Senior Women

The New Zealand Senior Women's Team team and squad consists of players from school-age to university students, and from professional players overseas to players in the workforce. It is our aim to assist and develop those athletes committed to the programme and that fulfill the requirements set by the High Performance Programme (HPP) to be successful on the highest water polo stage possible.

Athletes in this programme are currently led by head coach Angie Winstanley-Smith. Angie brings a wealth of experience and understanding of the international water polo landscape through her experience as the head coach of the Senior Women's team over the past four years.


The performance goal for NZWP travelling teams is to be more competitive on the international stage.
To help achieve this, we aim to grow and develop the base of NZ performance athletes by improving our daily training environment.
The performance training will be led by a team of coaches who will work collaboratively for the alignment of training principles, tactical and technical play. Specialist coaches will also be invited to coach the groups.

April 2024 Programme Update
September 2023 Programme Update

Congratulations to the following athletes who have been selected for the 2024 World Aquatics Water Polo Championships team:

  • Bernadette Doyle - North Harbour
  • Bridget Layburn - North Harbour
  • Elizabeth Gault - Atlantis City
  • Emily Nicholson - North Harbour
  • Emmerson Houghton - Waitakere
  • Gabby MacDonald - Atlantis City
  • Gabrielle Doyle - North Harbour
  • Gabrielle Milicich - Marist
  • Isabelle Jackson - Atlantis City
  • Jessica Milicich - Marist
  • Kaitlin Howarth - North Harbour
  • Kate Henderson - Marist
  • Katie McKenty - North Harbour
  • Morgan McDowall - Atlantis City


  • Abbey Keyte - Marist
  • Holly Dunn - Atlantis City
  • Holly Roberts - Marist
  • Samantha Bright - Atlantis City

Coaching Team:

  • Head Coach: Angie Winstanly-Smith
  • Assistant Coach: Megan Thomson
  • Team Manager: Polly Powrie
  • Massage Therapist: Simon Breen
  • Athlete Performance Coach: Barbara Kendall

Women's Draw (announced 7 November 2023) - All you need to know!

NZ is in Group C with Singapore, Hungary and Australia

2024 World Aquatics Water Polo Championships Selection Policy - NZ Women


The NZ women have a final opportunity to qualify for Paris at the World Aquatics Championships in Doha in February 2024

There will be 2 places remaining!  New Zealand will have to finish 1st or 2nd out of those who haven’t already qualified.  The 8 of the countries already qualified will include; the host country team, 5 continental qualification teams, and the 2 highest placed teams from the 2023 World Aquatics Championships in Fukuoka. 

Read more about qualification (World Aquatics)    |    Read more about qualification (Wikipedia)

NZ Women's Squad:

  • Name  (position)                     NZ Club            
  • Lucia Doak (UT)                       North Harbour   University of California, San Diego
  • Bernadette Doyle (RW)            North Harbour   Auckland
  • Elizabeth Gault (UT)                 Atlantis             University of Hawaii
  • Kate Henderson (UT)               Marist                Auckland
  • Emmerson Houghton (UT)       Waitakere         Spandau 04, Berlin
  • Kaitlin Howarth (UT)                 North Harbour  Fresno State University
  • Jessica Ingram (GK)                Sea Wolf           Auckland
  • Isabelle Jackson (CB)              Atlantis              Michigan
  • Bridget Layburn (GK)              North Harbour    University of Hawaii
  • Gabby MacDonald (LW/RW)    Atlantis              Auckland
  • Morgan McDowall (UT)            Atlantis              Auckland
  • Katie McKenty (UT)                  North Harbour   Auckland
  • Gabrielle Milicich (RW)             Marist               Auckland
  • Jessica Milicich (GK)               Marist                 Spandau 04, Berlin
  • Emily Nicholson (CF)               North Harbour   Water Polo Tenerife, Spain
  • Millie Quin (LW/RW)                 Atlantis              Auckland
  • Sophie Shorter Robinson (CF) Marist                Arizona State University
  • Darcy Spark (CB)                     North Harbour   Auckland
  • Eve Weston (UT)                      Canterbury       Eger Water Polo, Hungary
  • Alisha Winstanley (GK)             North Harbour    Auckland

Development Squad:

  • Samantha Bentley (UT)         North Harbour     Auckland
  • Samantha Bright (GK)            Atlantis               Mount St Marys
  • Gabrielle Doyle (LW/RW)       North Harbour     Auckland
  • Holly Dunn (RW)                    Atlantis                Auckland
  • Abbey Keyte (RW)                  Marist                 Auckland
  • Chelsea Oliver (GK)               Marist                 Cal State University Long Beach
  • Ella Palmer (CF)                     Sea Wolf            Brown University
  • Clodagh Weir (LW)                 North Harbour    Auckland
  • Agatha Weston (UT)              Canterbury          Christchurch

*Please note further athletes will be added to the National Women’s Development Squad post the U20 World Championships in September.

The establishment of the Development Squad should be viewed as a positive step that provides additional opportunities for athletes – particularly those who have progressed past the international age group level by offering them a pathway to reach the standards expected as a National Women’s Squad athlete. There will be a revolving door policy in place where athletes can move between Squads depending on progression. Generally, athletes will need to show an upward progression trajectory.

2024 NZWP Registrations!