The New Zealand Ice Blacks are the New Zealand Ice Hockey Federation Senior Men’s National Team, and represent New Zealand ice hockey at the Senior Men’s level at IIHF World Championships every year, as well as playing domestically against various opposition.
The New Zealand Senior Mens Ice Hockey Team was formed in 1987 to compete in the IIHF D Pool Championship in Perth, Australia. The team was selected on a regional basis with the intention of spreading the experience around as much as possible. The team came away from the Championships with a 3rd placing and a bronze medal finishing behind Australia and Korea.
Next the team faced its first exposure to European Ice Hockey, in the IIHF World Championships D Pool in Belgium. This was a steep learning curve for the team who faced opposition from Great Britain, Romania, Belgium and Spain.
For several years New Zealand was in the hockey world wilderness with no opportunity to compete and qualification rounds out of reach because of cost. Since 1995 the New Zealand team has competed on an International level competing in the IIHF Championships or qualification rounds every year.
In 1999 the team adopted the name the New Zealand Ice Blacks.
The team for 2007 was made up of all New Zealand born players, this was a first for the team and shows the strength of the Ice Hockey Federation and the opportunities being provided for New Zealanders to compete at an international level.
The New Zealand Ice Blacks is the only team to do the Maori Haka which they perform on the ice before every international game.