Harbour Raiders women celebrate their 2023 Club Championships title. Photo by www.phototek.co.nz

Raiders reign supreme at Club Championships

Harbour Raiders were double winners at the Volleyball New Zealand Club Championships in Tauranga on Saturday – claiming both the men’s and women’s Division 1 titles.

The remarkable achievement, delivered through talent, teamwork and sheer determination saw the Auckland-based club deliver the double victory for the first time since Raiders accomplished the same feat in 2017.

The Women's team's victory was a testament to the perfect blend of youthful exuberance and seasoned experience.

Combining the skills of young prodigies Kalea Norton (17), Marnie Ursem (18), and Maria Hanabadi (20) with the expertise of Raiders Legends Ari Pola (24) and Danielle Quigley (29), the team showcased exceptional prowess.

This win was especially significant as the Women's team had climbed from “Baby Raiders’ Division 2 triumph in 2022 to Division 1 glory in 2023 with the additions of Danielle Quigley, Ari Pola, and Jasmine Milton.

The contributions of Anna Harrison, Jasmine Milton, Sydney Clough, and the exceptional Libero Zara Pocock were instrumental in keeping Harbour Raiders in the game, and eventually claiming the intense final match against Christchurch club Shirley via a thrilling five-set win (19-25, 25-23, 21-25, 25-23, 15-5).

Harbour Raiders men's side celebrate their eighth VNZ Club Championships title. Photo by www.phototek.co.nz

Meanwhile, the Men's team demonstrated outstanding perseverance after a slow start, rebounding from losing the first set to the fired-up Western Bay of Plenty Phoenix.

The introduction of Johann Timmer from the bench, coupled with the consistent setting by the experienced Ashton Howard, paved the way for tournament MVP Greg Vukets to manage the game and the strategy.

Powerful contributions from Manaia Harris, Saxon Gough, and Leni Maiai at different stages of the match kept the Phoenix at bay.

The Raiders eventually seized control of the final, securing a convincing 3-1 victory with a scoreline of 24-26, 25-17, 25-15, 25-20 against Western Bay Phoenix Men A.

The win marked the eighth title for the Harbour Raiders Men's team since its inception in 1991, and the fifth title for the Women's team since their first win in 2014.

Of note is most of the players playing grew up playing school volleyball in the North Harbour Region, which is a testament to the development programmes of the Harbour Volleyball Association.

Information provided by Harbour Raiders was used for this story

Club Championships Resources

Click here for all the key information and resources for the VNZ 2022 Club Championships

Venue: Trustpower Baypark Arena & Queen Elizabeth Youth Centre, Tauranga

Dates: Wednesday 12 October - Saturday 15 October 2022

Meeting: Tuesday 11 October - TPB Arena Suite (2nd floor)
- Preliminary Inquiry: 5:00pm - 6:45pm - Compulsory Team Sign In
- Technical Meetings: 7:00pm -7:30 pm
- Referee Meeting: 7:30pm - 8:00 pm

Entry Fees, payment and player information

Division 1 - $1,300.00 (Discount of $300 if your team has a National Referee)
Division 2 - $1,000.00 (Regional Referee required)

Last day to withdraw without penalty: 20 Sept (Tue)
Payment due: 20 Sept (Tue)
Withdraw after 20 Sept: 50% refund
Withdraw 12 days before the tournament: 20% refund or $800 charge to club
Withdraw 5 days before the tournament: No refund
Registration: 25 July (Mon) - 20 Sept. (Fri) or until slots are available
Team list registration: 19 Sept - 5 October (Wednesday)
Player Loan window: 19 Sept - 30 Sept. (Fri)
Last day of Zone League: 25 Sept. (all results sent to VNZ by 26 Sept - Monday)

Club Transfer Information

1. If you are a player and want to transfer to a different club, fill out the CLUB TRANSFER FORM below before playing in any Zone League games. Your transfer must be complete before playing in Club Champs.Players are not allowed to move clubs once the ZL starts.

2. Players can represent only one club throughout the Zone League and the same club for Club Championships.

3. Division 1 Clubs can loan ("borrow") a player from a different club that does not qualify for Division 1 via Club Loan. Teams that do not qualify for Division 1 can also loan players from other teams. Please fill in the CLUB LOAN FORM below and send to om@volleyballnz.org.nz Loaned players are still considered members of their original club and do not need to fill in a transfer form.


1. Player must Fill in the Club Transfer Form below. The Club you are currently under (Old Club) will be notified by the automated system to Approve or Decline the Transfer Request. 

2. If the Old Club declines, contact the Club and ask what needs to be settled in order to transfer. Once ready to transfer, fill the Club Transfer Form again so the Old Club will once again received the Approve/ Decline email.

3. Once the Old Club approves, the Regional Association of the Old Club has to approve the transfer as well. The player will then be notified if both transfers have been approved.

4. Alternately, you can check the VNZ Club Champs webpage for the updated transfers. 


International Transfer Certificate

If you are an International Player playing for a Club in New Zealand or your Federation of Origin is not New Zealand (Federation/country where you first played organised volleyball competitions like school, local club, etc.), players must apply for an International Transfer Certificate. An ITC is needed to play outside the Federation of Origin regardless of the level of the League. Transfer window via VIS will open August 2022.


1. Contact the Club (NZ) you are going to play for and ask them to initiate a transfer via the Volleyball Information System (VIS). If clubs do not remember their VIS login and password, please contact Fabi at fabi@volleyballnz.org.nz

2. The Club (NZ) then has to ask your Club overseas if they can release you from your old Club or ask the National Federation to approve your transfer. 

3. If you do not have a VIS profile, please contact your National Federation (Federation of Origin) to create a profile for you and let your NZ Club know so they can initiate the transfer.


Conditions of Participation

1. All Clubs wishing to compete in a Zone League must be members of a Regional Association recognised by Volleyball NZ
2. All clubs wishing to compete must have no outstanding debt with the Association, Zone or VNZ.
3. Entries must be submitted in compliance with the zone committee.
4. Entry fees must be invoiced by zone committee and paid by the due date.
5. All players and coaches must register as a VNZ member before the ZL starts and must be members to play in Club Champs.
Club Zone Leagues

The Club Volleyball Zone League (ZL) provides an opportunity for Clubs to qualify for the NZ Club Championships and for new Clubs to play in a competitive environment.

The Zone League runs from July to September. Clubs must play in the Zone where most of the players reside or where their Club is registered. Each Zone (Northern, Midlands, Central and Southern Zone) forms a committee and selects a Zone Coordinator who liaise with and report to VNZ. 

Northern: Northland, North Harbour, Manukau Auckland, West East Central Auckland
Midlands: Bay of Plenty, Waikato
Central: Hawkes Bay, Taranaki, Manawatu, Wellington
Southern: Tasman, Canterbury, Aoraki, Otago, Southland

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