Author Archive | Kat Graham

Board Member Appointment

We are extremely happy to announce the appointment of Olliver Maassen to our board of directors.
Ollie started playing canoe polo at Palmerston North Boys High School in 2009. In 2013, he was selected to the NZ under 21 team, coming first at that years Oceania tournament in Christchurch. In 2014 and 2016, Ollie represented the under 21 team at the World Championships in France and Italy, coming 4th and 6th respectively.
In 2015, Ollie moved to Wellington to study a Bachelor of Law and Arts. He graduated in 2020 and now works as a law graduate in Wellington City.
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Coaching Managers Appointment

We are pleased to announce this role has been filled as a shared partnership between Jacqui Frost and Dean Hepburn.

Jacqui has a long association with polo. Most of you will know her as Frosty’s wife or Liam’s
mum. Currently she is working with Kiwi in the role of Coaching Coordinator. She has a
degree in Accountancy, and then gained a Post Graduate Diploma to become a primary
school teacher. She is a team leader and specializes in developing and delivering resilience
programs. Jacqui is also currently undertaking further education in educational
Jacqui’s passion is in empowering teams and in developing people.

Dean is a graduate of the Bachelor of Recreation and Sport at E.I.T Hawke’s Bay, where he
focused intensely on sports coaching and the development of sport. While there his focus
was on road cycling where he helped develop and deliver the Introduction to Road Cycling
program for Cycling New Zealand. He also manages and coaches endurance athletes from
elite to juniors and has helped develop junior cycling within Hawke’s Bay. Dean has also
coached hockey and studied the biomechanics of sports including basketball which
correlates well into canoe polo. He currently coaches canoe polo at Havelock North High
School, with managing and coaching the Senior B boys and assists the Senior Girls coaching
team as an endurance coach.
Dean’s passion within this role is to develop technical coaching capability and deliver a
pathway for coaching development.

Together, we want to ensure our coaches are well resourced and supported at every level of
Canoe Polo. Ensuring that we have a nationwide network of coaches that have a culture of
learning and development is a key component of this. We are looking forward to working
alongside our coaches to develop these areas.

Jacqui and Dean can be contacted on

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Canoe Polo in Level 2 – Covid 19

We have referenced Sport NZ documentation as our primary source:

If you are unsure how to implement these guidelines, or have any other questions, please get in touch:

Alert Level 2 – Return to training and play flow chart – 10 person limit

Alert Level 2 – Guidelines for return to training and games

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NZCPA High Performance Manager Appointment

It gives us great pleasure to announce that Greg Oke has been appointed to the High Performance manager role.

This is a new role within NZCPA and Greg will be on a 1 year term. The reasoning for the 1 year term is so we can develop the role, set processes and have a clear structure in place before we then go through the formal advertising process in 2021.

Greg has an abundance of experience in canoe polo and other sports:
– Head Coach FAHS 7 years
– Coached Kiwi teams A, B and C grade
– Selector for NZCPA current and past
– Board Director NZCPA ( 4 years)
– Development officer Kiwi Canoe Polo
– Coached Centrals Development
– Regional Referee.
– Current B Grade open player (Vikings Rust)
– Involved with the Olympic and Commonwealth games from a health provider and athlete services role 2004, 2006 ,2008, 2010 games
– Represented NZ at Slalom and White water racing
– Rep NZ Canoe Polo Masters. Oceania

Greg has a passion for high performance sport and its growth and delivery.
He is keenly aware of the needs of developing players at all ages and has a strong understanding of the pressure at high performance levels.

He is committed to clarifying our current framework and looking at the needs of our athletes and sport into the future.

He is open to dialogue with all stakeholders in this process and believes in a strong, representative, ethical and inclusive culture that underpins our program.

He believes in providing a pathway for our athletes to excel on the world stage with no barriers.
Greg would like to see Canoe Polo in the Olympic Games as a core canoe sport with NZ strongly represented in the medals.

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Corona Virus Update 20.3.20 – 2020 National League Championships CANCELLED

Re. Coronavirus (COVID 19) National Competitions

To our membership, parents, guardians and supporters,

New Zealand Canoe Polo Association regret to announce that due to the escalating Covid 19 situation, we have made the socially responsible decision to cancel the 2020 National League. Whilst we feel we could have held the upcoming rounds based upon the government’s guidelines and advice; prudence does seem to be the better course of action. Our main priority is the well-being of all membership, their families and the wider community.

The Annual awards dinner due to be held in conjunction with A-grade (Hawkes Bay) in late April will be cancelled. The hosting of the AGM during the A-grade finals will need to be postponed and alternative arrangements made.

The Executive will be working through all the implications and trying to mitigate the impact across our Association. We understand that this decision also impacts on the selection process and training structures of some of our NZ teams. We will continue to work with the coaching and management staff to find suitable solutions. Expect further information to come through our usual channels in the coming weeks.

Our advice to our member clubs and regional bodies would be to suspend all large-scale leagues. Should clubs wish to continue to hold local competitions we advise them to record all attendees (players and supporters) to enable traceability should transmission occur. Keep in contact with your local sporting bodies for the most up to date advice around when it may be suitable to resume these.

Keep safe and sanitise, look after those that are vulnerable and follow the latest government advice.

Thank you

James MItchell
Executive Director- NZCPA
On behalf of the Board of Directors and the Executive Council.

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Corona Virus Update 18.3.20 – National Secondary Schools Postponed

Unfortunately with the recent advice received from the ministry of health re: Covid-19, we regret to advise that the board of School Sport NZ have suspended all sporting events in the upcoming national secondary school sports calendar. This is extremely unfortunate timing and our schools manager is so disappointed that we can’t bring to you the secondary school canoe polo nationals for 2020 in a couple of weeks time.
Kelly will continue to work with School Sport NZ in the background to determine if this can be postponed to a later date and regardless will provide an update as soon as we know more.
Please if you have any questions, feel free to email Kelly at and she will respond as soon as possible.
However, congratulations to the two regions who held their qualifying competitions over the weekend. There were some absolutely fantastic results!
Thanks for your understanding.
Kelly Hepburn
Schools Manager
New Zealand Canoe Polo Assn
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