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Royal Astronomical Society of New Zealand

The Royal Astronomical Society of New Zealand (RASNZ) is the national entity supporting amateur and professional astronomers, public education, outreach, research and subject-matter expertise. RASNZ administers the Kingdon Tomlinson Endowment Fund.

RASNZ is composed of more than 3,000 members and participants, over a network of 27 astronomical and dark sky societies across Aotearoa. It was founded in 1920 as the New Zealand Astronomical Society and assumed its present title on receiving the Royal Charter in 1946. In 1967 it became a Member Body of the Royal Society of New Zealand and is responsible for making recommendations of the names of individuals in New Zealand who are to be nominated for membership of the International Astronomical Union.

RASNZ’s Kingdon Tomlinson Endowment Fund was set up in February 2021 to hold the endowment of Julie Anne Tomlinson in trust with the Auckland Foundation and to be applied in promoting New Zealand astronomy. It had been 60 years since RASNZ received support for the first time from the Kingdon Tomlinson Trust for an astronomical endeavour. Over the years Grants from the Fund held in Trust have been awarded as recommended by RASNZ for a variety of astronomical activities to individuals, affiliated societies, observatories and astronomical grassroot projects.


Tarantula        RASNZ logo

Tarantula Nebula


Carina Nebula  Comet leonard

Carina Nebula & Comet Leonard


"…the Kingdon Tomlinson Fund (KTF) has always been a godsend to Astronomical society members…the KT Fund has often made the difference between what was and was not possible. And not just for the organisers, or for the life of the project, but for the enduring impact on all those who came, saw and built!"

-Marilyn Head

"The grant was used to purchase a high quality 12.5" f/4 conical mirror for my home-built Newtonian telescope…to capture…some of the longest amateur deep sky exposures, first optical detection of the Southern jet in Centaurus A, light echoes from SN1987a and Eta Carinae mid-19th-century Great Eruption and imaging the cosmic web. I have also been able to collaborate with scientists on studies of Centaurus A, and with NASA on a Pro-Am project."

-Rolf Wahl Olsen

"In 2016, the Horowhenua Astronomical Society received a grant from the Kingdon Tomlinson Trust to aid in the restoration of the society’s observatory…we commissioned the design and construction of a new dome to precise specifications. Through the dedicated efforts of our members, the fully restored observatory was unveiled in 2017. Since then, it has offered both members and the public exceptional views of the night sky."

-Steve Chadwick


Auckland Foundation is proud to work alongside RASNZ as their fund manager supporting public education, outreach and research across Aotearoa. Learn more about RASNZ's work by heading to their website. To donate to the fund, please click the donate now button below.


Donate Now


RASNZ Website

RASNZ Annual Report 2023