Paula was a New Zealand Paralympics racing cyclist. Among her many achievements, her world record-breaking time in the women’s 500m time trial secured New Zealand’s first gold medal at the 2008 Summer Paralympics and she then went on to win bronze in both the individual pursuit and the women’s individual road time trial.
Paula has held senior management positions in the public service. Paula is a former Board member of the Halberg Disability Sport Foundation, and the New Zealand Artificial Limb Service and currently serves on the Boards of Sport Wellington and Paralympics New Zealand. Paula took up the role of Disability Rights Commissioner in July 2017 and during her appointment was the Acting Chief Human Rights Commissioner from 2018 to 2019. In September 2022 Paula was appointed as the inaugural Chief Executive of Whaikaha- Ministry of Disabled People.