Paralympics New Zealand has called for applicants to join its  Athletes' Council ©Paralympics New Zealand

Paralympics New Zealand (PNZ) has called for applications from eligible candidates to join the newly established PNZ Athletes’ Council.

The Council will serve as a Consultative Committee, providing governance and management advice to the PNz regarding issues impacting Paralympians and Para athletes.

PNZ claimed the Council will provide athletes with greater participation and input within the Paralympic sport system in New Zealand and internationally.

"This is an exciting opportunity for Paralympians and Para athletes and we look forward to ensuring the Paralympian and Para athlete voice is at the heart of Paralympics New Zealand," said Fiona Allan, PNZ chief executive.

"I’m looking forward to the increased input from the PNZ Athletes’ Council in the future."

The Council will consist of five elected members, with the option to appoint two additional members if required.

Members will be tasked with representing Paralympians and Para athlete community and support the work of PNZ on Paralympic Games operations, performance, and policy.

The body will also connect with other athletes’ councils nationally and globally to discuss issues relating to active Paralympians and Para athletes within the Paralympic Movement.

Responsibilities will include recording minutes of the Council meetings and decisions, and circulating these to members, the PNZ chief executive and board.

Members must ensure the Council works within its annual budget to achieve a work plan, as well as making the best effort to attend all meetings in person or virtually.

Paralympic gold medallist Mary Fisher helped support the establishment of the new PNZ Council ©Getty Images
Paralympic gold medallist Mary Fisher helped support the establishment of the new PNZ Council ©Getty Images

The Council will meet a minimum of three times per year, with one meeting held alongside the PNZ Annual General Meeting.

PNZ say the meetings can be held in person or virtually.

PNZ Board member Mary Fisher, a double Paralympic gold medallist in swimming, supported the establishment of the Council.

"Consulting with Paralympians and Para athletes via the PNZ Athletes’ Council can add value to so many areas," she said.

"The Athletes’ Council provides a clear pathway for dialogue, and it shows how much value PNZ continues to place on the experience and learnings from an athlete’s perspective."

Candidates for the Council must either be a Paralympian, who has represented New Zealand in at least one of the previous three Paralympic Games, or a Para athlete.

PNZ say eligible Para athletes must either be a current or past competitor who has represented New Zealand at a World Championships, Commonwealth Games or other international competitions within the past 12 years.

Candidates must be at least 18 years of age, reside in New Zealand, and have not received any sanctions regarding doping, sports betting or rule breaches.

Applications for the Council are due to close on November 5 at 5pm local time.

Council members will be appointed by the end of November, with the first meeting of the body planned in early 2022.