The New Zealand Society of Anaesthetists was founded in 1948 for anaesthetists in New Zealand to share information and experiences, with the intention of improving the anaesthetic care of patients in a field of rapidly increasing technical complexity.
There were 39 members when the NZSA began. Dr Eric Anson of Wellington, the Society’s first President, along with Drs Alf Slater (Wellington), Tim Taylor (Christchurch) and John Ritchie (Dunedin) were key figures in establishing the new group. The Constitution and By-Laws, adopted at that first meeting, were similar to those already adopted by the Australian Society of Anaesthetists and formed the basis of the Constitution adhered to by the Society today.
The objectives of the Society have essentially remained the same since its inception: to promote the provision of safe anaesthesia and medical care throughout the duration of the patient’s surgical procedure. In 2008, the New Zealand Society of Anaesthetists became registered as a charitable entity under the Charities Act 2005.