All six teams involved in next year’s inaugural ANZ Premiership netball competition will attend a pre-season tournament on March 10-12 at the Te Wānanga o Raukawa campus in Ōtaki, north of Wellington.

In an exciting new partnership between Te Wānanga o Raukawa and the Central Pulse, Netball Central is delighted to be able to host the cream of New Zealand’s netballing talent in a pre-season spectacle for the first time.

``We are very fortunate to have a partner that can provide such great support and enable us to prepare in the best way possible ahead of the 2017 ANZ Premiership season,’’ Netball Central CEO Carolyn Young said.

``This is a great opportunity for our Zone to showcase netball at its best and offer a sneak preview of what to expect just weeks out from the start of the competition.’’

Replacing nine years of trans-Tasman competition, the ANZ Premiership is poised to become New Zealand’s new elite domestic competition, involving six teams – the Pulse, Northern Mystics, the new Northern Stars entity, Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic, Mainland Tactix and Southern Steel.

All will be in attendance in Ōtaki where three 60-minute games will be played each day over the three-day tournament. The draw will be decided in the New Year.

The Pulse is looking forward to the release of a new design on its playing uniform which has been created with input from Te Wānanga o Raukawa.

Established 35 years ago, Te Wānanga o Raukawa is a Māori tertiary education provider which has continued to grow and reach out to a wide audience through its pioneering vision of being a centre of innovation and higher learning.

Hailed as the `smallest university in the world’ with two students when first established, Te Wānanga o Raukawa has gone on to develop a stellar academic environment and record that is authentically Māori and offers a comprehensive range of facilities and services at its Ōtaki campus.

That includes a facility with two wooden sprung indoor courts, laid to international standards in the hope they could host an event such as the pre-season tournament, a fully functioning gym and seating for 700.

Netball Central has enjoyed a close relationship with the world-class facility in recent years as a base for development and talent identification camps while the Pulse are set to have a three-day camp at Te Wānanga o Raukawa later this month.

CEO, Mereana Selby, says “Te Wānanga o Raukawa is proud to be partnering with Central Pulse, an organisation whose values align with our kaupapa.  We want to support initiatives that lead to better health and well-being outcomes for our own people and the wider community.  Central Pulse management and administration, coaching staff and team comprise an organisation that focuses on this, strives relentlessly for excellence, recognises diversity in our communities and embraces language and cultural difference.”