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New Zealand Māori Team Matariki 2022

New Zealand Māori Team Matariki 2022

Posted May 25, 2022
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The Exhibition game will be held at 7pm, Saturday 25 June as the centrepiece of the Matariki celebrations.

This match will showcase some of our most exciting talent in hockey and we look forward to introducing the members of these teams over the following days.

This game will be broadcast live and a livestream link will also be available.

We start the first of our profiles with introducing the 2022 New Zealand Māori Team:

  • Lewis Taiapa - C
  • Ant Nathan - A
  • Ben Thompson - A
  • James Halliburton
  • Anthony Taylor
  • Aaron Stockman
  • Jaan Turia
  • William Jackson
  • Jacob Jackson
  • Hayden Stockman
  • Ritchie Hopkinson
  • Braeden Kettle
  • Eythan Prendergast (G)
  • Scott Collins (G)

Lewis Taiapa started playing Inline Hockey in 1998 when 12 with his brothers and sister. He had previously excelled in Ten Pin Bowling as a Junior National player but transitioned to Inline Hockey by accident when asked to play by a local club in Wainuiomata after being seen rollerblading around the area. Lewis’ family (brothers Jensen, Leigh, Hayden, and sister Kylie) have been involved with the sport since then and all have represented NZ at Oceanias, Junior World AAU, FIRS World Champs, and IIHF World Championships.

The most memorable achievement includes winning their clubs first National Prems Championship in Tauranga against the Christchurch Snipers in 2008. They were a young team and they credit this to starting the path of their success to today.

Another is being part of the 2007 IIHF Men’s World cup team which just fell short of a Division 1 Gold medal vs Brazil in the Grand Final. Coached by Shane Clark and led by Captains Devon Kay, Bevan Varney, and Mark Drummond they were a young team full of talent and managed to upset professional teams like Hungary (8-7), Japan in the quarterfinal, Australia in the semifinal and an overtime defeat vs Brazil in the final.

Lewis said, “we were leading in the last period 4-1 and with penalties, Brazil managed to capitalise and bring it back to a tie. The average age of our team was 22, with players coming out of u18s and u20s, Ant Nathan, James Trevena-Brown, Zach Beardman, Alan Peddie, Tim Whipps - we did well to come away with a close-fought Silver medal. We built great memories and long-lasting friendships on that trip and to date was the best performance at an IIHF world championship NZ has ever had.”

There are many memories and stories to share but here are some highlights from Lewis’s long career in Inline Hockey:

  • Being the First NZ Club to play at NARCh in 2012 - making the Men’s Semifinal and winning the Men’s Skills Contest with “Best Moves.”
  • Oceanias Gold from 2001- 2010 (or 2014?) as NZ Mens Captain 2009 onwards
  • IIHF Silver Medal 2007, Captain Mens IIHF 2011-2017
  • Penguins Prems Nationals Champs - 2008’, 10’, 12’, 14’, 15’, 16’, 17’, 18’, 19’
  • Lower Interregionals
  • Coach Vipers u10s team - First Club National Championship 2018 u10s
  • Helped to set up first NZ Maori team 2015, Exhibition game vs Invitational squad, then Exhibition game vs Team Hawaii 2017
  • NARCh 2019 Wellington Penguins, Semifinal Mens Gold
  • NARCh 2015 Playing in the Pro Division against the best players in the world for Team NZ
  • 2009 NZ Men’s Invitational team to play team Brazil at 2009 Nationals. 7-1 final score to NZ.

And on a special note - Lewis’s uncle, Horace Taiapa who is a Ngati Porou carver and artist, helped to design the Maori patterns for the jersey and Joe Dowman completed the graphical design aspect of the jersey.

Ant Nathan started playing roller (quad) hockey at the age of 9. In 1999 he began to play Inline hockey and first represented New Zealand in 2001. Ant further represented New Zealand in 2002 - 2008 and again in 2010, 2012 and 2017.

Ant says his most memorable year was 2007.

The New Zealand team came second in the Division 1 IIHF championships. (The New Zealand team also entered the 2007 - 2009 and 2011 events). Ant captained the Mt Wellington Panthers to the National Premier title and became part of the Botany Swarm playing in the NZIHL where he was an instrumental part of the team that won the National title in 2007 and 2008.

In 2009 Ant played in the invitational team that beat the Brazilian team in New Plymouth.

Ant was a member of the inaugural NZ Maori team in 2015 and again in 2017.

In 2021 Ant has been focusing on coaching the younger players coming through, coaching the Mt Wellington Panthers 16U team and leading the Northern Region InterRegional 16U team to a gold medal in July. He has resumed Panthers and Northern region coaching duties in 2022.

Ant achieved a significant career milestone in late 2021 when he was appointed the New Zealand 18U coach.

