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PNZ Athletes’ Council

The PNZ Athletes’ Council is a consultative committee established by Paralympics New Zealand (PNZ) in 2021 to act as the athletes’ voice within PNZ, providing governance and management advice on matters impacting on Paralympians and Para athletes.

Purpose of the PNZ Athletes’ Council

The purpose of the Athletes’ Council is to represent New Zealand Paralympians and Para athletes while empowering athlete participation and voice within New Zealand and the Paralympic Movement internationally, including:

  • Supporting the work of PNZ on all matters relating to Paralympic Games operations, performance, and policy, including providing advice and advancing projects that achieve Council and PNZ outcomes.
  • Representing Paralympians and Para athletes’ rights and interests and to participate in PNZ consultation and decision-making.
  • Safeguarding the balance between active Paralympians and Para athletes’ wellbeing and the performance requirements in high performance sport.
  • Connecting with other athletes’ Councils to discuss issues relating to active Paralympians and Para athletes within the Paralympic Movement.
  • Advocating for Paralympian and Para athlete voice in PNZ member organisations.

What we do

The PNZ Athletes’ Council will have input into the following PNZ activities:


  • Advocate for Paralympians and Para athletes.
  • Champion the right for equal opportunity for all disabled New Zealanders to be involved in sport.
  • Bring the New Zealand Para athlete perspective to national and international sporting issues.

Operational and strategic input

  • NZ Paralympic Team campaign development including:
    • Advisory on the Para athlete experience in the lead up to and at the Paralympic Games
    • Appoint Para athletes to consult on Paralympic Games uniform design
    • Advise on the Para Athletes’ Agreement for the Paralympic Games
    • Advise on marketing campaigns for the Paralympic Games
  • Advise on the following:
  • Para Athletes’ Agreement for PNZ Para Sport High Performance Programmes.
  • PNZ marketing and brand campaigns.
  • Welfare initiatives.
  • Classification initiatives.
  • Anti-doping education support.
  • Development of leadership and career pathways/opportunities for Para athletes.
  • PNZ strategy.
  • New PNZ programmes such as Paralympian Alumni, Para Sport Champions, Para Sport Collective.
  • Strategic development of the PNZ Athletes’ Council.

What are the responsibilities of PNZ Athletes’ Council Members?

  • Record minutes of the Council meeting and decisions, circulate these to the members of the Council, PNZ Chief Executive and PNZ Board, and approve them at the next Council meeting.
  • Record minutes of the Council meeting and decisions, circulate these to the members of the Council, PNZ Chief Executive and PNZ Board, and approve them at the next Council meeting.
  • Work within the annual budget to achieve the work plan of the Council.
  • Make their best effort to participate in all Council meetings either in person or virtually.

The Council meets not less than three times a year with one meeting aligning with the PNZ AGM. Meetings may be in person or virtually.

PNZ Athletes’ Council eligibility criteria

The Council comprises five elected members with the option to appoint two additional members if required. Members are elected by eligible Paralympians and Para athletes and appointed by the Council in consultation with the PNZ Board. 

Paralympians and Para athletes that are eligible to be elected members of the PNZ Athletes’ Council include:

  1. A Paralympian has represented New Zealand in at least one of the previous three (3) Paralympic Games (winter or summer).
  2. A Para athlete who has represented New Zealand at a World Championships, Commonwealth Games or other international competitions within the past twelve (12) years.
  3. All Paralympians and Para athletes must be at least 18 years of age, reside in New Zealand, and have not received any sanctions in relation to World anti-doping, or any sports betting or breach of rules/regulations.

Contact Us

If you would like to get in touch with the PNZ Athletes’ Council, or get more information, please email  [email protected].

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