bivouac Retail Stores. Other stores may also provide discounts too such as PaddlerZone in Christchurch (if you are an outdoor retail store or outdoor facility that offers discounts to NZOIA members then let us know and we can add your name here!).

- Cactus Outdoor Gear - Members can apply online to become 'pro-team members' and receive "trade" pricing, preferential repair and alteration services.

- Access to Assessment and Revalidation Courses.

- Voting Rights

- The right to stand for the NZOIA Executive Board

- The right to apply to be an NZOIA Assessor/Trainer (link to assessor page)

- A listing on the NZOIA Instructor/Guide List, and promotion of you as an NZOIA qualification holder to potential employers.

- Provide a link to your website (if applicable)

- Use of the NZOIA logo.

- Provide support to members in a crisis.


The NZOIA financial year runs from 1 July to 30 June. New members pay a joining fee. If paid between 1 January and 31 March, new full members will receive 50% off. If this fee is paid after the 1st April, then you will remain a financial member through to the 30 June of the following year.



Joining Fee

Upon Annual Renewal

Full Membership and Registration


(50% off from Jan - March: Coupon Code: UH77322996)



Full Membership - Leader qualification/s only

Included in Free Range Assessment Fee**


Associate Member



Note for Students

Full time students are entitled to a $60 discount on full membership fees. You will need to upload proof of student status to activate this discount. 

Affiliated Membership

Click here to view the Affiliated Membership fee structure

** NZOIA does not schedule Leader Qualification Assessments, they are run via the Free Range Assessment model or via an Assessment Centre (a tertiary institution or similar).


Membership and Registration Terms and Conditions

Click here to veiw NZOIA's Membership and Registration Terms and Conditions


NZOIA acknowledges the funding provided to it by:

  • Sport NZ Logo

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