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About NCA

Staff Profiles

Stephen Cunis – General Manager

BTchLn (Primary), NZC Level 3 Coach.

Stephen grew up in Northland and played for Maungakaramea, WBHS and Northland before he moved to Christchurch to further develop his cricket. He played and coached at the St Albans Cricket Club for 14 years and played 9 years of First Class Cricket for Canterbury. Whilst playing in Christchurch, Stephen studied and gained his teaching qualification and was a Primary School teacher for 10 years before relocating to Northland after the February 2011 earthquakes severely damaged his house and land.

After his retirement from First Class Cricket, he was employed by the Canterbury Cricket Association to coach and assist with various representative teams, including U15, U17 and Canterbury ‘A’. From there Stephen was appointed the Canterbury Magicians Head Coach for 4 seasons and during that time was also the Assistant Coach of the NZ White Ferns. He was nominated for the Canterbury Sport Coach of the Year on 3 occasions after various competition wins with both club and representative teams.

Since returning to Northland with his wife Kara and 3 sons Flynn, Nate and Henry, Stephen is working full time for Northland Cricket Association as the General Manager. He is a Winter Training Academy coach, the Northland Men’s coach, ND A coach, NZ A Bowling coach and a NZ High Performance Coach.  Stephen is very passionate about cricket and particularly cricket in Northland. He believes there are some outstanding cricketers in the area and that the facilities available at Cobham Oval are of a high quality. He also believes there is a great coaching and administration team within the Northland Cricket Association and looks forward to the challenges and rewards that the future may bring.


Neal Parlane – Competitions Manager

NZC Level 2 Coach

Neal grew up on Tamingi St in sunny Ruakaka. A student of One Tree Point Primary and then Bream Bay college, Neal played for Maungakaramea through all the age groups until he made his senior debut at the age of 11. Neal also represented Northland and Northern Districts in all age groups. In 1992 Neal became the youngest player to represent the Northland senior team at the age of 14. In 1997 he made his First Class debut for ND.

After 5 on and off seasons with ND, Neal moved to Wellington where he had 9 successful seasons. In 2011 he moved from Wellington to play for the Auckland Aces in what proved to be his last season playing First Class cricket. Neal then returned to Northland to take up a coaching role with the NCA and to also play and captain the Northland Men’s side.

As a coach Neal gained Level 2 in 2008 and has a wealth of experience through his player/coach roles in the UK. Neal has spent 12 summers in the UK where he has gained a fine reputation as not only a major run scorer but also a well organised and practical coach with high expectations


Paul Hope – Community Development Manager

Vision – Inspiring and leading youth/communities to become lifelong participants/volunteers in sport and physical activity

Mission – Empowering and supporting communities including students, teachers, coaches and whanau in a fun, inclusive and challenging environment

Paul has a huge passion for working with our young people and communities to get more people playing and enjoying sport and physical activity for life.

Paul his partner and four children have lived in Whangarei since 2004. In his time in Whangarei he
has worked at Sport Northland, Northland Rugby Union and runs his own business “All Stars – Kids in Action”, partnering and delivering/facilitating programmes with AFL NZ, Touch NZ,  Athletics NZ, OSCAR/MSD School Holiday Programmes and STEPS Fundamental Movement Skills (Western Australia).

In his spare time Paul loves to go surfing and hang out with his family and support and watch
them in their many different interest’s and hobbies.

Karl Trieber – NCA Pathway Manager


NZC Level 3 Coach

Karl arrived in New Zealand in 1960 as a Hungarian refugee and started his cricket career at the prestigious Hikurangi Primary School’s bottom field. From there he moved to Kamo High and then the Kamo Club before progressing rather interestingly straight to the Northern Districts First Class team before he represented  Northland at senior level.

He played for the very successful Northern Districts team in the late 1980s and early 1990s and was selected for New Zealand at Under 23 level.  He originally played as a left arm opening bowler and graduated into the dual role as a left arm spinner as well. For example, against Australia, he picked up two wickets, including Steve Waugh, bowling pace and two more, including Allan Border, bowling spin.

He holds the Northland record of most wickets with 299.

Karl moved into coaching with Northland Cricket and is a NZC Level 3 coach. He has coached all levels of teams within Northland. He was appointed Northern Knights coach for two seasons in which time they won the national one day title and he also had coaching stints at the New Zealand Cricket Academy with the NZ Womens team and running Junior Pace and Spin clinics.

