Ousted Silver Fern Laura Langman has been awarded New Zealand Netball's top prize for the second straight year.
Langman, who will be ineligible to play for the Silver Ferns next season after signing a contract with the Sunshine Coast Lightning in the new Australian league, scooped the Dame Lois Muir supreme award at the New Zealand Netball Awards at the Auckland War Memorial Museum last night.
The award, the highest individual accolade a New Zealand netballer can achieve, recognises the best player across the ANZ Championship and the Silver Ferns campaigns each year. Langman, the New Zealand vice-captain, also won the Silver Ferns player of the year - claming the double for the second consecutive year.
The midcourt star's dominance of the awards will only raise further questions over Netball New Zealand's decision to block their best player from representing the Ferns next year, bringing an end to an incredible unbroken run of 141 test matches.
Another of New Zealand netball's departing greats and Langman's new coach at the Lightning, Noeline Taurua, was curiously overlooked for the ANZ Championship coach of the year award, despite leading the Southern Steel to an unprecedented unbeaten run through the regular season. The prize instead went to Julie Fitzgerald, after the Magic claimed the New Zealand conference title in an upset win over the Steel.
The terms of reference for the award is the winning coach of the New Zealand conference, but the danger of pinning the award to the outcome of one match was proven this year, with Fitzgerald having a negative win-loss record this season.
Also going back-to-back this year was Kayla Cullen, who took out the people's choice award in a count that came right down to the wire with less than 50 votes separating the top three.
After featuring strongly in her team's unbeaten run to the finals, Southern Steel midcourter Gina Crampton was named the NZ ANZ Championship Player of the Year.
Crampton, who made her international debut in last month's Constellation Cup series, collected the aspiring Silver Ferns award in 2015. This year the prize went to impressive youngster Holly Fowler, who will next season link up with new Auckland franchise the Northern Stars.
Presented for the first time in 2016, Netball Central's Karin Burger was named Beko Netball League Player of the Year.
Netball fans also voted for Netball South's victory in the inaugural Beko Netball League as their moment of the year. It was a double win for Netball South, with their coach Lauren Piebenga named national league coach of the year.
2016 New Zealand Netball Awards winners:
Dame Lois Muir Supreme Award: Laura Langman
Silver Ferns Player of the Year: Laura Langman
Moment of the Year: Netball South wins inaugural Beko Netball League
People's Choice: Kayla Cullen
NZ ANZ Championship Player of the Year: Gina Crampton, Southern Steel
NZ ANZ Championship Coach of the Year: Julie Fitzgerald, WBOP Magic
Aspiring Silver Fern award: Holly Fowler
Beko Netball League Player of the Year: Karin Burger (Central)
National Coach of the Year: Lauren Piebenga (South)