MatarikiYouth Development

Matariki Team - Tupu-ā-rangi

Matariki Team - Tupu-ā-rangi

Posted May 30, 2022
IHNZ News Matariki

Within the Matariki star cluster, Tupu-ā-rangi has long looked out for the ngahere (forests).  Our native wildlife – manu (birds and bats), mokomoko (lizards), and ngārara (bugs) – are being ravaged by introduced pests and predators. As are our ancient rākau (trees) – like tōtara, pūriri, pōhutukawa and rātā. 

Tupu-ā-rangi encourages us to take action to help to bring our forests back to life again.

James O’Donnell leads the Tupu-ā- rangi team consisting of:

  • Alex Novak
  • Oscar Hamilton
  • Matthew Hansen
  • Braeden Kettle
  • Matt Barakat
  • Daniel Middleton
  • Scott Eastwood

James O’Donnell started playing Inline hockey for the Wanganui Lightning at just 9 years old. Due to study and work, James has played for various clubs in Palmerston North, Auckland, and Melbourne before moving back to Wanganui a few years ago.

James highlights include:

  • representing New Zealand at Oceanias from under 16 to senior grades
  • AAU and the IIHF world qualifiers and championships.

James currently plays for the Wanganui Lighting Premier team and has recently taken on the role of Club President. James is the captain of the Tupu-ā-rangi Matariki series team.

Alex Novak started playing for the Ravens, moved to Wellington for Uni and has played for the Penguins Prems since. They have won the National Prems title with Penguins 9 times (6 in a row).

He has played in the New Zealand Senior Men’s team since 2011. He says the last time we properly played as a team was back in 2017 in Slovakia at IIHF World Champs.

Oscar Hamilton plays for the Orcas and has represented the Northern region and New Zealand on a number of occasions.

When not playing inline Oscar is a member of Team New Zealand’s support crew and has traveled the world supporting our America’s Cup challenge.

Scott Eastwood started playing hockey around 2018 for the Ravens social team The Beers. He says they are awesome! Being 27 when he started playing, Scott thought it was too late and says he took himself far too seriously.

The Beers knocked that out of him pretty quick! He started by playing out for the first 6 monthsbut realised it wasn’t for him. He managed to get his hands on about 80% of a goalie kit for $75. Scott said after his first go in the net he felt like he’d finally found his spot on the rink!

He said The Beers constantly pushed him out of his comfort zone for two years. Then he started thinking about working towards trialling for a regional team. He received a lot of support and started to train with the seniors.

Scott has been playing with the seniors for a year and a half now. He says most have been NZ players so training with them has been awesome and he has gained a lot playing with them.

This year’s goal was to trial for the central region so getting to be in the All Stars is an added bonus!

Daniel Middleton has been playing since he was 6 years old, joining the Hamilton Devils. He has represented NZ at AAU 2019 (12U) and was selected for the 2020 Oceania’s 14U team. Daniel is currently trialing for the NARCh 16U team.

He loves to play and will play whenever the opportunity arises! Daniel tries to give back to the sport by reffing regularly (regional league games and tournaments).

Matthew Hansen started playing Inline Hockey for the Panthers in 2012, aged 7. He continued playing, moving to the Vipers club in 2018.

Representing the Northern Region multiple times, Matthew also runs the Learn to Play program, coaches the 10U grade and regularly referees.

Braeden Kettle has played for the Hamilton Devils since 2012, starting as a goalie for U10s.

He has represented various age grades at regional level and New Zealand at 12U Oceanias in 2017, 16U NARCh in 2018, selected for 16U Oceanias in 2020 and was named captain of 14U AAU in Hawaii in 2019.

Braeden currently plays for the Devils premier team.

Matt Barakat has played for the Waihi Miners since the 10U grade following in the skates of his two older brothers - being the youngest he got the hand me downs!

He has played for New Zealand twice and has been to both Hawaii (AAU) and LA (NARCh) tournaments.

Matt has also played in the Inter Regionals for the central region teams for a number of years. Matt also referees and is currently playing for the Waihi Miners Senior A team and Matt says he is still loving it.