"I am very proud of the regional alignment of the Oceania nations, and I know that our partnership with Wales will continue to strengthen Paralympic Sport."
The Welsh Government and the Oceania Paralympic Committee signed a memorandum of understanding that will have all Oceania Region Paralympic nations – New Zealand, Australia, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands – perform their final preparations for the London 2012 Paralympic Games in Wales.
The agreement was signed by First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones and Fiona Pickering, Secretary General of the Oceania Paralympic Committee.
The agreement paves the way for the unprecedented move today of an entire region being based in one nation prior to a Paralympic Games.
The majority of the Oceania nations will be based in Cardiff with the Australian Paralympic Committee. Australia has strongly supported this initiative and will be supporting the smaller Oceania nations in their Paralympic Games preparations.
On Thursday (8 September), Jones was joined by New Zealand sporting legend Murray Halberg and Jon Morgan from Disability Sport Wales to celebrate the signing and the developing sport relationships between Wales and New Zealand.
The event, hosted by Paralympics New Zealand and the Halberg Trust, marked International Paralympic Day celebrations in New Zealand.
“Today has marked a momentous occasion for Wales, New Zealand and the Oceania region,” Pickering told Paralympics New Zealand. “I am very proud of the regional alignment of the Oceania nations, and I know that our partnership with Wales will continue to strengthen Paralympic Sport.”