While we try our best to accommodate all teams wishing to participate in the tournament, due to the restraints of time and resources we can not accommodate everyone. Therefore all Iwi and Team registrations are reviewed by Poitūkohu Māori Aotearoa with priority given to those iwi who pay on time and to those teams who have placed higher in the grade at last year's tournament. Māori Basketball reserve the right to reject an iwi from registering if any fees from previous national tournaments are still owing. Poitūkohu Māori Aotearoa reserve the right to reject iwi or team registration for reasons that may include but are not limited to alignment with Poitūkohu Māori Aotearoa Kaupapa 

All players must be "Māori" for all grades except the Social Mixed grade, Premiere Mixed grade and the Koeke - Masters 45+. The definition of a Māori person can be found in the below. 

Each iwi must have a minimum of 8 teams. Maximum of 2 teams per grade. All grades will have a capped number of total entries. 

Players may only play for one team at the tournament. 

Failure to abide by these rules may result in an iwi being excluded from future tournaments​​​​​​​

(Updated January 2022)


Games governed by FIBA rules http://nz.basketball/Get-Involved/Officials/Rules with adjustments as outlined below.

1. The Tournament shall be called "The National Māori Basketball Tournament" and shall be held during the closest weekend of Waitangi Day

2. The object of New Zealand Māori Basketball Aotearoa Inc (NZMBA) National Māori Basketball Tournament (herein after called "the Tournament") is to promote basketball, Te Reo, friendship, goodwill, mutual understanding and to enjoy healthy competition among Māori Iwi.

3. The name of a sponsor or its products may as circumstances require be added to the official name of the Tournament but NZMBA reserves the right to refuse consent to a name which is not in keeping with the aims and objectives of the Tournament.

4. Definitions.

In these rules:

  • “Māori person” means a person of Māori descent.
  • “De Facto partner” means the de facto partner of a Māori person to which the provisions of the Property Relations Act 1976 applies.
  • “Iwi” means the tribe affiliation of teams
  • “Host” means the Iwi/Rohe responsible for holding the Tournament.
  • “FIBA Rules” means the current FIBA rules at the time of the Tournament.
  • “Sportsperson” means a person or persons participating in the official sports at the Tournament.
  • “Tournament Director” means the person appointed by the Host to organise and run the Tournament.
  • “Only teams from affiliated Iwi / Rohe” may enter official teams in the Tournament.
  • “Affiliated” means officially attached or connected to our organization.
  • “Te Reo” refers to the Maori language - to be encouraged throughout the tournament by all

Persons eligible to participate in the National Maori Basketball Tournament are:

(a) A Māori person; or (b) The spouse of a Māori person; or (c) The adopted child of a Māori person or the child or the adopted/whangai child of the spouse of a Māori person; (d) The De Facto partner of a Māori person; or (e) A birth parent of a Māori person or a parent of an adopted Māori person It is the responsibility of each Iwi/Rohe to ensure that each Sportsperson from their Iwi is eligible to participate in the Tournament.

If requested by the representative of an Iwi participating in the Tournament the Tournament Director shall require a Sportsperson to provide evidence of their eligibility. Failure to provide satisfactory proof shall deem that Sportsperson is disqualified from participation. If discovered after the tournament – the iwi may be suspended from future tournaments. This will be at the discretion of the NZMBA Board as to the term of suspension.

5. The Tournament shall be held at a venue that can cater for 7 – 10 courts. Any other Iwi may apply to host the Tournament and such application shall be determined by the NZMBA Board at its discretion.

6. Each Iwi shall appoint at least one personnel to assist with the running of the tournament – these will be known as the “Kaiawhina” who will wear the official mawhero polo shirt for the duration of the tournament.

7. The NZMBA AGM shall be held at each Tournament. This is an open meeting where registered members of NZMBA may vote. a) To receive the annual accounts, minutes of previous AGM and an Annual Report from the NZMBA Convenor. b) Notififed items of Business c) Election of Trustees d) Appointment of Auditor for the coming year

8. The Host shall prepare a report of the results of the Tournament no later than 60 days after the Tournament.

9. NZMBA will be responsible for funding applications to assist in the costs of hosting the tournament. This to include the following and not limited to: venue hire, officials’ accommodation & travel, uniforms, awards and equipment.

