The birth of Theosophy in New Zealand take place when Augustine Les Edgar King became the first New Zealand member, having joined when on a visit to London. His Diploma is dated 3rd April 1879 and on his return to New Zealand he became the first member of the Society in the Southern Hemisphere. Mr Thomas G de Remzy of Dunedin joined in January 1883 and at the end of that year Mr & Mrs James Cox became members in Auckland. Mr E.T. Sturdy whom Col. Olcott referred to as the “Father of Theosophy in New Zealand”, joined the Society in 1885 while living at Woodville in Hawkes Bay. After travelling overseas and meeting Col. Olcott, H.P. Blavatsky and W.Q. Judge he returned to New Zealand and settled in Wellington. Gathering a group of students around him he started the Wellington Lodge which was chartered in 1888. Unfortunately this, the first lodge in New Zealand, ceased to exist when Mr Sturdy returned to England, where he became a student in H.P.B.’s “inner group."
The New Zealand Section received it Charter on 7 April 1896 signed by Henry Steel Olcott, the president-founder of the Theosophical Society. The branches at that time were, Auckland, Dunedin, Christchurch, Wellington, Pahiatua, Woodville and Waitemata. Miss Lilian Edger MA, was appointed General Secretary, to carry out the preliminary business of the organisation.