To Tatou Hitori

Māori hockey tournaments, in general, were prevalent throughout the ’40s, ’50s, and ’60s, often held on the East Coast of the North Island, throughout the Bay of Plenty, and in the Waikato-Maniapoto district. When the number dwindled, national women’s hockey representative, coach, and “mother of Māori hockey,” Margaret Hiha (Ngāti Rangitihi, Te Arawa), decided to push for the revitalization of Māori involvement in hockey and established a National Hockey Tournament.

The inaugural tournament was held in Napier in 1992 and hosted by the people of the Takitimu waka region. Tournaments have been held annually and hosted by each of the Māori Hockey Districts and are determined by the Māori Land Court boundaries.

According to the 2006 Census, the Māori population in the region was just over 65,000, representing 11.6 percent of the total New Zealand Māori population.

The national tournament is held annually over Labor weekend and is an official listing on the NZ Hockey Federation calendar of events.

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Māori and Hockey: More than a game – by Dylan Thomas (Raukawa, Hauraki)

NZ Maori Hockey Inc. continues to make steady progress, the developments made over the years as highlighted are testimony to these achievements.

In recent years, Maori hockey players have become more prominent in New Zealand’s hockey scene, with many players representing national teams and clubs at various levels. The National Maori Hockey Tournament continues to be a highlight of the Maori hockey calendar, providing an opportunity for Maori players to showcase their skills and compete against each other in a supportive and culturally rich environment.

The involvement of Maori players in international fixtures against teams from Australia and Fiji demonstrates the growing recognition of Maori hockey talent on a global scale. The recognition of individuals such as Margaret Hiha with life memberships and prestigious awards further solidifies the importance of Maori contributions to the sport of hockey in New Zealand.

As NZ Maori Hockey Inc. continues to grow and develop, it is clear that Maori hockey is experiencing a resurgence and will continue to play an important role in the New Zealand hockey community for years to come.