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Exploring the world of sports in New Zealand

Are you a sports enthusiast seeking a new home?

New Zealand, a land renowned for its breathtaking landscapes, has long been known as a global sporting powerhouse.

From rugby to cricket, sailing to soccer, the nation’s sporting achievements are deeply ingrained in its identity. Beyond its natural beauty and high quality of life, New Zealand’s thriving sports culture offers a compelling reason for individuals to consider immigrating to this Pacific paradise.

In this article, we delve into the rich world of sports in New Zealand and explore why it stands as an irresistible destination for sports enthusiasts seeking a new home.

First, let’s take a glimpse at some of New Zealand’s sporting achievements outside of the world-renowned arena of Rugby.


Athletics holds a rich and enduring legacy within New Zealand, woven with a tapestry of remarkable achievements. The nation’s track and field history has seen the rise of illustrious figures like Jack Lovelock and John Walker, who have left an indelible mark on the sport. In the realm of throwing events, New Zealand proudly boasts gold-medal triumphs, exemplified by the exceptional prowess of Valerie Adams in the shot-put discipline. These luminaries illuminate New Zealand’s deep-rooted tradition in athletics, embodying the dedication, talent, and passion that continue to inspire generations of athletes. And one of New Zealand’s newest achievements in the athletics world, we now have an Olympic medal-winning pole vaulter with Eliza McCartney.

New Zealand at the Olympics & World Championships

Kiwi athletes have achieved an impressive tally of 143 medals, comprising 137 from the Summer Games and an additional six from the Winter Games.

Winter Games

Zoi Sadowski-Synnott secured the nation’s second Winter Olympic medal during the inaugural big air snowboarding competition held in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Her outstanding performance earned her a well-deserved bronze medal. On that same day, the young prodigy Nico Porteous, at the age of 16, clinched New Zealand’s third Winter Olympic medal by securing a bronze in the men’s ski halfpipe event.

Fast forward four years to the eagerly anticipated Winter Olympics of 2022, and Zoi Sadowski-Synnott once again etched her name in New Zealand’s sports history. This time, she soared to greater heights by capturing the nation’s very first Winter Olympics gold medal in the women’s slopestyle competition, an extraordinary feat that reverberated across the country.

Following this success, Nico Porteous reaffirmed his exceptional talent and determination by seizing New Zealand’s second-ever Winter Olympics gold medal in the men’s ski halfpipe, solidifying his status as a rising star and an inspiration to aspiring athletes.


Lisa Carrington made history as the inaugural New Zealand female sprint paddler to seize a gold medal at the world championships. The momentous occasion unfolded during the 2011 edition held in Szeged, Hungary, where she triumphed in the K1 200m event.


New Zealand snatched three gold medals in Rowing (Women’s Coxless Pair –   Kerri Gowler, Grace Prendergast; Women’s Single Sculls – Emma Twigg; & Men’s Coxed Eight), and two silver medals (Women’s Double Sculls- Brooke Donoghue, Hannah Osborne; &Women’s Coxed Eight) at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The country scored a gold – Women’s Coxless Pair (Kerri Gowler, Grace Prendergast), a silver – Women’s Single Sculls (Emma Twigg), and a bronze – Women’s Lightweight Single Sculls (Jackie Kiddle) at the World Championships in Rowing in Czech Republic.

New Zealand has always excelled in rowing, just to name a few of our rowing greats from years past with Hamish Bond, Eric Murray, Maye Drysdale, Caroline and Georgina Evers-Swindell, the list is long.

Cycling & Sailing

Ellesse Andrews and Campbell Stewart from New Zealand won two silver medals in Cycling while Peter Burling and Blair Tuke won a silver medal in Sailing at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The country has won 6 gold, 4 silver, and 9 bronze in Cycling at the UCI World Championships in Scotland this year. Sarah Ulmer had the world captivated for many years with her amazing skills on the track, she was New Zealand’s first Olympic cycling gold medallist when she won the 3000m individual pursuit at Athens in 2004.

X Games

At the esteemed 2021 X Games in Aspen, athletes from the New Zealand Team achieved a remarkable feat, securing gold, silver, and bronze medals. The X Games stands as the ultimate pinnacle of the season, extending exclusive invitations solely to the world’s top athletes.

Freeskier Nico Porteous made history as the first athlete to successfully execute a right double 1620 and a combination of a right double 1620 into a left double 1620 in a halfpipe competition. This ground-breaking performance earned him the Freeski SuperPipe Gold medal, marking New Zealand’s first-ever gold in this discipline.

