Regional | Holly Robinson

Ōtepoti gold medallist Holly Robinson joins NZ Order of Merit

Paralympian gold medalist Holly Robinson (Ngāi Tahu) has been made a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in this year’s Queen’s Birthday and Platinum Jubilee Honours.

Robinson is being recognised for her contributions to athletics.

She began representing Aotearoa in para-athletics in 2011, making her Paralympic debut at the 2012 London Paralympic Games when she was 17.

At the 2016 Rio de Janeiro games, Robinson won a silver medal in the Javelin F46 event and then seized gold during the Tokyo 2020 games.

She said “It was really crazy," she recalls. "I had been focusing on Tokyo as my moment. That was the time I was focusing on winning that gold. In Rio, it was hoping I would get onto the podium.”

'Not done competing'

The gold medal did not come without its challenges, with Robinson saying the Tokyo Games did not go as she had planned.

The para-athlete struggled through the first five rounds of the six total throws allowed in the javelin event.

“I was quite frustrated and starting to get quite nervous but managed to pull that big one out in the last round throw. And to hold myself there, I was really proud of myself.”

Robinson was named Māori Sportsperson with a Disability at the Māori Sports Award Gala in 2017.

In 2021, Robinson also made history by becoming the first para-athlete to win a medal at the New Zealand Track and Field Championships, winning silver in the women’s javelin event against her non-disabled competitors.

Robinson says her ultimate goal is to be the best in the world, so she is not done competing, and there is still more to come.