Māori Football Aotearoa supports the growth of Māori and communities through football.

Māori Football Aotearoa is an organisation created by like-minded individuals to attract more Māori to the sport and nurture success both on and off the field. By using this platform to reach out to whānau, it is our collective vision that we will be able to assist with those that are interested in getting into football whether it be as a player, coach, manager or administrator.

Initially branded as Maori Football NZ (MFNZ) in 2008, MFNZ was established to promote cultural and social inclusion for Maori through football.

Aotearoa Football Charitable Trust (AFCT) was established in 2013 to provide a governance structure for MFNZ to operate within.

MFNZ was later rebranded to Māori Football Aotearoa in 2020.

Māori Football Aotearoa are proud to have alongside our Youth Ambassador, New Zealand National Men’s team Captain, Winston Reid, Rory Fallon, Leo Bertos, Jeremy Christie, Maia Jackman, Abby Erceg and Amber Hearn.

A special thanks to Wellington Phoenix FC for their continuous support of our efforts to grow the game amongst our communities.

Phill Parker

Ngāti Manawa

Chairman & Kaitiaki

Meet the Chairman & Kaitiaki of Māori Football
Phillip Pickering-Parker

Ko Mataatua te waka
Ko Tawhiau te maunga
Ko Raingiteiki te awa
Ko Ngati Manawa te iwi
Ko Ngati Whare te hapu
Ko Rangitahi te marae
Ko Tangiharuru te tangata

With over 30 years of involvement in the beautiful game, Phill’s passion has seen him take on many roles. He has previously held positions as Technical Director for Coerver Coaching New Zealand as well as a consultant for Oceania Football Confederation (OFC). Phill has a great his ability to connect with players of all ages both male and female from all cultures.

Phill comes from an English, Māori and Pasifika background. His passion for the game has seen him commit an incredible amount of time, resource both personal and professional, to create opportunities across Aotearoa to grow the game for Māori and Pasifika.

Ko te kore whaia te mutunga, whaia te mutunga.


Phill Parker

Ngāti Manawa

Chairman & Kaitiaki

Lawna Kani


Daniel Cassidy

Board Member

Leo Bertos

Board Member


Football is the ‘beautiful game’ and the most popular sport in the world. It is also one of the most popular sports in New Zealand, the largest participation sport for boys and third-largest for girls.

Football can be played by people of all ages and ethnicities, with very few barriest to participation than many other sports. However, despite the level of overall participation in New Zealand, Māori are underrepresented in these statistics.

New Zealand Football acknowledge that “with such a broad and passionate participation base, football is clearly an excellent vehicle for involving people in sport and physical recreation, which in turn plays a vital role in the social, cultural and economic well-being of New Zealand.” [Source] However, the lack of Māori involvement indicates there is a clear opportunity to improve participation rates and thus the social, cultural and economic benefits to wider communities.

Philosophy & Vision

Māori Football is guided by a holistic approach, steered by our key principle of social inclusion which is underpinned by these four key pillars:

  1. Kaitiakitanga (Guardianship) – Overseeing the values, mission and priorities are protected and upheld;
  2. Whakawhanaungatanga (Connectivity) – building relationships with key stakeholders, locally, nationally and internationally;
  3. Kaiwhakamana tōrangapū (Political advocacy) – Maintaining relationships between all stakeholders, monitoring and responding to any potential differences of opinion or causes of conflict. E.g. between government and organisational interests;
  4. Kāwanatanga (Governance) – To be acknowledged as a national and an international leader for indigenous football development.

Māori Football’s vision is to support a co-existence of cultures, therefore creating one culture – a football culture underpinned by Māori values.

We actively engage in the conceptual design, planning and implementation of community initiatives that support young people of New Zealand with a particular focus on Māori engagement.

Ultimately, Māori Football seeks to provide opportunities for young people and the general public to participate in football. Our mission is to:

  • Proeffective leadership, governance and facilitation for Māori involved in football;
  • Engage with Māori communities to raise awareness and grow the game of football in Aotearoa;
  • Assume the role as kaitiaki of Tikanga Māori and provide enduring benefits for Māori within football.
Development Model & Structure

The Māori development model we have adopted is Te Whetu Rehua.

This is the Māori Sports Development Model headed by Sport New Zealand and Moana-Lee Raihana. It is our intention to incorporate this strategy across all service delivery of initiatives, projects and programmes.

Core Values

To guide our service delivery on all initiatives, we adhere to these four primary values:

  • Tikanga Māori – centres on Maori Customs and Traditions;
  • Whakapapa – centres on Genealogy, History and Connectedness;
  • Manaakitanga – centres on supporting Relationships and Networking;
  • Kapa Haka –centres on Creative Arts.


Māori Football is owns key initiatves to support our broader mission of inclusion and participation at all levels.

Akokura Football
  • Fun football for all
  • Focus on participation at community level
  • Community competitions and events
  • Family-friendly
Clash of the Cultures
  • International elite and development platform
  • He tangata o te Ikaroa
  • Trans-Tasman Series (Australia)
  • Mana Whenua Series
  • Pacific Series
  • Tahiti Festival-des-Iles
  • Arafura Games (Australia)
Ngā Toa o te Motu
  • Domestic elite and development platform
  • North vs South Series
  • New Zealand Communities Football Cup
Māori Football Education
  • Whanapoikiri Taiohi
  • Tikanga o nga Kaitakaaro – Athletic Development & Leadership
  • Tikanga o te Whaiaro – Community Development & Leadership
Te Whanau Hauora – Haerere Korori
  • “The Pilgrimage”
  • Oceanic Drift – Asia to Aotearoa
  • Retraces the great migration of Māori across the Pacific Ocean to Aotearoa


Māori Football players, coaches and members alike become part of the lifelong legacy that is engrained within the foundations and evolution of Māori Football Aotearoa, represented through the shirt worn by those representing Aotearoa.

Those privileged to wear the shirts take an Oath of Honour:

We acknowledge and understand that we are simply guardians of the shirt. We are kaitiaki of this taonga until it is time for us to hand it over to the next guardian. We will wear it with honour, pride and passion, for it is the people we represent.

By bringing together Wahine and Tane through the playing shirts, in Ranginui & Papatuanuku, we acknowledge our humble beginnings and the journeys that lay ahead of us.

We believe along the way we will find more stars, a deeper sense of self, and a stronger value of identity.

We propose to take a pilgrimage of rediscovery that will retrace where we originated from, as adventurers, as Māori.

Te Ikaroa will light our path and help guide us and the future generations to follow.