ANZ Championship Years
The ANZ Championship was established in 2008 and ceased operation in 2016. It featured five netball teams each from Australia and New Zealand and was the top-tier league in both countries. The Adelaide Thunderbirds and Queensland Firebirds of the Commonwealth Bank Trophy league became the Australian founders, and other Australian teams merged to form teams for the ANZ Championship. The Sydney Swifts and Hunter Jaegers merged to become New South Wales Swifts, for example.
Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic and Canterbury Flames of New Zealand’s National Bank Cup league were the New Zealand founders of the competition. The Canterbury Flames changed their name to Canterbury Tactix and just like the Australian teams the other New Zealand teams in the National Bank Cup merged to form three new teams. These were Central Pulse, Northern Mystic,s and Southern Steel, who all play in the current New Zealand ANZ Premiership.
The Queensland Firebirds were the ANZ Championship’s most successful team. They played in five grand finals and won three premierships, and were the only team in the competition to win consecutive titles.
New Zealand’s most successful team in the ANZ Championship were Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic. They won the competition in 2012 and had the honour of being the only team in the history of the Championship to advance to the playoff rounds every season. Waikato bested the Melbourne Vixens in a close final at Hisense Arena by 41–38.
The governing bodies of the competition Netball Australia, and Netball New Zealand announced in 2016 that the ANZ Championship would cease after that year’s season. Australia replaced the competition with Suncorp Super Netball and New Zealand replaced it with the ANZ Premiership.