Netball NZ CEO confirms ANZ Championship will take place next year

By Taroi Black

Netball New Zealand CEO Hillary Poole has confirmed with Te Kāea that the ANZ Championship will definitely take place next year.

The 18 week league which kicks off in four weeks sees the second year of the new format take affect helping the ten franchises to have a stiffer competition during play-offs.

This means that three of the best teams from both sides of the Tasman make play-offs and compete for a spot in the Grand Finals.

Hillary Poole says, "We will have matches around the country with our existing five teams and we are comtemplating whether we have a sixth team."

Last year Te Kāea spoke to Australian netball legend Liz Ellis after Netball Australia wanted to add another Australian franchise to the Trans-Tasman league. Ellis criticized NZ by saying “they've got to accept and take responsibility for the fact that at the moment they’re simply not cutting it with the Australian teams.”

However this led to coach Noeline Taurua responding with “I’m not afraid to say that a lot of financial backing is coming out of New Zealand, like i said it wouldn’t be advantageous for NZ to cut down when we know where the pot of money is actually coming from.”

Today Poole says no final decision has been made yet for the new look of the Trans-Tasman competition next year. “We’ve been encouraging right from the outset of our respected review, Netball Australia has definitely got the player base and the interest so we’re totally encouraging that.”

“The complexity when you have more teams is how it all comes together to ensure that we get the best on best and that the competition is sustainable," says Poole.