Eleven of New Zealand's most influential Māori athletes of the past 30 years are Ngāpuhi, according to the recent Māori Sports Awards, five more than the next most common iwi , Ngāti Porou.
One more athlete from Ngāti Hine took Te Tai Tokerau's contribution to the list to 12, five of them in the top 10, although top spot on the list went to Ōhope's double Olympic canoeing champion Lisa Carrington (Te Aitanga-A-Māhaki/Ngāti Porou), who was deemed the most influential Māori athlete between 1991 and 2020.
Highest-ranked among the Northlanders was wood chopping legend Jason Wynyard (Ngāti Maniapoto/Ngāpuhi), in fourth. Following in the footsteps of world champion wood chopping father Pae, Wynyard is considered one of the sport's greatest, with more than 100 titles.
Three Ngāpuhi athletes occupied the fifth to seventh spots - basketball hero Pero Cameron, for his tenure with the Tall Blacks, playing more than 100 tests and captaining New Zealand at three world championships and two Olympic Games; All Black loose forward Zinzan Brooke, who played 58 tests and captained the Auckland Blues to two Super Rugby titles; and Warriors icon Stacey Jones (Ngāti Maniapoto/Ngāpuhi) for his contribution to rugby league.
Tenth was renowned Silver Ferns coach Dame Noeline Taurua, who guided a broken team in 2018 to world champion status in 2019.
Black Ferns and Northland Kauri rugby star Portia Woodman, born in Kaikohe and claiming an All Black father and an All Black uncle, who won both a Sevens and 15s World Cup to go with her Commonwealth Games gold medal in 2018, was 12th, one place ahead of Ngāpuhi rugby league legend Ruben Wiki, who won the NRL premiership with the Canberra Raiders before ending his 311-game NRL career with three seasons at the Warriors.
Kāeo-born New World supermarket owner Eric Rush was 15th, thanks to his reputation as one of Sevens rugby's greatest players. Also an All Black winger, he captained the New Zealand Sevens to two Commonwealth Games gold medals and seven world Sevens series titles in a 17-year career.
In 18th was squash player Leilani Joyce (Ngāti Hine/Ngāi Te Rangi/Tainui), who reached No 1 in the world rankings and claimed Commonwealth Games gold in 2002 in the doubles and mixed doubles divisions.
Veteran Silver Fern midcourter Temepara Bailey was 22nd. The 2003 Māori Sports Awards supreme winner retired from the Silver Ferns in 2011 after 89 international matches.
Renowned sports administrator Raelene Castle, currently Sport New Zealand's chief executive, was 26th thanks to her chief executive roles with New Zealand Netball, the Canterbury Bulldogs NRL club and Rugby Australia.
Cameron Leslie, a three-time Paralympics 150m swimming medley champion and a member of the New Zealand Wheel Blacks rugby team, was 29th.
See the full list on page 18.