The happy glow of Horse of the Year is still lingering, but we are about to launch into the next big event to showcase everything that is good about Hawke's Bay

The Hawke's Bay Festival of Hockey officially gets under way this weekend and runs until April 13 and what an event it promises to be.

The festival is the brainchild of well-known local businessman Bruce Mactaggart. He and Hockey New Zealand, along with others, have worked hard to make this tournament happen in the Bay.

Hawke's Bay Today is proud to be associated with the festival.


There will be 64 games of hockey played during the nine-day festival at the Unison Hockey Stadium at the Hawke's Bay Regional Sports Park in Hastings.

The highlight of the event will be seeing six top international women's teams in action, including our own Black Sticks.

The other five teams are Argentina, Australia, China, Japan and Korea.

This is one of those events that all of us who live in Hawke's Bay can get behind.

How often do we get the chance of watching top-class sport like this?

The long-term benefits of the event are enormous, with Hawke's Bay set to host the tournament for 10 years.

We are hoping that we will see the economic benefits this year, but like Horse of the Year it is all about growing the event and making it an ongoing success. The way to do that is to start off with a fantastic first tournament.

I have no doubt that Mr Mactaggart and his team, along with Hockey New Zealand and all involved, will ensure that happens.