• North Shore Barbell

How to qualify for the Commonwealth Powerlifting Championships

Updated: Mar 5

The 2021 Commonwealth Powerlifting Championships will be the biggest Powerlifting meet ever held in New Zealand.


This event is the real deal. It’s recognised by the Commonwealth Games Federation and is effectively the closest Powerlifters will get to competing at the actual Commonwealth Games (at this stage).


Due to the event being so big, there is going to be a ton of interest from New Zealand lifters in competing in the Raw 3-lift & Bench-Only competitions during the event, so we thought we’d break down how you can compete at the 2021 Commonwealth Powerlifting Championships.


Here's how Kiwi's can get amongst the action.


Sign up with the New Zealand Powerlifting Federation


You can do this through the website of your relevant region.




Compete at the 2020 Regional OR Island Championships


The first step is ensuring you lift a qualifying total for the 2020 National Championships at the Regional or Island Championships.


Regional 3-Lift Powerlifting Championships:


  • Northland | Kaitaia | May

  • Auckland | April

  • Waikato Bay of Plenty | Hamilton | April

  • Wellington & Central North Island | Wellington | April

  • Canterbury & Tasman | Christchurch | April

  • Otago & Southland | Dunedin | April


Regional Bench Press Championships:


  • Northland | TBC | August

  • Auckland | July

  • Waikato Bay of Plenty | Hamilton | May

  • Wellington & Central North Island | N/A

  • Canterbury & Tasman | N/A

  • Otago & Southland | Dunedin | March


Island Powerlifting & Bench Press Championships


  • North Island 3-Lift & Bench Press | Palmerston North | June

  • South Island 3-Lift | Queenstown | June

  • South Island Bench Only | Invercargill | July


Qualifying totals can be found HERE.


If for some reason you can’t do any these meets, you NEED to apply for dispensation through the NZPF Website to be eligible to compete at Nationals.



Compete at the 2020 Nationals


Unless you have a legitimate reason not to (I.E an International competition within 1 month of Nationals), you need to lift at Nationals to be eligible for Commonwealths.


There are a couple of things you need to do at nationals:


  • Lift a Commonwealth Championship qualifying total

  • Place as high in your age/weight class as possible with the goal of winning. While this doesn’t guarantee your spot winning will drastically improve your chances


Nationals details for 2020:


  • 3-Lift | Christchurch | October

  • Bench Only | Hamilton | November


Qualifying totals can be found HERE.


If for some reason you can’t do Nationals, you NEED to apply for dispensation through the NZPF Website to be eligible for Commonwealth Selection.


Apply to compete


In New Zealand, you won’t receive a letter or email saying that you’ve been selected. You need to apply to compete on the New Zealand Powerlifting Federation Website.



Keep calm and keep Powerlifting!


As with all International Competitions, selection confirmation is sent out 3 months prior to the competition. However, if you think you’re going to be selected you should training appropriately.


As a side note, even if you’re not selected for the starting team you may be selected as a reserve, in which case you might get the call up to a few weeks prior!



If you can’t compete, help


Yeah, this isn’t exactly what you came here to read but we’re always short of volunteers! Lifting is fun but being a part of the organisation, or helping spot & load is definitely the next best thing.



Misc. Info


  • There’s no way to guarantee your spot. Ultimately the final say is up to the NZPF National Executive Committee, whose responsibility it is to put the strongest team together to allow for the highest team placing. An example of this would be a topped ranked lifter missing Nationals due to severe injury.

  • New Zealand & Australia often send a B Team to international meets taking place in Australia or New Zealand. Even if you’re not sure you’ll make the A Team, make sure you apply!

  • Please Note: We're not the rule makers and thus information detailed here is subject to change at the discretion of the NZPF Executive Committee.



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