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News posted on Monday 29th May, 2023

Legal and NFP expertise to join Paralympics New Zealand Board

Portraits of Maria Clarke and Pam Elgar; Pam wears a medal

Photo: Maria Clarke (left) and Pam Elgar (right, credit Government House).

Internationally renowned sports lawyer Maria Clarke and experienced sport and not-for-profit leader Pam Elgar have been elected to the Paralympics New Zealand Board.

Paralympics New Zealand is excited to announce the two new appointments, with Board Chair Jana Rangooni saying:

“Maria and Pam bring passion for Paralympics New Zealand’s purpose, ‘through Para sport, lives will be transformed’. They also bring serious clout with their incredible credentials in sport, governance, law, and not-for-profit sector.”

Pam Elgar

Pam Elgar (Ngāruahine) has led significant not-for-profits such as the Make-A-Wish Foundation and Diabetes Auckland, as well as holding sports organisation board positions. In 2022 she was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to hockey and women for over 20 years. Elgar was a foundation member of Women in Sport Aotearoa (WISPA), supporting women and girls to build careers in sport and recreation in New Zealand. She has chaired the Wahine Toa Kei Te Kokiri committee which supports WISPA’s bicultural journey.

She explains:

“I have a deep commitment to diversity equity and inclusion through my own experience as a Māori woman. My experience in sports governance is a great fit for where Paralympics New Zealand is looking to go over the next decade heading towards Brisbane 2032.”

Maria Clarke

Maria Clarke developed sports law (combining her passion for sport and the law) as a new area of legal practice. She established New Zealand’s first ever sports law firm in 2001. As a lawyer she has worked with athletes and organisations across over 50 different sports and recreation organisations, as well as government agencies in sport. These range from high performance to community sport and at local, provincial, regional, national and international level.

She shares her motivation for joining the Board:

“I feel strongly that sport is a powerful mechanism to provide a sense of belonging for everyone in society, including disabled people. Sport inspires, unites and engages communities. The values I have gained through sport align with those of Paralympics New Zealand.”

Thanks to outgoing Board Member Mary Fisher

PNZ wishes to acknowledge and thank outgoing Board Member, Paralympian #174 Mary Fisher, who has completed her term. Following an impressive Para swimming career, Mary helped establish the Paralympics NZ Athletes Council while serving on the board. This ensures that athletes views are well represented in the governance and decision-making process. PNZ is pleased to support more Paralympians moving into governance roles across the sector. 

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