Paralympics New Zealand announces new CEO and Secretary General Greg Warnecke
Paralympics New Zealand (PNZ) is pleased to announce Greg Warnecke as the new CEO and Secretary General of Paralympics New Zealand. An exceptional range of people applied for the role, which is a testament to the high regard in which PNZ is held.
Warnecke is an experienced leader in the sports sector who has had dynamic roles leading large teams, including the 2021 Cricket World Test Championships, 2019 Cricket World Cup, 2017 World Masters Games in New Zealand and 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. He replaces Fiona Allan who has led the organisation for 14 years.
Warnecke notes Allan leaves big shoes to fill after her significant contribution to PNZ, the global Paralympic Movement, and sport in New Zealand:
“It’s Fiona’s contribution that delivers a great platform and time for me to be joining PNZ for the next phase of the journey.
“I’m excited to be given the opportunity to join PNZ and to work with the Board, team, Athletes Council, Members, partners, stakeholders, Paralympians and Para athletes, as we prepare our teams to successfully represent New Zealand at the Paralympic Games in Paris 2024, Milano Cortina 2026 and beyond.”
Warnecke is also experienced in the disability sports sector and in governance. He is currently on the boards of British Triathlon, and the 2023 IBSA World Blind Games in Birmingham. He has past experience coaching Wheelchair Basketball internationally and is also a member of the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation Competition Commission.
“I’ve been fortunate to have a long personal and professional connection to disability and Para sport, having seen first-hand the value and power of Para sport, and the positive impacts it can have on individuals, teams, brands and communities. I am looking forward to arriving back in New Zealand and getting to work with the PNZ Team and wider sector.”
Warnecke joins PNZ at a critical time as we count down to the summer Paralympic Games in Paris next year and Paralympic Winter Games in Milano Cortina in 2026. At the same time, he will be focused on putting in place a strategy for Brisbane 2032 to dramatically change the landscape in New Zealand, ensuring every sport has a pathway from participation to high performance for disabled people.
Warnecke’s skills in the sector with a wide range of international stakeholders will be invaluable to PNZ in the years ahead, helping the organisation continue to achieve world class performances and success at the Paralympic Games, and to drive change in society day-to-day.
“PNZ stood out to me as a values-driven organisation, with an important social agenda beyond the field of play. PNZ educates New Zealanders about disability and Para sport, and leverages the platform that is created to enhance equity and inclusion, and to promote more opportunities for increased participation in Para sport across the country”.
Warnecke is currently based in the UK and excited about moving to New Zealand for this role. He will be starting full time in the office the first week in July.
PNZ board member and IPC Vice President Duane Kale has been appointed into the role of Interim CEO between April and July, ensuring a smooth transition between the two CEOs.