In 1956 a group of shooters got together and formed the New Zealand Handloaders Association Inc. because they were finding it hard to purchase centrefire ammunition for sporting use. The club was formed to foster the art of handloading ammunition to over come this shortage. Members discovered that there was ex World War 2 ammunition stored in a magazine at Mt Pleasant in the form of .30-06 and .50cal sealed in tin lined wooden cases. A tender was made to the government of the time and the club won. The .30-06 ammunition was sold to members whilst the .50cal was dismantled and the brass sold for scrap once all primers had been fired. The projectiles became hard fill for numerous foundations and block wall cavities while the very slow burning 5010 powder was either sold or burnt for disposal.
About this time the building in Rawhiti Domain (ex radio station) became available for purchase. This building became the NZHA clubrooms and served for many years. For shooting the club began by hiring the Kaituna NZDA rifle range on a monthly basis until the lease expired. This coincided with the development, in about 1980, of the McLeans Island Recreation Reserve and after a lot of negotiation the NZHA decided to lease the land that the club currently occupies. The present clubrooms were constructed in 1986 and the Rawhiti rooms sold to a scout group. Finances for the new rooms at McLeans were made possible by the purchases of “Gold Card Membership Subscriptions” limited to 20% of the membership of the club at the time. The facilities that the NZHA now have were established by the hard work of a dedicated membership.
(Source – NZHA rules, 2001, Barry Ufton (deceased) President 1994-2000)