Auckland and Northern Māori set for historic weekend

20 Oct 2022

Northern Māori and Auckland Māori clash this weekend in what is set to be a historic matchup for Māori Cricket in New Zealand.

The inaugural match up, in Mount Maunganui, represents the first ever between these two Māori Major Association sides in New Zealand.

Established during the 2010/11 season, the Northern (Districts) Māori were the first all-Māori domestic cricket team in New Zealand.

Its playing alumni include some of the stars of New Zealand’s domestic game, including Trent Boult, Jono Boult, Darryl Tuffey, and Kieran Noema-Barnett.

Northern Districts CEO, Ben MacCormack, expressed his association’s commitment to the Māori game.

“Northern Districts are fully supportive of this weekend’s historic matchup between Northern Māori and Auckland Māori,” said MacCormack.

“We love leading the way for our Māori players and it’s great to see another Major Association joining us on our journey. We have increased focus with our new Diversity and Inclusion role, and are excited for what the future holds.”

Auckland Māori played its inaugural fixtures this season against the visiting Cook Islands, as the Cook Islanders prepared for the ICC Pacific Qualifying tournament in Vanuatu.

For Auckland team coach and lead organiser, Michael Tillett, the motivation behind the team is more than just playing cricket.

“Our mission statement is to not only provide Māori with the opportunities to empower, develop and showcase their cricket skills, but to help grow the connection between young Māori who play cricket and their whakapapa,” said Tillett.

Auckland Māori will be led by former Maori Secondary Schools representative and opening bowler, Elias Falanitule (Te Rarawa), who impressed during the side’s first outing against the Cook Islands.

The addition of dual-code representative Jock McKenzie (Ngāti Maniapoto) will also bolster the batting line up for Tāmaki Makaurau.

“Elias was definitely the pick of the bowlers in our last outing, showcasing his wide array of skills, both with the new ball and bowling at the death.

“It’s also great having Jock joining the squad, fresh off his season with Auckland and the Blues,” said Tillett.

“He’ll be looking to find some form with the bat as he makes the switch back to cricket for the summer.”

New Zealand Cricket Kaupapa Māori lead, Andrew Tara, is pleased to see more opportunities emerging for Māori cricketers.

“These matches are a great occasion to showcase Māori cricket, and build on the success of the matches earlier in the year" said Tara.

“We're excited to tautoko this weekend of cricket and look forward to continuing to build a pathway for Māori cricket in the future”.

Both matches are free entry and both sides are willing their fans, friends and whanau to get along to be a part of history. Check out all match information, including team lists below.

Auckland vs Northern Māori

Sunday 23rd & Monday 24th October
Blake Park, Mount Maunganui

T20 match – Sunday 23rd, 2:00pm
50 over match – Monday 24th, 10:30am

Northern Māori (from): Ben Pomare (Ngāti Mutunga & Ngāi Tahu), Charles Williams (Ngāti Ranginui), Cohen Stewart (Ngāi Tahu, Te Āti Awa ki te Tau Ihu), Depp Bolingford (Ngāi Tahu), Dylan Jeffries (Ngāpuhi), Fraser Farrell (Ngāpuhi), Josh Hill (Ngāti Raukawa ki te Tonga), Kuwyn Price (Ngāti Porou, Tainui & Ngāti Hauā), Leighton Parsons (Ngāti Porou), Luke Istead (Waikato Tainui), Mikaere Leef (Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāi te Rangi, & a Ngāti Pūkenga), Sean Crotty (Tapuika), Toa Davis (Tainui & Ngāpuhi)
Coach: Charles Williams

Auckland Māori (from): Ben Brady (Ngāi Tahu), Ben Lister (Te Rarawa), Elias Falanitule (Te Rarawa), Fraser Campbell (Ngāti Raukawa ki te Tonga), Flynn Goodley-Hollister (Ngāti Kahungunu), Will Martin (Ngāti Porou), Jock McKenzie (Ngāti Maniapoto), Angus Olliver (Te Āti Awa), Josh Olliver (Te Āti Awa), Harry Sinclair (Ngāpuhi), Jamal Todd (Ngāti Whātua o Kaipara & Te Uri o Hau), Jack Windler (Ngāi Te Rangi)
Coach: Michael Tillett