Welcome to the website for New Zealand Stand Up Paddling, inc.

the association for all things SUP in NZ

NZSUP inc organises the national race championships and teams for international events, oversees SUP schools and instruction, and campaigns on behalf of all paddleboarders in New Zealand on matters of safety, legislation and all other aspects of negotiation and liaison with other governing bodies.

You may be wondering why New Zealand needs a SUP association. Surely the sport is all about being free, able to go where you want to, away from rules, regulations and organisations! Well, yes it is, and that’s the way NZSUP wants to keep it. However, without a national organisation representing the interests of the sport, those rules and regulations will get imposed anyway. If you’ve ever taken your paddleboard into waves in New Zealand, then you have already directly benefited from NZSUP. Without the society’s hard work in 2013, successfully negotiating an exemption to NZ Maritime Law, you would now have to wear a life jacket every time you went SUP surfing.

Please take the time to join NZSUP – it’s absolutely free to join as a community member, and by adding your voice to our community you help us lobby on your behalf. Joining is super simple, just click here!

NZSUP Inc is a member of the New Zealand Safer Boating Forum, a formal network representing a cross-section of national and regional government agencies, local body groups, organisations and the marine industry, involved in promoting recreational boating safety in New Zealand. Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) leads the Forum and works with Forum members to coordinate safe boating activities.

NZSUP Inc is a member of Water Safety NZ (WSNZ). Water safety NZ is an incorporated society with charitable status that contributes to strategy and promotion of water safety to our paddle sports community. WSNZ is also a member of the Safer Boating Forum mentioned above.

NZ SUP is a voluntary organisation, and relies upon the generous sponsorship of its sponsors and supporters.

NZ SUP is grateful for the support of its corporate members:

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Meet The Team

Our highly valued committee members. Details about each are shown below, always good to put a name to a face….


To most Auckland paddlers Gavin will need no introduction. He and his wife Rosie are super keen paddlers and their son Ollie is New Zealand’s top male paddler at the age of 16. Gavin runs a scaffolding business and has a useful sideline as an actor in high profile TV commercials. He has donated his time, energy and efforts to SUP events for many years and organized t shirts and trophies for the NZSUP Nationals.


Helen discovered stand up paddling and a love of the ocean aged 40. Prior to that her career was in Human Resources, as an academic, then as a practitioner with the BBC, Marks & Spencer and Fonterra. Over those 15 or so years coaching and guiding leaders and teams became second nature. Life took a new turn two years ago and Helen discovered being a SUP coach was an amazing way to enable people to balance mind and body on the water. She and the Kiwi boy who brought her to New Zealand 10 years ago, live in Auckland’s Eastern Bays. If Helen’s not on the water, she’s in the forest improving her mountain biking skills … always something to be learning.

BILL DAWES – Treasurer,  Safety Officer & Training Officer

Bill was the original founder of NZSUP. He conceived the idea for a national organization and was our first President. Bill has been involved with all aspects of the SUP industry, as an importer, manufacturer, designer, journalist, coach and event organiser. He keeps himself busy as the ISA/SNZ instructor course presenter in NZ, running Northland Paddleboarding, NZ’s longest-running fulltime SUP school, the weekly Paddle at the Pear tree race series in Kerikeri, and the “Northern Exposure” 3 day winter SUP tour event in the far north. Bill has also been a huge contributor to the NZ SUP Nationals as a sponsor and organizing all of entries and results in previous years.


Jonathan is a lawyer and very enthusiastic SUP surfer and racer. He is assisting a number SUP clubs to set up both in Auckland and in other parts of New Zealand and is a member of our sub-committee developing NZSUP’s club and SUP community strategy. Jonathan has been a member of the NZSUP committee since 2014.


The founding President of the Society, Kristin is a lawyer, sailor, scuba diver and stand up paddler, and one of the main organisers for the annual Paddle For Hope competition. Working with Bill, Kristin did all the legal work to establish NZSUP as an incorporated society in January 2013. Kristin is a lawyer who has been the Secretary since then and has dealt with all funding applications, Rule changes, agendas, meetings and Annual General Meetings. Kristin has qualified as a SUP instructor and is a board member of Surfing New Zealand, representing the interests of SUP. NZ SUP is affiliated with Surfing New Zealand


Keen Auckland racer and long-time member of the paddleboarding scene, and father to some seriously hot up-and-coming youth talent too!


A new addition to the committee in 2019, Jen is a keen paddleboarder from Lake Taupo. She has been paddling for 6-7 years, and is recently back into the sport after maternity leave.

“I joined the committee to help spread the word with paddling and help as much as I can. ”


Trev is a well known face on the Auckland SUP scene. He is an honorary member of the committee, having served as a full time member in the past, but now operating in an advisory role, whilst putting together his Ph.D on the topic of management in sport, using NZ SUP as a case study.


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