The New Zealand Underwater Association came into existence in 1953. At the time, there were already a number of regional clubs scattered throughout the country. The association was formed when members from the Whangarei Spear Fishing Club, the Auckland Underwater Club and the Penguin Underwater Club from Tauranga held the inaugural meeting of NZUA in the Trans Tasman Hotel in Auckland. They formed an association with a common interest in diving, and the New Zealand Underwater Research and Spear fishing Association was born.
The mission of the New Zealand Underwater Association is to be the recognised lead organisation for promoting, advocating and achieving safe and enjoyable underwater activities in NZ, representing not just divers and snorkelers, but also the entire population of New Zealand in the goal to maintain, sustain, and develop awareness of the Marine Ecosystem.
MMUC is a financial member of the Underwater Association, supports its aims and goals, and sends delegates to the AGM.