How to Qualify for Regional, National and International Competitions

(scroll down for Qualifying Totals) 


A novice lifter is one who has not competed in an NZPF sanctioned event before. Once they have competed once as a novice they must register with their local association and the NZPF to participate in any further NZPF sanctioned events.


All lifters competing in Provincial or higher level Competition MUST be financially affiliated to both their respective Provincial Association and the NZPF, and all lifters that are registered to NZPF and compete in NZPF sanctioned events are subject to both in competition and out of competition testing. This includes the time at which they qualified for the respective level of competition where qualifying standards are required. Those who are not financially affiliated cannot claim Provincial Titles or Provincial or National Records, or use Totals achieved at competitions (when they were not financially affiliated to both the NZPF and their respective Provincial Association) to qualify for higher level competition.


All NZPF National Champions from the previous year automatically qualify for the next year's National Championships.

Lifters seeking to qualify for the National Championships must reach the qualifying total for their age and weight class in an NZPF sanctioned competition within 12 months prior (this does not include the previous year's Nationals). They must also be a full financial member at the time of qualifying. Please see below for the qualifying totals 

They must lift at the National Championships in the same weight class they qualified in unless they have exceeded the qualifying total in the weight class above, in which case they may lift in that weight class.

In the case of bench only competitions, lifters may use a benchpress completed in a three-lift competition to qualify for the National Benchpress Championships.


Lifters who have legitimate reasons for not being able to compete in a qualifying competition (family bereavement, injury, illness etc), must apply in writing to the NZPF National Executive Council through the form provided on the NZPF website and include (where applicable) suitable proof of the legitimate reason for not being able to compete. Each case will be dealt with on its merits.


National Records can only be broken at North/South Island or higher level competitions.

National Records broken at North/South Island and higher level competitions will only be recognised by the NZPF Record Keeper when a copy of the official result sheet (signed by the three NZPF Referees of National or International grade, who officiated during the particular session of the contest in which the record/s were set) is submitted within one month of the Competition in which the record/s were set.

Lifters applying for ratification of National Records (of any age group) MUST be current financial members of both their respective Provincial Association and the NZPF, and all athletes/lifters that are registered to NZPF and compete in NZPF sanctioned events are subject to both in competition and out of competition testing must be registered with the NZPF for a minimum of SIX months immediately prior to setting the record/s concerned.


All lifters intending to compete at ANY International Contest or World Championship, MUST have competed in the respective National Championship prior to the respective International Contest or World Championship they wish to compete in. This rule is designed to ensure that the NZPF’s top lifters are seen competing at their respective National Championships, and therefore raise the profile of the lifters concerned, the National Championships, sponsors and Powerlifting as a whole. Lifters who have legitimate reasons for not being able to compete at a Provincial Championships, or North/South Island Championship or National Championship (family bereavement, serious injury etc), must apply to the NZPF National Executive Council for dispensation through the form provided on the NZPF website. Such applications must include suitable proof of their legitimate reason for not being able to compete. Each case will be dealt with on its merits. The exception to this is for those New Zealanders living overseas. See the criteria below required to represent NZ and living overseas – Appendix 1.

For new lifters, returning lifters and lifters that haven’t attended the previous year’s Nationals, the opportunity to compete at Worlds should be made more accessible but not at the expense of the lifters who have continuous membership and have competed in the previous years’ Nationals’ competitions in order to qualify. In addition, lifters that were unable to compete despite holding full memberships, due to performing other duties such as refereeing or officiating should not be disadvantaged, as long as they have completed the qualifying criteria and provided dispensations IF required by the NEC.

New, returning or members that haven’t lifted at the previous year’s Nationals must complete the basic qualifying criteria i.e. full membership, completed doping consent form, and qualifying total achieved at a NZPF sanctioned competition prior to the nomination period or entry termination dates. WHEN this criteria is satisfied they can be considered for team selection at international level as long as they have submitted a completed International Application Form.

In all cases, continuous full members applying for International selection WILL TAKE PRECEDENCE over new or returning members if both are applying for the same age/weight category irrespective of the highest qualifying total. New or returning lifters may only be selected for vacant positions.If there are positions vacant due to not all weight classes being filled then the highest total above the qualifying requirement will determine who is selected for any vacant positions. If there is more than one then the next highest total is selected and so on until a full team is reached.

In the event of two new or returning vying for the same position which is vacant, the normal selection rules apply. i.e. highest total.