10. The Host shall be entitled to receive recompense from NZMBA to assist in the conduct of the Tournament. The amount of the recompense shall be determined by agreement with the NZMBA Convenor. Notwithstanding the foregoing the Host shall be entitled to seek other grants and donations for the purposes of conducting the Tournament.

11. Iwi shall be entitled to enter a maximum of one team into each grade, with a minimum of four teams in total. Additional teams may be entered manually if there are spaces available.

12. Players may only play for one team in the tournament.

13. The Host shall have the discretion to adjust grade numbers according to availability of courts.

14. Should entries to the Tournament in any grade be in the view of the Host insufficient to hold a satisfactory competition the Host may at its discretion refuse the entries and remove that grade from the Tournament for that year.

15. Referees are to be supplied by the Iwi – One referee per two teams.

16. As part of the NZMBA promotion of Te Reo, the use of “Te Reo in games” will be encouraged by coaches & referees in the first instance. To assist non-speakers of Te Reo, the Board will provide terms and phrases to be used at the tournament with the information pack. Upon entering the tournament each team agrees to promote Te Reo in games – especially the basic terms provided.

17. All Iwi must be represented at the Awards & Presentation Ceremony held on the Saturday night following the final games. Each rōpu will be called onto the stage to present their performance between the awards.

18. Where funding and sponsorship permit new teams will receive the official tournament uniform – logo & colours to be confirmed by Iwi with NZMBA. Current Iwi from previous tournament may also receive uniforms for any extra teams entered.


“He aha te mea nui o te Ao? – He tangata, he tangata, he tangata”

Age Group Rules:

Below is the complete eligibility criteria for all age competitions at all future national tournaments. Criteria for the Under 13 to Under 23 aligns with BBNZ age definitions.

  1. For Under 7 competition, players must be aged either 7 or younger as at 31 December in the year in which the competition is held.
  2. For Under 9 competitions, players must be aged either 9 or younger as at 31 December in the year in which the competition is held.
  3. For Under 11 competitions, players must be aged either 9, 10 or 11as at 31 December in the year in which the competition is held.
  4. For Under 13 competitions, players must be aged either 11, 12 or 13 years as at 31 December in the year in which the competition is held;
  5. For Under 15 competitions, players must be aged either 13, 14 or 15 years as at 31 December in the year in which the competition is held;
  6. For Under 17 competitions, players must be aged either 15, 16 or 17 years as at 31 December in the year in which the competition is held;
  7. For Under 19 competitions, players must be aged at least 15 years on the first day that the competition commences, and must not be over 19 years as at 31 December in the year the competition is held;
  8. For Under 23 competitions, players must be aged at least 15 years on the first day that the competition commences and must not be over 23 years as at 31 December in the year the competition is held;
  9. For the Tāne Open and Wāhine Open, Pakeke and Special Olympic competitions, players must be at least 15 years on the first day that the competition commences;
  10. For Koeke (Masters) 40-49 competition, players must aged between 40-49 years as at 31 December in the year in which the competition is held;
  11. For Koeke (Masters) 50+ competition, players must be 50+ years or older on the first day that the competition commences.



WĀHANGA TOA (all players must have their Māori whakapapa) 


  • Under 7 Mixed
  • Under 9 (Kōtiro, Tama) 
  • Under 11 (Kōtiro, Tama) 
  • Under 13 (Kōtiro, Tama) 
  • Under 15 (Kōtiro, Tama) 
  • Under 17 (Kōtiro, Tama) 
  • Under 19 (Wāhine, Tāne) 
  • Under 23 (Wahine, Tāne) 
  • Open (Wāhine, Tāne) 

WĀHANGA WHAKANGAHAU (Non-Māori whanau members permitted to play in these) 


  • Pakeke (Mixed)
  • Kōeke (40-49 Mixed)
  • Kōeke (50+ Mixed)  
  • Special Olympics (Mixed)


  • Rangatahi Managers’ Meeting: Monday 8.15am in the grand hall
  • Taipakeke Managers' Meeting: Wednesday 6pm in the grand hall
  • Whakangahau Evening: Wednesday 7pm in the Sportsdrome – Iwi Performances 
  • Rangatahi Prize-giving: Medals (Gold, Silver, Bronze) on the court straight after the finals
  • Taipakeke Prize-giving (except for Open Tāne Premier Grade and Open Wāhine Premier Grade): Medals (Gold, Silver, Bronze) in the Bay Trust Arena after the finals
  • Open Tāne Premier Grad and Open Wāhine Grade : Trophies, Medals (Gold, Silver, Bronze) on the court straight after the finals.


