|Barbershop quartet singing has been around in New Zealand for many years although little is recorded of actual performances or personnel. Mostly they were one-off events or performing quartets with little contact with each other.|
In 1979 the Merry Macs, a visiting male quartet from Hawaii, sang to an entranced audience in Auckland. This led to the formation, by Ken Redwood, of a singing group which became known as the MoTAT Chorus recognising that the singers met at the Museum of Transport and Technology. Now called the City of Sails Chorus, it has been the gold medal winner on many occasions since the inception of the NZABS Chorus competition in 1992.
The New Zealand Association of Barbershop Singers was established in the early eighties but did not function as an association until the Harbour Capital Chorus was formed in Wellington in February 1988 followed by the Canterbury Plainsmen, based in Christchurch, in 1989.
During this period the number of quartets continued to grow and in 1989 the inaugural NZABS Convention was held in Wellington for quartet competitions only.
Since that time, other chapters have been established in Hamilton, Tauranga, Napier, Palmerston North, Blenheim, Nelson,New Plymouth, Dunedin and Invercargill. Auckland also has a second Chapter Pride of Auckland and a second chorus Vocal FX has been started in Wellington.