News and Events

NZGHPA internationally recognised by FAI
1 August 2023
At the recent Flying New Zealand dinner in Auckland Sat 22 July 2023, the New Zealand Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association (NZHGPA) was presented with not one, but two prestigious FAI World Sport Medals and Diploma awards, by the  Fédération Aéronautique Internationale World Air Sports Federation.
This is an international recognition as there were nominations from 110 countries and the panel sits in Austria.
  • 50 years of outstanding Service to free flight  – See attached citation by FAI and photos.
  • Outstanding service to Safety of the free flying community – Attached citation and photos.

Award 1: Outstanding Service to Safety of the Free Flying Community

Citation read out by Liz King, FAI representative, New Zealand

“In January 2021, Hamish Dicker created an Accident and Incident Reporting System (AIRS) for Hang gliding and Paragliding in New Zealand. The system provided extensive data to create the first comprehensive NZHGPA Annual Pilot Safety Reports.
In April 2021, the NZHGPA was granted approval by CAA to independently administer their own Accident and Incident Reporting System and created a Safety Hub that provides real-time occurrence and safety reports.
The initial Annual Safety Report identified the necessity for further investigation, resulting in the formation of the Safety Task Force (STF), comprising six pilots with specialised expertise in their respective disciplines.
The STF was tasked with producing a comprehensive report that would search worldwide for best practices and provide a risk-focused approach to improving the safety and wellbeing of pilots. The group met weekly for over a year and produced the ground-breaking Safety Task Force Report.
The report is just starting to gain traction worldwide with other Hang Gliding and Paragliding organisations and will be used to shape safety planning in the NZHGPA Strategic Plan.”

Not all the Safety Task Force Team could make the awards. Each member will receive a FAI Diploma for outstanding service

Nick Taber, NZHGPA CEO and Bob Henderson, FAI President of honour

Louie Tapper (right) and Bob Henderson, FAI President of honour

Matt Harrison, Human Factors Psychologist, NZHGA Safety Task Force and Bob Henderson, FAI President of honour

Award 2 – 50 years of outstanding Service to free flight

Citation read out by Liz King, FAI representative, New Zealand

“The New Zealand Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association (NZHGPA) is a voluntary organization that has been granted special delegation powers from the Civil Aviation Authority. These powers allow them to manage the training, licensing, and equipment standards of around 1,718 active pilots across five disciplines, including hang gliding, foot-launched non-powered and powered, paragliding, paramotoring and speedwing flying.
The association also issues 33 different pilot ratings and authorizes flying sites.
Over the years, the NZHGPA has trained approximately 16,863 pilots and hosted over 10,000 worldwide visiting pilots. Additionally, hundreds of thousands of tourists have experienced tandem gliding, creating memorable experiences. The association’s 11 regional clubs host local competitions leading up to the NZHGPA annual Hang Glider and Paraglider National Cat 2 Competitions. New sports disciplines like acrobatics and Hike and Fly have also been introduced in New Zealand’s Southern Alps.
The NZHGPA has been producing Airborn Magazine for 50 years, listing regional appointed Club Officer positions from HG/PG Sites, Safety, Airspace, Secretary, President, Association Operations, and Governance. Around 90 volunteers across New Zealand keep the sport alive, and many have been involved in a voluntary capacity for decades.
The NZHGPA has planned events in 2023 to celebrate its contribution to aviation sport, recognizing volunteers and pilots. Including a dinner hosted by the NZ Government’s Sports Minister at the Parliamentary Building in Wellington on November 11, 2023. Overall, the NZHGPA’s contribution to free flight and tourism in New Zealand is significant, and the association remains an essential organization for those passionate about the sport.”

Emlyn Revelle-Nash, member of the NZHGPA executive committee accepting the award on behalf of the NZHGPA from Bob Henderson, FAI President of honour.