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NZPIA annual fees - what is that all about?

Sport skydivers within NZ have spent many years enjoy a 'fee-free' existence, making a one-off payment for a licence and never paying a cent again, unless they choose to pay for an endorsement (B,C,D) or progress into the industry for a rating. This is not common place. For those of you who travel overseas, you know that annual fees or temp fees are a regular occurence at DZs (think USPA, BPA, APF, CSPA, etc).

For those of you who don't understand the NZPF / NZPIA / CAA or regulatory existence we currently live in, read some of the articles on this website (history of NZPF is a good place to start) to get more background information. In short, in the recent past, all activities surrounding NZ sport and industry skydiving have been funded largely by operators' fees.

With the introduction of 115 and the focus for operators shifting away from sport/recreational to meet those industry requirements, the role of the 149 organisation (NZPIA) has changed. This has led to the need of the 149 costs, for the services provided, to be spread more fairly, as up until recently, the operators have had to foot the bill for everything, including licencing and renewal costs, something that is ultimately the responsibility of the individual. Currently the operators are still contributing largely towards the costs of running the NZPIA. If the entire costs were to be put onto the individual, the licence fees would be incredible!

Believe it or not, the NZPIA have actually worked to keep all the fees as reasonable as possible and prior to the introduction of this new annual membership, they have reduced the initial certification fees and also TM rating fees. Since the change in CEO, the NZPIA have also spent the last 18 months reviewing their processes in an effort to add value to the services that they provide and this is ongoing!

So where is your money going? That is what you are really asking isn't it?

Your licence is not just a bit of plastic. There are rules and regulations that govern skydiving in NZ and your annual fee goes towards that governance, updating the rules, making changes as the sport changes, introduction of new disciplines, dealing with CAA on your behalf and fighting for your rights as well as writing manuals and all the other fun stuff. The NZPIA is an organisation, with an infrastructure, with someone available to answer your inquiries, a Safety Director responsible for investigations, someone to maintain the website as well as the membership database and its records too.

One of the biggest benefits that this fee structure has, is that there will soon be information available to us about the make-up of NZ sport skydiving. At this point there are no accurate records to show how many active skydivers there are, where they are located, etc. The introduction of this fee will allow them to track this information and then the NZPIA can start making better informed decisions of how the income needs to be spent.

So let's be patient. Yes it is $50, but maybe in a year or two when systems and processes are running efficiently, there will be some money available to put straight back into sport skydiving. Let's not forget that the NZPIA Board are volunteers, who don't charge for what they do, the same as us here at the NZPF. There are a lot of people who dedicate many hours of time and a lot of energy towards our great sport.

It isn't going to happen overnight, things take time and the NZPF are working closely with the NZPIA to help push sport skydiving in the right direction and to help drive sport skydiving in NZ forward.

Speaking of which, for all those NZPF members out there, check out the amazing benefits you are receiving this coming season, including discouted tunnel time, freefly skills camps, RW skills camps, canopy courses and more!