He continues to coach part time for Northland at junior level, fostering the next generation of Northland Cricketers.


Helen Smith – Commercial Manager

Helen grew up in Auckland on the Shore spending most of her school days either in the dark room, on the netball court or in the swimming pool. She did her 7th form at Mt Aspiring College in Wanaka where they spent 3 days a week doing outdoor pursuits and during the winter this was 3 days up the mountain snowboarding!

From Wanaka she went to Otago Polytechnic where she studied for 2 years to obtain her City and Guilds Diploma in Travel and Tourism. She returned to Auckland and worked for a travel wholesaler and got the real buzz for traveling, spending time travelling through Australia & the Pacific Islands.

After getting married to Ross in 2005 on the beach at Waipu Cove, they moved to the South East coast of Kent in the UK.  She worked for an insurance underwriter for 3 years and was then fortunate to be employed by Royal St. Georges Golf Club to manage all of the members ticketing requirements for the 2011 Open Championship. She then went over the fence to their neighbouring club, Prince’s Golf Club, where she worked in the golf sales office.  They spent 9 years in Kent and returned to NZ in September 2014.

Helen has two children aged 12 and 8, they keep her on her toes! It was always a dream to move to beautiful Bream Bay at some point, she has very fond memories of this area and now for their children to grow up around here makes them feel extremely lucky to be living in such an amazing part of NZ!  In their spare time Helen, Ross and the children like to walk in the bush, spend it on the beach and socialise with friends.

Board Members

Current Northland Cricket Association Board Members 2019/20..

Mr Brent Martin – Chairman

Brent Martin is a local chartered accountant and cricket fan. He has been involved with NCA in various roles as manager of the men’s first XI, pavilion sponsor, accounting advisor to NCA as well as associated cricket trusts and organisations, chair of the NCA finance committee and as a board member. Self described as an average but dedicated clubie and school cricketer, his sons now play the game.

Mr Chris Galbraith

Chris is General Manager at Far North Holdings the commercial arm of the Far North District Council. He has had careers in Banking, Finance, Local government and now oversees the many operating and development interest of FHNL. Having lived in Kaitaia, Whangarei and Kerikeri he considers himself a true Northlander. He has attended both Whangarei Intermediate and Boys High and Kerikeri High Schools where he is currently also on the Board of Trustees. Chris is active in the maritime industry in New Zealand where he is Chairman of the New Zealand Marina Operators Association. Chris’s sporting interests were mainly in Rugby which he played for over 25 years and it was latter in life that he became involved in cricket playing Reserve grade cricket for Kerikeri – any very much now in retirement! He is a member of the Kerikeri Cricket Club Management Committee, is married with two kids one of which is actively playing cricket. Chris is passionate about the game and wants to see it grow in participation especially throughout the mid and upper areas of Northland.

Mrs Emma Johns

Emma is a qualified financial planner and owns the NZHL franchise in Whangarei and Kerikeri. She is a passionate Northlander and has lived in Northland for over 30 years, in both Kerikeri and Whangarei. She has 2 young boys who both play cricket among other sports. She is actively involved in their teams and always looking for opportunities to contribute to our local community. She has school board experience and is also involved in another local charitable Trust. Emma would love to see more and more Northlander’s becoming involved and enjoying the game of cricket.

Mrs Sally Leftley

Sally is an Employment Law Advocate and HR and H&S Consultant. She runs her own company in
Whangarei, SL Advisory Limited, working with many local and national clients.
Originally from England, she emigrated with the family to Whangarei, just over 16 years ago…and
loves it here! Sally is a very passionate fan of the game and was the Mens’ first XI Manager (“Team
Mum”) for four years.

Mr Derek Slatter

Derek has a background in the commercial area at management and governance levels.  Born and raised in Kaikohe, with a few years travelling and working in other parts, but back in Tai Tokerau since 1995.  Involved in the Sports and Education areas, and especially interested in ensuring that all kids get a fair crack in environments that are positive and help develop good people.  Has been coaching Junior cricket for a few years, and is interested in the game moving with the times, to ensure it remains attractive to all.

Mr Vaughn Syers


News and Media




Northland Cricket would like to thank its sponsors and supporters
Refining NZ Cricket Express Mainfreight Hill Construction Team Tait Hirepool Oxford Sports Trust Whangarei District Council Chilltech The Northern Advocate Grassroots Trust Dudley & Dennis Signs Recreational Services Rothbury