Whakarewarewa, Rotoiti and Waikite will all be competing in the Baywide premier rugby competition this year.

Only two Rotorua clubs competed in the premier division last year - Whaka and Rotoiti - and Waikite will join the ranks this year.

Discussions between the Bay of Plenty Rugby Union and the sub-unions during the off-season resulted in two extra spots being created in the premier competition - one for the Central Bay (Rotorua) and one for the Eastern Bay.

The Central Bay of Plenty sub-union have decided Waikite will be the third team representing Rotorua in the top flight this year.


Former Central Bay of Plenty sub-union chairman Trevor Albert, who recently stood down from the position, said that decision was made during a meeting in Ngongotaha at the end of last month.

Albert said it was put to a vote with six clubs in favour of having Waikite, Whaka and Rotoiti competing in the top grade in 2015 while two clubs voted for other options.

Marist St Michael's and Ngongotaha both voted in favour of having a local round to decide the premier clubs to represent Rotorua, but were out-voted.

That means Whaka, Waikite and Rotoiti will compete in the premier grade and Ngongotaha, Marist, Kahukura and Reporoa will compete in the first division. The premier grade and first division are 12-team competitions for 2015.

Kahukura coach Ronnie Preston said they were in full support of Waikite going up into the premier grade this year, instead of themselves.

"We are quite happy that they are the top three," he said. "Waikite were in the [first division] final last year and we were beaten in the semis so it makes sense that they went up."

He said they would focus on developing their team this year and there would be a chance to get promoted next year.

Marist St Michael's rugby chairman Greg Temple said they had no problems with Waikite going up, despite voting for a qualifying round to determine the third spot.


Temple said they only voted for that option because it would have given Marist a chance to play in the premier division this year. "We are happy to go with the votes."

The Baywide premier grade and first division starts in early May, with a local round between Rotorua's top clubs starting on the last weekend of March in the lead-up to the Baywide competitions.

The Tai Mitchell Shield, held by Whaka, will be contested during the local round as well as the Banner.

A competition for Murupara and Eastern Pirates is still to be decided, but there is talk of creating a local competition with a Taupo club.