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Māori National Sport Organisations

Photo credit: Māori Touch New Zealand.
Photo credit: Māori Touch New Zealand. 

Supporting the network to continue their valued contribution to our sector

Māori National Sport Organisations have played a vital role in supporting Māori participation, performance and success in sport.  

Hei Oranga Whānau 

Sport and Māori Wellbeing 

“a secure identity is a necessary prerequisite for good health and wellbeing, and cultural identity depends not only on access to culture and heritage but also on the opportunity for cultural expression…” Tā Mason Durie 

Māori have had a strong relationship with sport even in pre-colonial times. The Hillary Commission’s Māori Taskforce on Sport, Fitness and Leisure in 1998 noted that “sport, fitness and leisure are activities that Māori have always considered a taonga” and are thereby protected under the Te Tiriti o Waitangi. In general, Māori sport can be characterised by: 

  • The acceptance of mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge); 
  • The application of te reo me ona tikanga (Māori language and practices); 
  • Upholding Māori values such as whanaungatanga (kinship ties, relationships), manaakitanga (respect, reverence) and aroha (compassion); and 
  • Reflections of whakapapa (genealogy) through acknowledging tribal membership. 

The connection to whakapapa through recognizing tribal membership is also a strong characteristic of Māori sport, especially within national Māori sporting events and tournaments. Strengthening Māori identity is integral to Māori health and wellbeing. Together these characteristics foster an environment that supports mauri ora – healthy individuals, whānau ora – healthy families, and wai ora – healthy environments.  

Sport can play a large role in the health and wellbeing of Māori adults and young people. Beyond the obvious physical benefits, it provides an important platform for Māori to access their culture and heritage and to participate and succeed as Māori. 


Sport NZ Ihi Aotearoa partners with National Māori Sport Authority 

On 16 August 2022, Sport NZ announced a partnership with Te Huinga Tākaro o Aotearoa (Te Huinga Tākaro), a new National Māori Sport Authority, which will see Te Huinga Tākaro receive $1.225m in investment over two years.  

Te Huinga Tākaro has been formed to bring together the collective aspirations of the Māori National Sport Organisations (NSOs) and to increase their capability and capacity to support their membership.  

Māori NSOs play a vital role in supporting Māori participation, performance and success, and Sport NZ is proud to provide significant investment for the first time. 

COVID-19 Kaupapa Māori Response Plan 

COVID-19 has proved challenging for the play, active recreation and sport sector and heightened the existence of inequities for Māori within our system. To help address this, Sport NZ Ihi Aotearoa  created a COVID-19 Kaupapa Māori Response plan as part of our $265m COVID-19 recovery investment programme.  

Māori National Sport Organisations Directory

Aotearoa Māori Netball
Hera Clarke 

Aotearoa Māori Tag Football 
Karla Matua

Aotearoa Māori Tennis
Dick Garratt

Māori Basketball New Zealand 
Pene Hippolite  

Māori Football Charitable Trust
Phillip Pickering Parker 

Māori Rugby 
Farah Palmer  

Māori Touch New Zealand 
Carol Ngawati  

New Zealand Māori Golf 
Mark Tito

New Zealand Māori Hockey 
Gail Ambler 

New Zealand Māori Rugby League 
John Devonshire  

Sign up to receive our Kaupapa Māori newsletter 

Kūkū te Kererū is your six-weekly dose of our latest kaupapa Māori news, events and stories from Sport NZ Ihi Aotearoa and across the play, active recreation and sport sector. We’ll cover updates from our work, share what’s happening in the sector plus some interesting and inspiring stories that you’ll just have to sign up to see! 

Subscribe to our Sport NZ Ihi Aotearoa newsletters here 

If you require an accessible version of any content on the site please contact us and we will be happy to assist.

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