Rugby league has played a significant part in New Zealand
sport for over 100 years.
Formed on April 25th 1910, New Zealand Rugby League (NZRL) is the governing body for the sport of rugby league and is charged with the growth, development and delivery of the code in Aotearoa.
The NZRL catchment is divided into seven Zones that govern
and service the grassroots game; Northland, Akarana, Counties Manukau, Upper
Central, Mid Central, Wellington and Southland. Within those Zones, the sport
is implemented throughout the regions by sixteen Districts.
These Zones compete at a national level through the NZRL
Premiership while NZRL manages the New Zealand international representative
Rugby League has a rich history in NZ dating back to 1907
when the first ‘All Golds’ team toured Great Britain. New Zealand played an
integral role in the history of rugby league football as of all rugby league
nations New Zealand was second only to England to compete in international
Rugby League in New Zealand was officially established in
1910 despite pushback from Rugby Union and was played in Auckland, Taranaki,
Rotorua, Nelson, Southland, Wanganui, Marlborough, Invercargill, Hawke’s Bay,
and South Auckland. Auckland Rugby League became the first to start a regular
regional competition boasting a full season in 1912, with its headquarters at
Eden Park. The first professional New Zealand club team, the Auckland Warriors,
was added to the top-level Australian Rugby League competition in 1995.
1995 saw the establishment of the New Zealand Rugby League
National Women’s team, the Kiwi Ferns who hold the record for the most Women’s
World Cup wins, taking home the trophy in 2000, 2003 and 2008.
The New Zealand Men’s National team, the Kiwis, won their
first Rugby League World Cup in 2008.
Alongside its professional representative teams, NZRL also
manages the NZ 16s representatives, NZ 18s representatives, and the New Zealand
Residents (Grassroots Premiership team).
NZRL deliver a series of annual tournaments including the
award-winning National Secondary Schools tournament, the National Women’s and
Youth tournaments and at Premier Grade, the National Premiership and National
The Kiwi Way is how NZRL implement its More Than A Game philosophy, where we are committed to transforming lives and community wellbeing through Rugby League.
The ‘The Kiwi Way’ is the New Zealand Rugby League organisational ethos that represents the culture instilled within all those who are a part of the New Zealand Rugby League community.
We are diverse, we call New Zealand home and we are all Kiwis
We are family first
We are responsible
We are innovative and courageous
We are inclusive, respectful and humble
We are stronger together
We live and play The Kiwi Way every day