The Aoraki Dragon Boat Association (‘Aoraki Dragons’) is the collective of adult, youth and school dragon boating teams in the South Island, founded in 2007, making sure we have the resources, equipment and infrastructure to train and race in dragon boats. We’re one of four regional sports organisations (RSOs) for dragon boating in New Zealand, operating under the guidance of the New Zealand Dragon Boat Association (NZDBA) which is a member of the International Dragon Boat Federation (IDBF), the worldwide governing body for the sport. Aoraki Dragons is administered by a nine-person volunteer Board of Management.

We currently have fifteen 20-padder boats and six 10-paddler boats in four training locations around Christchurch and north of the city, with other boats located in Dunedin and Blenheim. Teams train with the boats through the paddling season from around October to April (sometimes through winter, too), in preparation for race events against each other, culminating each year in the South Island Championships in mid or late March and the National Championships in late March or early April.

Member teams pay an annual subscription fee to maintain membership of Aoraki Dragons and affiliation to the NZDBA. These funds are managed by the Board to maintain our boats and associated equipment, run events and cover administrative costs such as boat and equipment insurance. As a registered charity (Charities Services Registration No. CC54814), we also apply for charitable funding to enhance our fleet of boats and associated equipment.

If you are looking for information on other regions, get in touch with our colleagues by using the links below:

Auckland Dragon Boat Association - Home (aucklanddragonboats.co.nz)

Waikato Dragonboating and Waka Ama Association - Home (sporty.co.nz)

Central Region Dragon Boat Association - Home (weebly.com)

Eastern Region Dragon Boat Association - Home (sporty.co.nz)



"For dragon boating to be a highly respected competitive sport for team building & participation throughout Te Waipounamu-South Island"


Mission Statement

We will achieve our Vision by:

  • Running safe, high-quality, fair and fun events for participants, spectators and organisers alike
  • Encouraging diversity in participation - male and female, across the age range of youth to veterans and for all abilities
  • Encouraging development of teams outside of Christchurch to reflect a truly South Island association
  • Sharing of coaching and management skills in both the development of new teams and the strengthening of existing teams
  • Encouraging the development of high performance regional representative squads, across the range of divisions and classes, to get Aoraki participants in national representative squads competing at international regattas
  • Securing regular funding to enable enhancement of our fleet of boats, associated equipment and facilities