The Historical Medal Society of Australia & New Zealand (HMSANZ) was one of several medal-issuing organisations in New Zealand in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The Society never formally met, and distributed a monthly journal, Historica, in lieu of meetings. Its main purpose was apparently to issue and market commemorative medals. These medals were noted for the depth and quality of their strike.
The activities of the HMSANZ appear to have been facilitated in part (if not in total) by prominent Auckland numismatist Bert Williams and his wife Nell. The Society maintained a postal address in Australia as well as New Zealand, using Williams' sister's Sydney address.
Subscribers to Historica were offered preferential purchasing rights to the medals. The first medals were struck in silver (intended for members only) and copper, which the public could purchase at $3.00 each. Later issues included gilt medals, and a trail version in aluminium was produced.
The medals were co-ordinated and financed by Bert Williams, who used inheritance money as seed funding. The medals were struck by K.G. Luke in Melbourne, with the possible exception of the final medal.
The first medal was issued in April 1968, prompted by the the sinking of the ferry Wahine, considered to be one the worst maritime disasters in New Zealand history. In the same year a medal was issued to commemorate the Apollo 8 mission (NU 23871). In 1969 medals were issued to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the sinking of the HMAS Voyager and the Apollo XI mission (NU 23870). Medals were issued for James Cook's bicentenary (1969-70), the royal visit to Australia (1970), Auckland centenary (1971) and Auckland Harbour Board centenary (1971). The final medal, the One Ton Cup (1971), was intended to be produced under a sponsorship arrangement, but never went into final production.
The final issue of Historica was probably August 1970; the Society folded some time during or shortly after 1971, when Williams moved to Waipu.
Purdy, Martin (2003). Historical Medal Sociey of Australia and New Zealand, 1968-71.
New Zealand Numismatic Journal, No.81, December. 2003.