Now, let’s dive deeper into the world-famous New Zealand Rugby.


The All Blacks

The All Blacks, New Zealand’s national rugby union team, stand as a symbol of excellence in men’s international rugby, which is the country’s national sport.

The All Blacks are known as the most successful sports team in history for their unmatched international success.

The All Blacks clinched victory in the Rugby World Cup in 1987, 2011, and 2015, a feat unparalleled as the first three-time and consecutive champions.

Pioneers in more than just their gameplay, New Zealand held the pinnacle position in the World Rugby Rankings since its inception in 2003, a testament to their enduring supremacy.

With a remarkable tally of ten World Rugby Team of the Year titles from 2001 onwards, bestowed by World Rugby, New Zealand’s rugby legacy remains an awe-inspiring narrative of skill and achievement.

The Black Ferns

The Black Ferns stand as New Zealand’s premier women’s rugby squad, holding an unparalleled dominance across the rugby landscape. Their remarkable record includes Rugby World Cup triumphs in 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010, 2017, and most recently in 2022. Their performance shines as a testament to their excellence, boasting an exceptional win rate of over 85% in international Tests.

Adding to their legacy, the Black Ferns captured the hearts of Aotearoa in 2022 by clinching the Rugby World Cup on their home turf, an unforgettable moment that etched their name into the annals of rugby history.

New Zealand’s 7’s

New Zealand’s rugby sevens success is a testament to the country’s robust rugby development system. The team is known for nurturing and harnessing young talent, providing a pathway for emerging players to transition from provincial rugby to the international sevens stage.

The success of the Black Ferns Sevens, the women’s counterpart to the All Blacks Sevens, stands as a testament to NZR’s dedication to fostering talent and providing opportunities for women in rugby sevens.

There are so many more sporting achievements we could list, like our golfing greats Lydia Ko, Ryan Fox and Michael Campbell, or squash players both current winners and from the past – Paul Coll, Joelle King, Susan Devoy, our New Zealand America’s Cup winning team – the sports available in New Zealand is extensive.

Adventure capital of the world

Did you know that Queenstown, home of adventure in New Zealand is known as the ‘Adventure capital of the world’?

From towering mountains to exhilarating exploits, this country embraces grandeur in everything it offers. The birthplace of bungy jumping and jet boating, it’s a realm of extreme sports and pulse-pounding adventures awaiting eager travellers.

In this land, the sky, mountains, rivers, and oceans are our playgrounds for adrenaline-fueled exploits. Are you ready for heart-pounding bungy jumps or skydives that’ll make your pulse race? Perhaps you’re drawn to the challenge of white-water rafting, underground tubing, or snowboarding against nature’s backdrop? No matter your choice, you will love the experience of New Zealand’s finest adrenaline rushes.

Why should you immigrate to New Zealand for sports?

  1. Access to World-Class Facilities: New Zealand’s commitment to sports is evident in its state-of-the-art facilities and training centers. Immigrants interested in pursuing or continuing a career in sports will find a supportive infrastructure that nurtures talent and fosters growth.
  1. Sports-Centric Lifestyle: New Zealand’s population has a genuine passion for sports, creating a dynamic and engaging environment for both athletes and enthusiasts. The country’s stunning landscapes provide the perfect backdrop for outdoor activities and recreational sports.
  1. Diverse Sporting Opportunities: From team sports to individual pursuits, New Zealand offers a wide range of sporting activities that cater to all interests and abilities. Whether you’re a rugby player, a cyclist, a surfer, or a golfer, you’ll find a community that shares your passion.
  1. Strong Community Bonds: Engaging in sports often leads to strong community connections. Immigrants who embrace sports in New Zealand will find themselves becoming part of a supportive network that shares their interests and values.
  1. Pathways to Professionalism: For those aspiring to reach the pinnacle of their chosen sport, New Zealand provides pathways to professionalism. The country’s success in various sports is a testament to its commitment to developing and nurturing talent.


New Zealand’s dedication to sports excellence, coupled with its stunning landscapes and quality of life, presents a compelling case for sports enthusiasts considering immigration. Whether it’s joining a passionate community, pursuing professional sporting goals, or simply leading an active lifestyle, New Zealand offers an inviting and dynamic environment for those who see sports as an integral part of their lives.

If you are considering moving to New Zealand, contact one of our licensed immigration advisors here at Woburn, and we’ll provide you with all the information and support that you need to realise your dream of emigrating to this amazing country.

Contact us to find out how we can help you move to New Zealand

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