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The aim of the New Zealand Accordion Association Incorporated (NZAA) is to promote the accordion in New Zealand. Amongst the many accordion organisations in New Zealand, the NZAA has made significant contributions for the accordion on a nationwide scale.

Formed in 1971 as an Incorporated Society, the NZAA's early significant milestones were to help establish the Accordion Examination Board of New Zealand Inc. (AEBNZ) in 1972 and to apply for registration of the NZAA Teachers Diploma with the Institute of Registered Music Teachers of New Zealand (IRMTNZ) in 1974.

Membership of the Confédération Internationale des Accordéonistes (CIA - IMC-UNESCO) was achieved first through affiliation with the Accordion Society of Australia (ASA), and then attaining a full CIA member in 1973. New Zealand contestants have competed in CIA competitions since 1969.

The first New Zealand Accordion Championships were held in 1962 and since 1971 have been organised and run by the New Zealand Accordion Association.

1980 Coupe Mondiale Program cover The NZAA first hosted the Coupe Mondiale World Accordion Championships in 1980 in the Auckland Town Hall.

It was at the time, the first ever international music competition to be held in New Zealand, and it remains the only hosting of a Coupe Mondiale in the Southern Hemisphere. For the 1980 Coupe Mondiale, New Zealand proudly presented two contestants, Kevin Friedrich and Marcel Riethmann - both of whom remain involved with the accordion today, in New Zealand and also internationally.

1980 Coupe Mondiale, Auckland, New Zealand, hosted by the NZAA
Programme Download - 12MB

To commemorate its 21st anniversary in 1993, the NZAA commissioned the book The History of the Accordion in New Zealand, authored by New Zealand accordionist and music teacher, Wallace Liggett. You can purchase this book here - Catalog No: nzaa1081

Also in 1993, the South Pacific Accordion Championships were incorporated, allowing international competition from through the Pacific rim countries.

During the 1980's and 1990's the NZAA was represented overseas by the Air New Zealand Accordion Orchestra, who completed nine International Goodwill Concert Tours to Australia, China, Europe, USA and Canada.

To advance the repertoire of accordion music and to encourage music composition, the NZAA has commissioned several works, including Suite Aotea by Douglas Mews (1980 Coupe Mondiale Test Piece); A Musical Party by Gary Daverne (NZAA 30th Anniversary commemoration, dedicated to NZAA Life Member Silvio de Pra); and most recently, Auckland March by Gary Daverne, which was premiered by the CIA 2009 World Accordion Orchestra III at that years Coupe Mondiale Finale Gala Concert.

2009 Coupe Mondiale Finale Concert eTracks CD is available by download.
Full programme notes are online

The NZAA has held NZAA National Accordion Championships & Festival each year since formation, traditionally in the first weekend of June (Queen's Birthday Weekend). Later inclusion of the South Pacific Accordion Championships expanded the format of this annual event, and drew entrants to New Zealand from around the Pacific-rim region.

Since 2002 the NZAA has sponsored a concert tour to NZ and Australia, for the winner of the CIA International Competition for Piano Accordion each year.

In August 2009, the NZAA proudly hosted the 2009 Coupe Mondiale World Accordion Championships & Festival in North Shore City, New Zealand. This event was a huge success, especially so as New Zealand had its first Coupe Mondiale winner Grayson Masefield.

2009 Coupe Mondiale Poster2009 Coupe Mondiale Souvenir Program Free Download. 60 page color publication is available: Programme Download - 88MB
Poster Download - 5MB

2009 Coupe Mondiale Daily Reports.

Pre Coupe Mondiale
Monday 24 August 2009
Tuesday 25 August 2009
Wednesday 26 August 2009
Thursday 27 August 2009
Friday 28 August 2009
Saturday 29 August 2009
World Accordion Orchestra III

In 2012 the South Pacific Championship rules were altered to include international categories for competitors from any country in the world.

The History of the Accordion in NZ book coverTHE HISTORY OF THE ACCORDION IN NEW ZEALAND
by Wallace Liggett

The History of the Accordion in New Zealand by Wallace Liggett - Catalog No: nzaa1081

This publication, The History of the Accordion in New Zealand by prominent New Zealand accordionist and accordion examiner Wallace Liggett, was first commissioned by the NZAA to commemorate the 21st Anniversary of the NZAA, in 1993.

Today, it is still the definitive publication documenting the life and movement of the Accordion in New Zealand, its development as an instrument, and the people and personalities involved with making the music, from 1839 to present day.

For more information about this book, the author, and how to purchase your own copy click: Catalog No: nzaa1081

accordion museum Dargaville'ACCORDION GEMS' ...A Master Collection of Accordions through Time.

At the instigation of Kevin Friedrich, The Dargaville Museum agreed to host a major collection of accordions and memorbilia that Kevin Friedrich had collected over many years for the purpose of starting an accordion museum.

The 'Accordion Gems' display by Kevin Friedrich was dedicated and opened on the 3rd December 2006. The Grand Opening of New Music Wing at the Dargaville Museum was held on the 21st October 2007 and the launching of Accordion Gems Exhibit in beautiful Kauri timber display cabinets was opened on 29th March 2009.

Program CoverAn annual fundraising concert titled 'An Afternoon with Kevin Friedrich and Friends' has been held annually since 2007 enjoying great popularity with the local community.

For the 40th Anniversary of the NZAA, Kevin Friedrich organised a major historical display of the history of the NZAA and the accordion in New Zealand which ran for most of the 2011 year.


These Trophies are awarded annually at the NZAA New Zealand National and South Pacific International Championships and Festival, and commemorate the lives of significant New Zealand Accordionists and their contribution to the Accordion movement and to music in general.


This award was created in 1999, in memory of Samantha Rutherford, who passed away in 1997, aged 16 years. Samantha was a promising and talented accordionist in which music quite often became the most important thing in her life. This award represents her ambition, determination, courage and drive to be excellent. It also represents her love of life, and determination to make the most of each minute. The awards purpose is to encourage young accordionists to achieve, as well as to inspire accordionists to always aim high in their endeavors, as Samantha did. It is sponsored by her mother, Sharon Rutherford.


This trophy is being awarded for a performance during this weekend, (not necessarily a winning performance), that in some special way impresses the audience. Cecil Smith, 1908 to 1989, was born in New Plymouth and lived all his life there. Cecil played the cornet, piano, double bass and accordion amongst other instruments, but the accordion was his favourite instrument. In the last ten years of his life, Cecil played at old folks homes and hospitals, giving pleasure to many thousands of people with his music. Accordion was his main pleasure in later years and he played right up to the time that he passed away. He left his accordion to his grand niece Nicole Phillips and this trophy was donated by his family who wanted to recognise his kindness and generosity and to put a little back into the musical pursuit that Cecil Smith so much enjoyed.


This annual trophy has been donated by the Cocurullo Family of Dargaville as a non musicianship award for services to music. The Cocurullo Family have been prominent in accordion affairs in Northland for many years and the purpose of this trophy is to recognise the important contribution of many non musicians who support this event, working behind the scenes, to make the event possible.


This trophy is awarded for an outstanding classical performance during the weekend.


This trophy is awarded for classical ensemble performing of distinction.


This trophy is awarded for a highly commendable performance by an accordion orchestra.

The three Emmett trophies have been donated by the two daughters of Ben and Doreen Emmett in memory of the important contribution they made to the development of the accordion in the Dargaville area from the 1950's until their deaths in 1976 and 1990. They taught many pupils, their most famous pupil being Kevin Friedrich.

About NZAA | Competitions & Events | Membership | History | Past Champions
Roll of Honour | Examinations | Museum | Contact | Home