If you own a Four Wheel Drive vehicle, you soon realise the variety of opportunities that become available for discovering the outdoors. Nature beckons and your 4x4 can provide the means of allowing you and your family to enjoy the adventure and scenery that exists beyond the main highways of New Zealand.

The NZFWDA exists to encourage the responsible use of 4wd vehicles and to advocate for their use on public lands. As a member of the NZFWDA, you become an integral part of this effort to ensure that present and future generations can continue to enjoy our country in 4x4 vehicles.


Our purpose is to further and improve 4WD activities in NZ.

The Association...

  • Values the highest safety standard during all 4WD activities
  • Endorses respect and care for the environment
  • Acknowledges the value and contribution of its members
  • Values and respects other land users
  • Encourages non-discrimination

The Association

The NZFWDA is the national four wheel drive body in New Zealand, established in 1974 and representing the voices of over 2100 members, their clubs and United 4WD supporters.

Volunteers, through a National Executive Council, three regional zone committees and a competition committee administer the Association. Those committees are directly represented on the National Executive.

The regional zones are Northern from North Cape to Taupo, Central from Taupo to Wellington and Southern covering all of the South Island.


Another vital reason for an association is the social contact made between the wide cross-sections of 4WD enthusiasts around the country. This is encouraged through inter-club events, competitive trials, team recoveries, winch challenges, and support for clubs who organise 'Safaris' and 'Coast to Coast'  type 4WD trips for family recreation. See our Events Calendar for a list of upcoming events.


Encouraging the highest safety standards in all areas of four wheeling is very important to us. As part of the management of safety, we work directly with the Low Volume Vehicle Technical Association to set guidelines and standards for vehicle building and modification.

Competitive events are another area where safety rules are vital and the rules developed by NZFWDA sanctioned groups are in line with current "best practice" and address the risk management needed to comply with our insurer's requirements.

Environmental awareness

Environmental awareness is emphasised through  involvement in community projects such as clean-up and planting programmes. Funds and manpower are provided by the NZFWDA to assist the maintenance of 4WD routes on public and private lands when required.

Annual conference and meetings

As with all formally incorporated organisations, we are obliged to run the NZFWDA in a business-like manner and to achieve that, there are meetings held throughout the year and an Annual General Meeting combined with a Conference, to ensure a steady flow and exchange of information.


Our Trail Torque email newsletter is published quarterly and emailed to all members and U4WD supporters who provide a current email address. A monthly E-newsletter is emailed to members with updates and the latest news.

Affiliated clubs

Land access

Land access matters are a major reason for our existence and we constantly monitor pending legislation and lobby government and local bodies on behalf of all recreational four wheelers. Read more


The NZFWDA Trials Committee run a national series during the summer. The NZFWDA may also sanction and encourage other 4WD events in NZ, to the benefit of our members. 4x4 Challenges NZ is the NZFWDA recognised sanctioning body for winch challenge events. Read more

Health & safety

The NZFWDA provides guidance to 4wd clubs about safe practices when organising and running events in the NZFWDA Health & Safety Policy and Guidelines document. Read more


The NZFWDA provides a Public Liability insurance policy for affiliated clubs and members, which includes Rural Fire Cover. Read more

About this web site

Photo's kindly supplied by Ian Vercoe, Peter Vahry and Jeremy Walker