Australia wins the demonstration match between New Zealand and Australia 53-35 at the Commonwealth Games held in Auckland. The Silver Ferns complete a clean sweep over Jamaica in the Milo World Series after posting 64-35, 61-32 and 69-21 wins. The Silver Ferns were also involved in a rare tri-series with Australia and England which traversed Australia, involving matches in Perth, Melbourne, Adelaide and Sydney. The Silver Ferns lost in the final to Australia.

During her tenure as President, Anne Taylor was a prime mover in the decision of the NZNA to move its head office from Wellington to Auckland. This facilitated better access to sponsors while she also hired a marketing company which helped with the success of the Silver Ferns and continued the rising profile of netball.


The NZ Netball Association changes its name to Netball New Zealand and adopts a new logo to symbolise the game and the silver fern. At the eighth World Championships held in Sydney, Australia beats New Zealand 53-52 in a Final widely regarded as one of the greatest matches in netball history.  Universally respected for her imposing style of play and leadership qualities, captain Waimarama Taumaunu calls time on her 10-year international career, during which she won 77 test caps.

Auckland’s Judy Russell and Manawatu’s Betty Steffensen are awarded Netball New Zealand Life Membership. Russell made a strong contribution over many years in netball administration, umpiring, coaching and managing. A former Silver Fern, coach, umpire and administrator, Steffensen was president of Manawatu for 21 years and vice-president of Netball New Zealand for 12.


Netball Awareness week is launched for first time. The New Zealand Championships replaces New Zealand Tournament. In the Milo World Series tour by Trinidad & Tobago, the Silver Ferns win the test series 3-0. The New Zealand under-21 team wins New Zealand’s first World Youth Championships title in Fiji, beating Australia 44-40 in the final. The Silver Ferns tour England and Ireland and go through unbeaten. In June, New Zealand travels to Australia for a three-test series, losing 3- 0.


Coached by Lyn Parker and captained by Julie Carter, the Silver Ferns claim silver at the last edition of the World Games involving netball, at The Hague, after losing to Australia in the final.

Former Netball New Zealand President, Dawn Jones was awarded Life Membership for her outstanding contribution to the sport. Jones was the top-ranked umpire in New Zealand for 15 years and umpired 85 test matches, including at four World Cups and two World Games. She was a key force in the introduction of new rules and a new rule book.


Former captain, Leigh Gibbs becomes the sixth Silver Ferns coach. Australia tours New Zealand for the Milo World Series, playing the Silver Ferns and two Milo Invitational sides made up of New Zealand squad and young international players. The Silver Ferns tour Jamaica and win the test series 3-0. South Africa tours New Zealand after 20 years absence from international competition. England and Western Samoa tour New Zealand for the Milo Series, won by New Zealand.

A Netball New Zealand tournament umpire for six years and one of the umpires to officiate in the first North vs South Island match with dual control, Auckland’s Joyce Ellis is awarded NNZ Life Membership. Netball Taranaki stalwart Dal Knuckey was also awarded NNZ Life Membership after a lifetime’s involvement across many aspects of netball.


The ninth World Championships are held in Birmingham, England. South Africa causes an upset when they beat New Zealand for the first time ever, in pool play. New Zealand goes on to lose narrowly to Australia to miss out on the final, in which Australia defeats South Africa.


“Shooting for Success” is adopted as Netball New Zealand’s strategic plan. Fisher & Paykel Appliances becomes the major sponsor of NNZ and the Silver Ferns. The Silver Ferns beat South Africa 3-0. The Fisher & Paykel Cup is introduced for annual trans-Tasman clashes. The first match, played in Sydney, is won by Australia, 60-51. Wellington break Auckland’s 10-year domination to win the New Zealand Cup at the New Zealand Championships.


The Silver Ferns beat Jamaica in their three-Test Series and win against a Cook Islands side. The Silver Ferns win the Fisher & Paykel Cup match against Australia at Mystery Creek, Hamilton. The Silver Ferns tour England, posting a clean sweep of the three-test series and one-off tests against Wales and Malaysia.

Yvonne Willering becomes the seventh Silver Ferns coach in time for the 1997 Fisher & Paykel test against Australia, won 43-39 by the Silver Ferns in Hamilton. Popular long-serving Silver Ferns manager and life-long netball administrator Monica Leggat is awarded Netball New Zealand Life Membership.


Netball New Zealand launches its ambitious “Future Directions” strategy. 33 Unions become 12 Regional Entities and 110 Associations become Netball Centres. The 12 Regions are Northern, Auckland, Counties Manukau, Bay of Plenty, Waikato, Eastern, Western, Wellington, Tasman, Canterbury, Otago and Southern. The Coca- Cola Cup is revamped from a club competition to an elite regional event with 10 unique identities. The Otago Rebels beat Southern Sting to win the first franchise- based competition (National Bank Cup). Australia beat the Silver Ferns in three-test series to retain the Fisher & Paykel Cup. Netball is included as a Commonwealth Games medal sport for the first time in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The Silver Ferns win the silver medal after losing to Australia in the final.


In a sign of the times, Netball NZ refines its governance model from an executive to a board structure to run the organisation. The last Executive (until February of this year), Sheryl Dawson, Bev Douglas, Jean Hansen, Glenda Hughes, Tina Karaitiana, Kay McIntyre, Keryn Smith and Kathy Stewart step down to allow the formation of the organisation’s first board, consisting of appointed and elected personnel. The first NNZ Board was formed shortly after, comprising: Tina Karaitiana, Kay McIntyre, Kereyn Smith (Chair), Jane Wrightson, Don McKinnon, Nelson Cull, Vicki Buck. Dame Catherine Tizard was the NNZ Patron. The new structure also includes the role of Chief Executive. Shelley McMeeken is appointed and fills the role for seven years.

The 75th Netball New Zealand anniversary celebrations are held. The New Zealand Dream Team is announced: Margharet Matenga GS; Joan Harnett- Kindley GA; Rita Fatialofa WA; Sandra Edge C; Lyn Gunson WD; Yvonne Willering GD; Tracey Fear GK. New Zealand hosts the 10th World Championships in Christchurch. The Silver Ferns suffer a one-goal loss to Australia in an epic final. The match, televised on TV2, was the broadcaster’s highest rating programme ever at the time.

The Southern Sting begin a dominant era with their first of six straight National Bank Cup titles. Former Netball NZ Board member and International Netball Federation (INF) President Sheryl Dawson is awarded NNZ Life Membership. Christine Archer, former NNZ President, top-ranked umpire and the first paid administrator when netball’s head office was run out of Wellington, is awarded Life Membership.