Rehabilitation Innovation Award

Applications have now closed for the Innovation Award

The New Zealand Rehabilitation Association invites applications for the Rehabilitation Innovation Award. This Award is offered on a biennial basis and seeks to recognise innovation and excellence in rehabilitation in Aotearoa/New Zealand. We particularly welcome applications which have sought to address unmet needs and reduce inequity for Māori.

Application process

Applications must be made in writing on the attached application form.

An Awards committee will assess applications against the criteria below and short list up to three finalists.

Each finalist will receive up to $1500 to support their attendance at the 2021 NZRA conference where they will present their work. They will receive support in developing their presentation from an experienced conference presenter.

The audience will determine the final winner who will receive an additional $1000 to put toward activities of their choosing.

Award criteria

The application demonstrates:

  • A innovation which advances in rehabilitation in Aotearoa/New Zealand;
  • A clear rationale for the innovation;
  • The innovation enhances access, experience and/or outcomes for people who have unmet needs or experience inequity in rehabilitation; and
  • Engagement with end-users, and in particular, Māori as part of the initiative.

The application must relate to an initiative implemented within the previous three years. Applications can be from individuals or groups. The application must be supported by a senior manager from the applicant’s organisation.


The primary applicant must be a financial member of the NZRA at the time of application.

The finalists will receive up to $1500. Money awarded to finalists must be used for registration, travel and/or accommodation for the 2021 NZRA conference. If expenses are <$1500, finalists will only receive the actual amount of travel and registration.

Awards committee

The initial applications will be evaluated by a panel of four members, including a representative/s of the NZRA Executive; a senior rehabilitation academic, administrator or practitioner from New Zealand; a Māori advisor; and a senior allied health leader. We intend that at least two of the evaluation panel will be Māori.

The audience at the NZRA conference will determine the final winner.

Timeline for 2021

  • Applications close 31 March
  • Reviewed by committee in April
  • Decision communicated by end of April
  • Presenter-mentor allocated by end of May
  • Conference dates 17-19 September