The inaugural meeting of the Free Beach Group occurred in July 1975, at the Howick home of one its founders, Robin & Jenny Hoare. The first newsletter was published the following month. Their prime purpose is to keep the membership in touch; report on places to go; publicise any legal developments and note other information of interest to 'free range' naturists. A summary of Free Beach history before then is covered by Emiel Roland in The Naturist, issue #81.
Until 1992 the newsletters originated in Auckland (although for the last couple of those years they were copied and distributed from Wellington).
In 1992 the national committee shifted from Auckland to Wellington and the majority membership numbers followed suit. In 2005 it became Christchurch's turn to set up the national committee, and again the regional membership majority moved south. In 2008 the name was changed from Free Beach Group (Inc.) to Free Beaches New Zealand (Inc). Also around that time, those whose prime interest was the annual summer trip to Ngatuhoa Lodge, near Tauranga, in the Kaimai Range, became an associated but separate entity: Ngatuhoa Naturally.
The newsletters started out on foolscap paper, but moved fairly soon to A4 (sometimes to A5 - ie: folded A4), then up to folded A3, but nearly always in monochrome; and not often with any illustrations. Here, the original pages are presented in html as vertical scrolls, but otherwise generally match the appearance of the original pages as closely as is practicable. However, especially in the early days, the newsletters were not stapled, so a number of them - from the 90s on - are either not complete or possibly conflated with a subsequent issue (particularly if the relevant front page is missing). Also during the 90s specific, separate pages from Wellington, Christchurch and occasionally South Auckland, were included: in which case the page order reproduced here may not be that of the original, as preference has been given to a consistent geographical order: north to south.
As the internet has become more pervasive the number of newsletters actually printed has steadily declined, and an illustrated, coloured version is now emailed to those members providing an email address for it. The printed monochrome version is still available, though.
Like The New Zealand Naturist, the Free Beach newsletter has always been produced by volunteers, but unlike The Naturist (now gonatural), the newsletter production has always been 'in house'.
Although in the early days the NZ Sunbathing Association (now the NZ Naturist Federation) had several people, in particular: Emiel Roland; pushing for the establishment of 'free beaches' from the early 70s in New Zealand, the Free Beach Group 'just popped up' independently of those efforts. Thus the Free Beach organisation was initially 'outside' the NZSA but almost from the time of incorporation negotiations were begun to join that Association. Affiliation as an Associate Member was eventually granted by the NZNF, in the mid-80s.
Free Beaches NZ Inc. is still however, the main organisation which is prepared to offer support to members in legal strife (should it stem merely from being naked).