Whānau is at the heart of the Waiariki men's team and their impressive record at the National Māori Hockey Tournament.

The team claimed their second consecutive title, and seventh overall, in Gisborne on Monday as they beat Tamaki Makaurau in a shootout in the final.

Rotorua's Tenga Rangitauira has been a part of all seven of Waiariki's title-winning efforts.

"In our rohe we make sure everyone knows where they are from and know the songs and the haka. We get away as a group to get to know each other then we are one big whānau when we get to tournament. The brotherhood is there and the boys are tight. Hopefully what we put in place will provide for the following generations," Rangitauira said.


"We have a good coach and good management. Most of the boys grew moustaches and little things like that can help with the team environment."

Rangitauira, who also helped organise the team, says there are a many talented Māori players and the tournament is a great platform for them to showcase their skills.

"In Rotorua and Taupō especially, we are nurturing the kids and that in turn is helping Māori hockey through the generations. We have players who come back and always keep Labour weekend available to play Māori nationals.

"That raw talent and flair that Māori players have is brought out at the Māori tournament. Sometimes at rep and national tournaments they micro-manage you out of that flair that we have as Māori. It is a different type of hockey.

"I think there could be Māori hockey players in the national teams, I really do think it is a missing ingredient in our teams – for whatever reasons. I don't think we are allowing Māori players to get really show their ability through that system."

Men's coach Jamie Carroll said the side did a good job of coming together.

"It is a super-able team, really talented across the board and there is a lot of depth. It really is about pulling them together with the game principles so we are all on the same page. Then it is letting that natural ability come through. We try keep that rolling and have it there for the young players coming through.

"With having a stacked team comes the expectation to win so we have worked hard on the mental side of it as well."


The Waiariki women's team were fifth in the wāhine competition, as they beat Waikato-Maniapoto 3-0 in their final game on Monday.

Waiariki players selected in New Zealand Māori teams:

U21 NZ Māori Men:

Gregan Maui, Haeata Taylor, Kewarei Hawkins-McClutchie, Moko Edmonds, Vance Harvey.

NZ Maori Men: Connor Herewini, Denym Clarke, Gregan Maui, Haeata Taylor, Hoete Mitai-Ngatai, Jury Herewini. Kewarei Hawkins-McClutchie, Leo Mitai-Wells, Te Hiraka Chase, Tuterangi Raharuhi.

U21 NZ Māori Women: Rautangi Pitiroi, Pirihira Pou, Krishona Thapa-Chettri, Tara-lee Harvey- Brown.