Maunga Wāhine

The Maunga Wāhine project aims to make sure competitive snow sports is a place where girls and women feel welcome and valued, and where we can grow and thrive, no matter what our snow sports aspirations are. 

We want to better support women and girls, who compete or coach in snow sports, achieve their sporting, professional and life goals, whatever they may be.  And as a result we hope more women will choose some of the exciting careers available right across the snow sports industry.   

Female Competitive Snow Sports Athlete Survey – LIVE NOW:


Every woman or girl who completes this survey can go into the draw to win a $400 Outside Sports voucher. So don’t delay… please complete it today.

To help us shape the project and make sure we’re focussing on what really matters to women and girls, we want to hear from as many current and former female competitive snow sports athletes in New Zealand as we can.  So if you are:

  • female
  • over 12 years of age
  • and have ever COMPETED in ANY DISCIPLINE of snow sports

we’d love it if you could complete this survey.  Both current and former competitors are invited. It should take about 10mins if you’re between 12-15 years old and about 20 mins if you’re 16 or over.  Though of course that’ll depend on how much you choose to say! 

All responses will be kept entirely confidential and only ever shared rolled up with everyone else’s, so nothing can be traced back to any individual.  We’ll publish the overall results on this page in June once we’ve crunched the numbers.

Maunga Wāhine Project Focus Areas:

We’re focussing on three things: 

  1. We’ll develop a profile of a successful female snow sports athlete so it’s clear what characteristics and skills underpin healthy female success in snow sports.  And we’ll do this knowing that many of these characteristics and skills will also support their success in life well beyond the snow.  
  2. We’ll use that profile, as well as feedback from female athletes themselves, to provide information, training and development that empowers girls and young women to succeed on and off the snow.  
  3. We’ll also work to further strengthen the pipeline of female snow sports coaching talent.

Co-creation is at the heart of Maunga Wāhine. We’ll work directly with female athletes and coaches themselves and we’ll pull in experts in female success to shape our work.  We're starting off by working with 5 resorts to pilot the work: Cardrona, Treble Cone, The Remarkables, Coronet Peak and Mt Hutt as well as with Wanaka Snowsports Club and QAST.   Once we know what works, we'll roll out the work more widely.  

But for the purposes of the athlete survey, we're keen to hear from ALL CURRENT AND FORMER ATHLETES from right across Aotearoa New Zealand.


In 2022, in collaboration with industry partners and stakeholders, Snow Sports NZ undertook a strategic review.  The main output of that review was a refresh of Snow Sports NZ’s Strategic Intent and during that review a consensus emerged across stakeholder groups that more should be done in snow sports to better support women and girls.   

Women and girls make up 39% of Snow Sports NZ members, but they make up a smaller proportion of our high performance athletes.  We’ve never had a female snow sports Paralympian or High Performance Snow Sports NZ coach.  Women are also under-represented in most snow sports careers including coaching, guiding, patrolling, judging as well as in governance and leadership positions.  

A similar pattern is seen across most sports.  Historically women and girls have had to fight to be allowed to participate in sports.  And once we'd won the fight to participate, we were largely treated like ‘little men’ with very few adaptations being made to the way those sports were run to better accommodate women or support female success.  But women are not little men.  And the failure of sporting bodies to adjust or adapt sufficiently, and in some cases their failure to consistently keep women and girls safe, has resulted in women being under-represented in almost all areas of sports participation, competition, administration and sports leadership.    

The good news is that right across the world, and here in Aotearoa New Zealand too, this is changing.  Addressing female under-representation in sport by better supporting women and girls is central to the strategies of both Sport New Zealand and High Performance Sport New Zealand.  And it’s this focus that unlocked the Sport NZ funding for Maunga Wāhine.  At Snow Sports NZ we’re stoked to be able to get on with this important work and are excited about the positive impact it’ll make.    


Maunga Wāhine is run by Snow Sports New Zealand with funding support from Sport NZ.  Louise Johnson was appointed as the Maunga Wāhine Project Manager in January 2024 and leads this work.  Louise can be contacted at [email protected]