With the introduction late last year of a national zone administration structure, netball has moved into a bold new era.
The establishment of the five zones replaced the 12 regional organisations, based around the ANZ Championship teams.
Nothing much will change at the elite level, where defending ANZ champions Kia Magic headline the zone concept, and Bay of Plenty and Waikato have a long history as joint partners of the previous Waikato/Bay of Plenty franchise.
However, the zone model introduces a more streamlined approach which has been put in place to deliver netball across the board, from community level to high performance. The Waikato Bay of Plenty Zone includes Gisborne, and encompasses 26 netball centres.
With their breakthrough win in the ANZ Championship last year, Kia Magic have provided the dynamism on which to build a productive, enterprising and successful zone at all levels.
Our new zone covers a diverse range of people and communities, which includes tens of thousands of players at all levels and the immediate focus is about bringing these regions and communities together.
In time, this will lead to a stronger cohesion between us all.
In the broader make-up of the netball community, from the professional athlete to the volunteer, the sport has long played a strong hand in society. Our challenge now is to deliver netball for all participants , and volunteers in the best way possible.
Netball has built an exemplary reputation over the years and is firmly entrenched in the New Zealand sports psyche. It remains the cornerstone for many women's social interaction at one end of the scale, while producing outstanding role models and leaders at the other end.
Participation and enjoyment are key factors in any sport. And in this exciting new step for netball, we look forward to offering the best opportunities and experiences to people at all levels of the game.