Organised cross country competition for
men over 40 began in Canterbury in the early 1960’s,
but it was not until 1970 that the first national Master cross
country championships were held. The first national cross country
championships for Master women were not held until 1975.
National Master road championships began in 1972, and have
been followed over the years by national Master championships
in road walking, marathon and half marathon events.
Following the holding of a successful Master pre-Commonwealth
Games meeting in Christchurch in 1974, Canterbury Masters undertook
the task of holding the first full national track and field
championship meeting in 1975. These have been held annually
since that date.
South Island track and field championships have been held since
1981, and North Island championships since 1986.
Multi event championships commenced in 1993.
Administration of Master athletics evolved slowly, with the
New Zealand Association of Master Athletes formally adopting
its first constitution in 1973. Centre Committees covering
the 11 centres recognised by Athletics New Zealand were formed