In former times, many Maori hockey tournaments were held, but most of these tended to be either family or club orientated. In the twentieth century, particularly in the 1940s, 50s and 60s, more and more Maori hockey tournaments were held throughout the country, mainly on the East Coast of the North Island, throughout the Bay of Plenty and in the Waikato-Maniapoto district.
As the number of Maori tournaments began to dwindle, so too did Maori involvement in the game. This was the case for almost 30 years until the former national women’s hockey representative and coach and ‘mother’ of Maori hockey Margaret Hiha (Ngati Rangitihi, Te Arawa) decided to push the revitalization of Maori involvement in hockey by establishing a National Maori Hockey Tournament.
The result was the inaugural National Maori Hockey Tournament in Napier in 1992, hosted by the people of the Takitimu waka (canoe) region. From that time, tournaments have been held annually and have been hosted by each of the Maori hockey districts, except in the South Island. The districts are based on Maori Land Court boundaries:
- Tamaki Makaurau
- Te Waipounamu
NZ Maori Hockey Council
Since its inception in 1991 Te Kaunihera Haupoi O Aotearoa the (NZ Maori Hockey Council) has maintained a constant Development Programme, built on a strong Iwi infrastructure and the support of a great Whanau volunteer network system.
Some highlights of the past years are:
- 1995 NZ Maori Women’s Hockey team played the touring Malaysian team in Christchurch.
- 1999-2000 NZ Maori Hockey U21 Men commenced playing the Central Regions and the NZ Indian U21 Hockey team in Palmerston North.
- 2001 NZ Maori Men played Singapore.
- 2002 NZ Maori Men played Malaysia & Great Britain.
- 2002 Margret & Heitia Hiha were made Life Members of NZ Maori Hockey.
- 2003 Margret Hiha became a Life Member of Hockey NZ.
- 2003 Fixtures between the Queensland Secondary Schools Hockey teams and NZ Maori Hockey U21 Men’s team begun in Auckland.
- 2004 NZ Maori play Australian Country.
- 2004 The Maori Queen Dame Te Atairangikaahu officiated at the NZ Maori Hockey National Tournament in Hamilton.
- 2005 NZ Maori Men were invited to play an exhibition match against the NZ Indians as a curtainraiser for the Olympic Qualifying Tournament held in Auckland.
- 2007-2010, 2012 NZ Maori Men and Women’s Hockey teams were invited to play at the Oceania Pacific Cup Hockey Tournament in Fiji.
- 2009 Margret Hiha was awarded the Order of Merit in the Queens Honours list.
- 2011 NZ Maori Hockey Men & Women played fixtures against the Australian Country Hockey teams in Rotorua for the Te Waka o Te Wheke trophy.
- 2011 NZ Maori Hockey National Tournament celebrated its Twentieth year and was hosted by the Takitimu Rohe in Napier.
- 2012 NZ Maori Hockey National Tournament celebrated its Twentieth year and was hosted by the Takitimu Rohe in Napier.
- 2012 Celebrated 10 years of hosting the Queensland Secondary Schools Boys & Girls Hockey Teams and NZ Maori Junior Men’s & Women’s Teams.
NZ Maori Hockey Inc continues to make steady progress, the developments made over the years as highlighted are testimony to these achievements.
To take advantage of these changes, certain areas still require developing:
- To progress the NZ Maori Hockey teams into High Performance competition.
- To develop a strategy for Rohe to host coaching clinics for players, coaches & umpires.
- To develop NZ Maori Hockey coaching and umpiring personnel with advanced training programmes.
- Administration has improved dramatically, although the importance for a fulltime employed Administrator to deal with the ever increasing demands of modern day hockey remains ever apparent.
- Masters and Kura Kaupapa/Primary School Hockey needs to be integrated into the overall picture of NZ Maori Hockey development.