Nico Porteous, 15, who is expected to be New Zealand's youngest entrant at the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games ©Getty Images

Fifteen-year-old Nico Porteus is set to become New Zealand's youngest Winter Olympian after being named in the country's squad for Pyeongchang 2018.

The youngster was among the first batch of names confirmed for the Games by New Zealand, with the freestyle halfpipe skier joining his 18-year-old brother Miguel Porteous who competes in the same discipline.

Kendall Brown, a halfpipe snowboarder, is New Zealand's current youngest Winter Olympian.

She competed at Turin 2006 at the age of 16, finishing 25th.

"It's been a big dream of mine to represent my country at the Olympic Winter Games, there's been lots of build up so for it to be finally happening is very cool," said Nico Porteous.

In all, nine freestyle and snowboard athletes have been selected by New Zealand, at a ceremony on the shores of Lake Wanaka.

They all met both the Snow Sports NZ nomination criteria and the selection standards set by the New Zealand Olympic Committee (NZOC).

Among the selected athletes are 18-year-old slopestyle skier Finn Bilous, a silver and bronze medallist at the Lillehammer 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games.

World Championship silver medallist Zoi Sadowski Synnott will compete in snowboard slopestyle ©Getty Images
World Championship silver medallist Zoi Sadowski Synnott will compete in snowboard slopestyle ©Getty Images

His colleagues Tiarn Collins, 17, in snowboard slopestyle and big air, and Rakai Tait, 18, in snowboard halfpipe have also made the team.

Sixteen-year-old Zoi Sadowski Synnott, a silver medallist at the International Ski Federation Freestyle World Championships in Sierra Nevada this year in snowboard slopestyle, also takes her place in the squad.

Janina Kuzma, 32, will return for her second Olympics after coming fifth in the women's ski halfpipe at Sochi 2014.

Carlos Garcia Knight, 20, in snowboard slopestyle and snowboard big air, and World Championship ski cross silver medallist Jamie Prebble complete the selections made so far.

Further nominations are expected to be announced in the coming months, including in speed skating, skeleton and Alpine skiing, as well as further freestyle and snowboard athletes.

Kereyn Smith, the chief executive of NZOC, paid tribute to the athletes and said that the handing over of the Te Mahutonga, the team's cloak, from the Rio 2016 team to the Pyeongchang 2018 team reminded the country of the "pride and honour with which our athletes represent New Zealand".

"With just over 100 days to go, we are very pleased to welcome the first athletes to the New Zealand Olympic Winter Team," she said. 

"These athletes compete in Olympic winter sports which require incredible physical and mental strength and they have undoubtedly earned the right to wear the fern at the Olympic Winter Games."