  • Rotorua Energy Events Centre - 1 Queen’s Drive, Government Gardens, Rotorua 
    • Unison Arena (UNISON 1, UNISON 2, UNISON 3, UNISON 4) 
    • BayTrust Forum (Baytrust Court 1, Baytrust Court 2) 
  • Rotorua Girls’ High Arena (RGHS 1, RGHS 2) -Miro Street back gate – no parking on the grass 
  • John Paul College (JPC) - Whitworth Street – parking in carpark & walk to gym
  • Western Heights High School (WHHS 1, WHHS 2) – Steeles Lane entrance only 
  • Te Kura o Te Koutu (Te Koutu)


Each iwi to provide personnel to assist with Court Convening each day for 2 rounds.  

Iwi to complete schedule at Control 

  • Unison Arena , Baytrust Forum & Sportsdrome.  

Court Convening involves:  

  • collecting scoresheets from Control,  
  • reminding teams to provide scorebench personnel,  
  • checking referees are ready to start game – contact TC if refs are not present 
  • operating game clock (games to start on time, even if refs are not present) 
  • returning scoresheets to Control after game 
  • Venue Controllers at RGHS, JPC, RIS & WHHS will Upload results on Team View App after each game 


1 referee per two teams. Referee roster to be administered by TC.  

  • Referees to check the daily roster and ensure they are at their allotted court at least 5 minutes before start.  
  • Venue Controllers will be starting games on time – those refs who do not turn up may incur a fine for their iwi. 
  • Payments available Friday evening & Saturday from 12pm – depending on ref’s last game


Each team to provide 1-2 people to scorebench for their own game.


Complete at least ten minutes before game, with all players from roster, regardless of whether they are playing the first game or not. No additional names can be added after the first game for that team – even if they are on the original roster.  

Teams may also need to fill in scoresheet for each game.


  • Teams are responsible for the supply of their own first aid kit. 
  • Venue Controllers are responsible for filling out an Accident/Injury Form (available from Control Centre) for any injury occurring in their venue. They MUST return the form to the Control Centre immediately for our processing. 
  • Medic Aid will be onsite at the EEC 
  • Physiotherapists – are available at the EEC in the Grand Hall (check their schedule for when they are available) 
  • Ice available from Control 
  • Lakes Primecare & Rotorua Hospital are situated just up the road from the EEC off Arawa St 

Golden Point:- When scores are tied at the conclusion of a game. Teams to play to Golden Point – first team to score. Use Alternating arrow to determine which team inbounds from halfway. Stay shooting at same goal as final quarter. 

Rolling Subs:- Subs must wait for the player on-court leaves the playing area before entering – a High-5 or hand slap is recommended for this exchange 

Subs Through Refs:- normal rules. Sub on violation and foul calls. Subs to go through the scorebench and wait to be beckoned on-court by referee.  

Subs not to take more that 3 secs, once called in by referee. Penalty: - warning on coach; followed by Technical foul on the coach for any following infringements. 

Overtime: When scores are tied at the end of a game, teams will play extra time. Either to Golden Point or 3 minutes extra time – see chart above. 

Defence: U7s, U9s, U11s, U13s, U15s may only play Man-to-Man defense. Any coach suspecting a team is playing a zone, may request a Zone-Buster to check. Process – send manager to Venue Controller. Penalty: 1st warning to Coach; Technical Foul for any following infringements. Remember, once a coach has two technical fouls, he/she must leave the venue. 

Pakeke & Kōeke Grades: No more than 3 tāne on-court at any one time per team. Which means, no less that 2 wāhine on-court at any one time per team.

Under 7s Grade: Minimum of 1 girl on court at all times