30 Apr 2012

NZ Maori Hockey lobbying for separate status

6:32 am on 30 April 2012

A bid by New Zealand Maori Hockey to become a separate national team is being taken directly to the sport's international body.

The team held its annual general meeting over the weekend where the issue was raised to become a distinct team.

But chairman Kahu Ripia says the response from Hockey New Zealand chief executive Hilary Paul was that New Zealand is one country with one team.

He says his team will now take its case to the Federation of International Hockey where they will be basing their argument on the representative model used in the United Kingdom.

Mr Ripia says the make up of international teams shouldn't only be based on the country players are living in.

He says if you look at Great Britain, that country has a team made up of players from England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland.

Mr Ripia says those countries under their own umbrella have their single identities too.

He says because his team is also part of the Pacific rim of countries it also makes sense to have a national Maori squad to compete against their Pacific Island kin.

New Zealand Maori Hockey hope to meet with the sport's international body in a week.