Hunting on horses to hounds is one of the oldest sports in existence dating back to early European history.

Hunting in NZ was introduced by early settlers nostalgic for the sport of their homeland, forming the first Hunt, the Auckland Hunt Club in the 1860's.

As foxes or hares had not been introduced into the new country at this stage the sport
was carried out by a fi eld chasing “ hounds”. Hounds being designated mounted riders, usually dashing young officers of the garrison. Many of those followers went on to establish the Pakuranga Hunt in 1872 which is now the oldest Hunt in New Zealand.

Governor, Sir George Grey introduced the first hounds in 1868. This was a pack of beagles which he sold to settler William McLaughlin, who later became Master of the Pakuranga Hunt. This pack was added to by the purchase, from a ship's Doctor, of a fox hound bitch and dog and their eight voyage whelped puppies, by Alfred Buckland another founding member of the Pakuranga Hunt.  In 1872 these Pakuranga Hunt hounds formed the basis of the first pack in NZ. Canterbury settlers formed a Hunt in 1875, followed by the Rangitikei in 1881: and slowly over the years almost all of the huntable country was served by a Hunt, or had the benefit of annual meets with a visiting pack of hounds. Governer Grey is also credited amongst many other liberators including the New Zealand Acclimatization Society as being the first person to introduce the hare around the Pakuranga area throughout the 1860's. These quickly became established and spread throughout the country, no doubt assisted by various local introductions.

Since then the sport of hunting has spread almost as rapidly as the development of farmland. Today there are 28 Hunts' affiliated to the New Zealand Hunts' Association Inc., with the Central Otago Hunt the most recently established in 1989.

United Hunt, Wellington 1890