Our History

Snow Sports NZ are proud to be the national sporting organisation representing adaptive snowsports, alpine ski racing, cross country skiing, freeskiing and snowboarding. Here's a brief look at how we came to be.

On 5 September 1931 the Federated Mountain Clubs (F.M.C.) of New Zealand set up a subcommittee to consider the control of skiing on a national basis. This committee drafted the constitution and rules of the Ski Council, which were formally adopted at the Annual General Meeting of the F.M.C. in 1932. The Ski Council held its inaugural meeting in Wellington on 18 February 1933 and for the next 21 years continued to be the sport's governing body.

As a result of new developments after the Second World War – the introduction of ski lifts, the appointment of overseas instructors, the construction of new mountain huts, and improved access roads – it appeared desirable that an independent national controlling body should be set up. Accordingly, a plan was submitted to the F.M.C. and was approved in May 1953 by a meeting of delegates from clubs affiliated to the Ski Council. It envisaged a new independent national organisation, to be known as the New Zealand Ski Association, having an executive council composed of three members elected from each island and one member nominated by the F.M.C. In addition, three of the Association's honorary officers, the secretary, the treasurer, and the editor of the New Zealand Ski Year Book, were to be ex-officio members. In May 1954 the constitution and rules of the New Zealand Ski Association were approved by a further meeting of delegates.

The New Zealand Ski Association Incorporated changed its name to Snow Sports New Zealand Incorporated on 7 June 1996.

Over the years, as snow sports developed, other member organisations were formed including The New Zealand Snowboard Association (NZSBA) in 1992,  Ski Racing New Zealand Incorporated in 1994 and Disabled Snow Sports New Zealand in 1976.

The idea of having all the snow sports represented by one umbrella organisation had existed since 2007 and finally became a reality in 2010.  The five separate sports merged under Snow Sports NZ with Ross Palmer as CEO. Ross Palmer had started working for Snow Sports NZ Incorporated in 2008 and he was reappointed in 2010 under the official restructure. Ross McRobie took over in the role of Executive Director at the end of 2010 .

Marty Toomey joined the organisation as CEO in February 2012 and Snow Sports NZ undertook major changes. Most significantly was that the High Performance Sport Winter Performance Programme became part of Snow Sports NZ. Bringing the high performance arm of the sports into the same organisation allowed Snow Sports NZ to offer and manage a clear pathway from first time participation to sport and athlete development to high performance. 

In 2012 High Performance Sport New Zealand (HPSNZ), Sport NZ and Snow Sports NZ began working together on the development of the new high performance centre in Wanaka. The new facility was opened at 78 Anderson Road, Wanaka in April 2013 to provide winter sport athletes with a base to train off the mountain.

Like all HPSNZ training centres, the Wanaka facility is also available for use by carded athletes from all sports that receive investment from HPSNZ.  The centre has a strength and conditioning gym and medical and rehab consulting rooms so specialist staff can provide timely and effective illness and injury diagnosis and management for athletes. There is a trampoline outside so the athletes can practise tricks. 

 Sports History

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