Biography

Selwyn Maister
Born 1946

The older brother (by two years) of fellow Olympian Barry Maister. Selwyn, a centre half, was chosen to represent New Zealand at four successive Olympics, from 1968-80, having made his New Zealand debut in 1965. He captained the team in 1973-74.

He attended Christchurch Boys’ High School and made such a sports and academic impression that he was rewarded with a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University, following the likes of Arthur Porritt, Jack Lovelock and Chris Laidlaw.

While at Oxford, Maister earned his blue and represented the university at hockey for three years. He earned selection for the New Zealand team for the 1972 Olympics while at Oxford.

Having been in the New Zealand team that finished seventh at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics, Maister was disappointed that New Zealand could finish only ninth at Munich in 1972.

By 1976, there was a vast reservoir of experience in the New Zealand side. Of the team that went to the Montreal Olympics, Paul Ackerley, Tur Borren, John Christensen and Tony Ineson, plus the Maister brothers, played for the University club.

Besides the core of Christchurch players, others in the team with previous Olympic experience were Alan McIntyre, Trevor Manning, Greg Dayman, Ramesh Patel, Jeff Archibald and Arthur Parkin.

The New Zealanders, coached by Ross Gillespie, caused a shock at Montreal by beating Australia 1-0 to win the gold medal.

It was not a triumph easily achieved - they won a thrilling play-off match against Spain 1-0 just to squeeze into the semi-finals. There they caused an upset by beating the impressive Netherlands side 2-1 in the third period of extra time. The final, a torrid affair, tipped New Zealand’s way when their captain, Tony Ineson, smashed home a penalty corner shortly after halftime.

On his return to New Zealand from Oxford, Maister became the head of Applied Sciences at Christchurch Polytechnic and held the position for 30 years until being appointed to head the Canterbury Regional Sports Trust. He resigned from the sports trust at the end of 2007.

Maister stayed very close to hockey. He was coach Jan Borren’s assistant with the New Zealand women’s team for four years leading up to and after the 2000 Sydney Olympics, coached the Canterbury women’s team and coached for many years at senior men’s club level in Christchurch. He has also been a national men’s selector.

He and his wife Jan have two sons and a daughter, all of whom have represented Canterbury at hockey.

The 1976 hockey team was inducted into the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame in 1990.