Our History

A history of NZAO through the decades

This timeline is a living document and you are invited to contribute to its content by sending the information and images to the membership & communications coordinator.

History of Optometry and NZAO

Traditionally, the field of optometry began with the primary focus of correcting refractive error using spectacles. Modern-day optometry, however, has evolved through time so that the educational curriculum additionally includes significant training in the diagnosis and management of ocular disease, in most of the countries of the world, where the profession is established and regulated.

The history of optometry (refracting opticians) can be traced back to the early studies on optics and image formation by the eye. The origins of optical science (optics, as taught in a basic physics class) date back a few thousand years BC as evidence of the existence of lenses for decoration has been found in Greece and the Netherlands.

Whereas in New Zealand the early years of optometry date back to prior to the turn of the 20th century.  Around 1897, a Mr A Levi set up as a consulting and manufacturing optician in Wellington and he was quickly associated with others establishing firms across New Zealand.

Antique Spectacles  ... Visit the online museum and encyclopedia of vision aids... spectacles paved the way