Qualifying Totals 3 Lift (Raw/Classic) click here (For Nationals 2024) UPDATED MARCH 2024

Qualifying Totals 3 Lift (Raw/Classic) click here (For Internationals 2024) 

Qualifying Totals Bench only (Raw/Classic) click here (For Nationals and Internationals 2024) 

Qualifying Totals (Equipment Optional) click here

Qualifying Totals (Special Olympics Athletes) click here​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

There is no qualifying standard at club or provincial competitions, please check with your provincial association as to whether they have participation requirements prior to competing at regionals.

The qualifying totals apply for (except where dispensation has been granted):

  • National Championships
  • International events
  • World Championships

Team Selection for International Events

  • Participant must submit an international application 90 days prior to international competition opening day
  • The NEC is responsible for selecting those to represent NZ: competitors, coaches, managers
  • The NEC must submit a list of the team to the organisers a minimum of 60 days out from the competition opening day (first cut)
  • The NEC then must submit a final list a minimum of 21 days out from the competition opening day (final team)

Where the numbers exceed a category, reserves will be named in the first cut. Reserves will only replace those where someone pulls out and can fill the appropriate vacancy. Team members cannot change after the final team has been submitted. If someone pulls out within the final 21 days they cannot be replaced.

Carpino3 Method 

The average of the 3rd place total from the previous three IPF World Championships is taken in each weight class and applicants are then ranked by their proximity to this total using percentages, this allows for athletes across weight classes to be compared by their potential to place 

Applicants must still meet the other qualifying criteria:

  • Participation at National Championships prior (or be granted dispensation)
  • Achieving the relevant qualifying total within 12 months prior to the international competition 

With Carpino3 our most competitive lifters get precedence over representation in every weight class. If two highly competitive lifters share the same weight class we can select both lifters for the team

Age Classes

Sub-Junior (under 18 years)
Junior (under 24 years)
Open (24-40 years)
Master I (40-49 years)
Master II (50-59 years)
Master III (60-69 years)
Master IV (70-79 years & women 70+)
Master V (80+ years - men only)

Weight Classes


​​​​​​​53kg(sJr and Jr Only)   59kg      66kg      74kg      83kg      93kg      105kg      120kg    120kg+


43kg(sJr and Jr Only)   47kg      52kg      57kg      63kg      69kg      76kg      84kg       84kg+

How to qualify for International competition if you are a New Zealander living overseas:

Registration - you need to:

  • join the Federation in the country you are living and provide proof of that membership 
  • join you local New Zealand Association and the New Zealand Powerlifting Federation
  • minimum registration periods apply as per the participation rules

Notification - you need to:

  • provide evidence of overseas membership, date of joining and is it current
  • advise Drugfree Sport NZ of your overseas address and the locally affiliated WADA organisation of the country in which you are residing


  • you must qualify in accordance with the NZ qualifying totals standards
  • the total achieved must be within a 12 month period of the intended competition in which you wish to represent NZ
  • you must provide proof such as a scoresheet of the oveseas competition in which you qualified
  • you must compete at the NZ National Championships in New Zealand and comply with rules of entry (except for competing at Provincials and Regionals unless you are in NZ at the time of either or both of these)
  • you must maintain contact with your local NZ Association as your entry to the Nationals may be restricted if an Association applies the Team selection criteria to represent your local NZ region / association at the Nationals

Selection process for representing NZ at an international competition:

  • you must have attained at least the qualifying total and competed at the relevant NZ National Championships
  • you will need complete the online international application available on this website and pay the application fee, a minimum of 90 days prior to the intended international competition start date
  • the National Executive Committee (NEC) will apply the documented selection process and reserves the right to select representatives on other grounds should there be merit in doing so


  • you do not need to apply for dispensation for not competing at Provincials or Regionals
  • you may apply for dispensation if you are unable to compete at Nationals 
  • if you need to apply, you will have to submit the dispensation request form which is on this website. It is available under forms and provide supporting evidence with your request
  • you need to submit the form as soon as possible as not all dispensation requests are approved
  • the usual reasons for applying for dispensation are:
  1. illness
  2. injury
  3. bereavement
  4. employment restrictions (such as travel etc)
  •  the NEC is not obliged to approve dispensation whether the reason is any of the usual reasons or other reason 

Recommendation that you:

  • sign up to the notifications email on the homepage of this website
  • join the New Zealand Powerlifting Facebook page
  • maintain regular contact with your NZ local Association
  • stay familiar with the NZPF requirements of membership and participation
  • are responsible for keeping yourself aware of the IPF, NZPF, Drugfree sport rules and guidelines