Ant said he was honoured to be appointed to this role and is proud to be one of the first members of our Maori team to take up a national coaching role.

Ben Thompson started playing for the Kapiti Rangers and then moved to the Rimutaka Renegades in 2006. Since then he has also played for the Capital Jokers and the Levin Rebels.

Ben represented New Zealand at Oceanias from 2008 - 2011, IIHF Worlds in Germany in 2012, FIRS Worlds in Los Angeles in 2013 and the IIHF Worlds in Slovakia in 2017.

James Halliburton
Ko Pūtauakī me Kaputerangi ngā maunga.
Ko Ōhinemataroa me Te Ōriini ngā awa.
Ko Mātaatua te waka.
Ko Ngāti Awa te iwi.
Ko Ngāti Hokopū me Ngāi Taiwhakaea ngā hapū.
Ko Te Hokowhitu a Tū ki Te Rāhui me Taiwhakaea ngā marae.

James started Inline hockey in 1999 playing for the Canterbury Cyclones and multiple other South Island clubs. Spending 6 years as a Christchurch Sniper, James then played 3 years for the Renegades before joining the Wanganui Lightning Prems in 2020.

James has represented his region and country on multiple occasions. His highlights included playing in the New Zealand U21 and gaining selection to the 3 Māori teams.

James was a member of the inaugural NZ Māori team in 2015 and again in 2017.

Anthony Taylor says “I’ve always played for the Mighty Ravens and for over 20 years now. It’s always great seeing friends I’ve played with over the years in various rep teams from all over New Zealand.”

Anthony loves the sport of Inline Hockey and is a proud player and supporter of the Ravens club.

Jaan Turia has played hockey from a young age and has been a club, region, and National representative.

Jaan’s highlights include:

  • National Premier club champions from 2015 to 2021
  • Participating at the IIHF Senior World championships in 2017

Jaan plays for the Capital Penguins club and was a member of the inaugural NZ Maori team in 2015 and again in 2017.

Aaron Stockman has represented New Zealand in the Senior Men’s team from 2014 - 2017 and again in 2020.

Aaron was part of the winning Superleague teams on 3 separate occasions and was a member of the inaugural NZ Maori team in 2015 and again in 2017.

Aaron is a long-standing member of the Hamilton Devils and has played for the last 18 years for them.

William Jackson has played both roller hockey (quad) and Inline Hockey from a young age.

William has also played Ice Hockey and currently enjoys playing Softball with his wider family members. He has represented Northern Region Inline Hockey and New Zealand at age-group level. He currently plays for the Mt Wellington Panthers Premier Men’s Team. William says he plays inline hockey because, after all this time, it’s still fun!

Jacob Jackson is in his first season as a premier player with the Mt Wellington Panthers.

This follows a few years away from the game playing rugby. Jacob played 1st XV rugby for Botany College, Pakuranga U20 and Auckland 18 (B).

Jacob is pleased to be playing inline hockey once again and the opportunity to represent his whanau and iwi, along with his brother William.

Ritchie Hopkinson has been playing both Inline and ice hockey for over 20 years. Ritchie was a part of the 2013 national premier championship-winning Auckland Sabres team and has represented NZ at the U21, U23, and Senior Men’s levels on multiple occasions.

For the last 6 years, he has represented the Botany Swarm in the NZIHL including last season as an Alternate captain and last November was named to the New Zealand Ice Blacks roster.

Hayden Stockman has played Inline Hockey for the past 20 years for the Hamilton Devils club.

He has represented the Central region at multiple events.

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.

Tēnā koe. Ko Eythan Prendergast tōku ingoa.

Eythan started playing at the age of 13 and fell into the position of goalie as no one else wanted to do it! He has now been playing in goal for the Mt Wellington Panthers for 12 years and is currently their Premier goalie.

Eythan says throughout his time in net he has achieved some milestones he is very proud of:

  • Competed at FIRS Junior World Champs and AAU Junior Olympics for the New Zealand 18U, and 21U teams
  • Competed at NARCh for the New Zealand 21U, 23U and Senior Men’s teams.
  • Selected for the New Zealand Māori team in 2015

Eythan is proudly looking forward to representing his whanau and Iwi, Ngāti Tamaoho, at this year’s exhibition game.

Scott Collins is well known throughout the hockey community and has been a long-standing member of the Auckland Sabres club for over 20 years and became National Champions in 2013.

Scott has been a stalwart of the Northern Region Senior Men’s team, New Zealand Senior Men, and more recently the Masters team who won the AAU Masters trophy in Hawaii, 2019.

Scott helmed the Super League 2014 and 2015 Champion sides and was an inaugural team member of the New Zealand Maori team in 2015. After a move for work, Scott and the family are now located in the Lower North and is currently playing for the Wolves.


NZ Māori Inline Hockey Team Haka at the 2015 NZ inline Hockey Nationals, Hamilton.