Paralympics New Zealand
Paralympics New Zealand (PNZ) is the National Paralympic Committee (NPC) for New Zealand. We are a charity and our overall vision is ‘Excellence & Equity through Sport’. As a member of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), we are part of a worldwide social change movement, which uses the power of sport to positively influence community perceptions of disabled people and to promote a more diverse and inclusive society. To do this, we support and celebrate the achievements of Para athletes at international and national competitions all year round. Every two years, we lead New Zealand teams to the Paralympic Games. We also work in the local community to advocate for sport to become more accessible for disabled people and to support the creation of more systems and programmes to enable participation in Para sport.
The support that PNZ receives through government funding, grants from trusts and foundations, donations, commercial partnerships and gifts in wills make our Para sport, community and advocacy programmes possible. We remain incredibly grateful for any support received. You can help too, by visiting Support Us or Donate Now.
Vision and Mission
Excellence & Equity through Sport
LEAD | Prepare, select and lead teams to Paralympic Games
EXCEL | Ensure development of programmes, systems and events to support Para-Athletes to win medals
CHAMPION | Acknowledge and celebrate disabled New Zealanders
ADVOCATE | Promote equity through sport
New Zealand’s first participation in sports events for people with disabilities was in 1962 when an Auckland paraplegic attended the British Commonwealth Paraplegic Games held in Western Australia.
In 1965, Auckland established the first disability regional association and in 1966 a team comprising of nine Aucklanders and one Dunedin competitor were selected to attend the Commonwealth Games in Jamaica.
Christchurch held the first inter-regional games in 1966. In 1968, the first National Disabled Championships were held with 29 competitors. The Otago-Southland association was formed shortly after this event, followed by another in Wellington.
Also in 1968, the New Zealand Paraplegic & Physically Disabled Federation was formed as the National Sports Organisation for people with disabilities, to enable an official team to represent New Zealand at the Paralympic Games in Israel. 16 Para athletes competed and returned with one gold, two silver and one bronze medals.
In January 2007, the New Zealand Paraplegic & Physically Disabled Federation changed its name to become Paralympics New Zealand. This was to gain greater public awareness and raise the profile of disability sport by focusing on its most prestigious event – the Paralympic Games.