At a time when many member dependent associations are experiencing a decline in support and looking for answers, one such organisation stands out as a shining example of longevity and in terms of keeping pace with overall population growth. The New Zealand Automobile Association is a model that defies the general trend and leads in every respect where its members’ interests are concerned. This can be attributed to a great extent to the way it operates on sound business principles in the delivery of one-stop services, both in essential and value adding terms. This is reflected in sound financial performance without the need for subscription increases to keep pace with inflation. Being commercially successful in its engagement with members the AA competes successfully with other providers and presents a strong and trusted brand in the automotive market.

The AA’s aim is to use its strong position to benefit the wider motoring public regardless of affiliation that translates into relationships with every New Zealand motorist. An example of this is providing free driving lessons and improving road safety through professional tuition as well as taking a strong advocacy stance with measures to achieve better outcomes supported by meaningful initiatives.

It goes to show that a business orientation is not out of place in a voluntary organisation that treats its members as clients with the added benefit of being stakeholders with a voice in its affairs. The AA has a corporate structure with an elected board of commercially astute directors and an effective executive team that understands the opportunities and demands of the market.