Posted on Friday 4th March, 2022

Key points:

  • The Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games are officially opened tonight (1am NZT).
  • Paralympian #158 Adam Hall has been appointed Hāpai Kara, a leadership role.
  • The team will celebrate the opening in uniquely Kiwi style in Yanqing Paralympic Village.
  • New Zealand will be represented at the Opening Ceremony by two non-athlete team members.


The New Zealand Paralympic Team will join together tonight to mark the opening of the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games and celebrate the announcement of Paralympian #158 Adam Hall as Hāpai Kara.

New Zealand will be represented at the Opening Ceremony in the National Stadium in Beijing by two non-athlete team members (broadcast live on TVNZ DUKE at 1am). The three New Zealand Para athletes won’t be present as they compete the next morning.

What is the Hāpai Kara role?

A hāpai is a carrier or bearer, and comes from the whakatauki, ‘Te amorangi ki mua, te hapai o ki muri.’ Literally translates to the priests in front, the bearers of provisions behind. Also explained as the balance of spiritual and physical needs. Kara can translate as a term of address to a friend; a flag, banner or ensign; or a request for support in times of conflict.

“It is an honour and a privilege to be part of this winter Paralympic team, which has broken through many challenges and trained extremely hard to represent our country on the world stage here in Beijing. Thank you for choosing me as Hāpai Kara of this special team. This is only the second time that there has been a role for Hāpai Kara of the New Zealand Paralympic Team.

“As a whole team, we look forward to the opportunity over the coming days to put into fruition our journey of training and challenges which have led us to this point. An opportunity only once every four years where we get to show the nation and the world what it is that we do.

“To the many New Zealanders who have wished us well, thank you – we hope we will make you proud.”

Paralympian and Hāpai Kara Adam Hall

“Now at his fifth Paralympics, Adam truly is a role model for this NZ Paralympic Team and all the other aspiring athletes in New Zealand. In the many years I have known him, he has shown himself to be the embodiment of the Paralympic values: courage, determination, inspiration, and equality. He’s also a phenomenal athlete – I can’t wait to see him compete tomorrow!”

Jane Stevens, Chef de Mission

To celebrate the opening of the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games, and Adam’s appointment as Hāpai Kara the New Zealand Paralympic Team will gather this evening in the Yanqing Paralympic Village. Jane Stevens (Chef de Mission) will lead the celebration, which will include sharing the messages of support which have been received from supporters back home. New Zealanders wishing to add their message to the “Snowstorm of Support” can do so at https://paralympics.org.nz/send-your-support/.

The team will be getting an early night following the celebration as all three New Zealand Para athletes, Adam Hall, Corey Peters and Aaron Ewen, will be looking to make their presence felt in the Para alpine skiing Downhill event the following morning. New Zealanders can catch the action as it happens from 3pm NZT on TVNZ DUKE and OnDemand.

For more about the NZ Paralympic Team, how to support, and the competition schedule, go to https://paralympics.org.nz/winter/beijing-2022/