Import Players 2017

The Botany Swarm will be signing 4 imports for 2017.

We are looking for talented hockey players who have played 3rd level or better in North America or Europe, who want to be based in our biggest city and experience what New Zealand has to offer.

See what our 2013 & 2014 imports said about their experience with Botany Swarm at the end of this document.

Players, coaches and administrators of Botany Swarm & other NZIHL teams are not paid for their participation.

We will pay for;

  1. International Transfer Card
  2. Playing fees
  3. Trips to play in Christchurch, Dunedin & Queenstown.


We will help you to;

  1. Apply for a working holiday visa, this is quick & simple.
  1. Find employment
  2. Find a suitable car (public transport is not a reliable option in Auckland)
  3. Connect your phone
  4. Set up a bank account
  5. Experience Auckland city & get to know its people
  6. See the country


You will need to;

  1. Be fluent in English
  2. Pay for your flights to & from Auckland
  3. Arrive in Auckland by end of April and stay at least until early September.
  4. Pay Registration fees
  5. Pay your living expenses
  6. Help promote the Botany Swarm
  7. Help coach junior hockey

Botany Swarm comprises the best hockey talent in East & South Auckland, aided by the recruitment of well-credentialed import players. Balancing this recruitment is a commitment to fostering and developing young local players.

.Playing for the Botany Swarm

Botany Swarm have won New Zealand Ice Hockey League’s (NZIHL) 2007, 2008, 2010 & 2011.


The team comprises local players and import players from North America and Europe and has built up a strong core of local players, sponsors, members and supporters.


The team and club are completely focused on securing a fifth Championship and extending its league record. Do you have what it takes to be part of the ACTION?


Our Mission is:

To be the best club in the New Zealand Ice Hockey League;


In providing elite ice hockey to the people of Auckland we value:

  1. Excellence, commitment and team work
  2. A family spirit, marked by hospitality, honesty and integrity
  3. The development of each member of the Botany Swarm family


What to expect from Botany Swarm

We can promise you, that if you are successful in making the team, you will be playing with a great bunch of players; at the highest level New Zealand has on offer. We play 1 pre-season exhibition game, 16 regular season games (8 home and 8 away), and the final. We also promise you travel around New Zealand, as we fly to Christchurch, Dunedin & Queenstown during the regular season. So you can look forward to 4 months of good fun, hard work, great hockey and strong friendships.



In 2017 the Botany Swarm will be signing 4 imports:

All overseas players playing in the NZIHL must have an International Transfer Card. The Botany Swarm will pay the ITC transfer fee for all signed imports.


Paradice Botany – Home of the Botany Swarm

Paradice Arena in Botany Downs  is an Olympic sized ice pad 60m x 30m & IIHF certified. This is a state-of-the-art complex that provides players with the best facilities both on and off ice.


Playing in the NZIHL

If you intend to play for Botany Swarm, there are a few things you need to know. The NZIHL is an amateur league, observing NCAA guidelines. No one at Botany Swarm, on or off the ice, gets paid.


Every member of the 2015 squad, will have to compete for a roster spot based on merit alone. We can dress 4 imports per game.


In terms of standard, the level of play in the NZIHL has improved a lot. In the past teams had imports that have played single A professional hockey but will as the standard continues to lift will be looking for players from a higher level in the future.


North America               AA professional

Germany                       Oberliga

France                          Ligue Magnus

Sweden                        Div 1

Finland                         Suomi Sarja

Czech Republic             2 Liga


You can see examples of Botany Swarm and NZIHL games on our Livestream site


Over the last few years Canadian, American and European players have found Aucklanders very friendly and the city a safe place to live, work and play. If you want to see New Zealand, Australia and the South Pacific Islands, then Auckland is the best place to be based.

Imports make friends quickly by joining our team. You will find the interaction with Kiwis is a great insight into New Zealand culture. To find out more about Auckland and New Zealand visit or

Auckland has 2 rinks. Paradice Botany is on the eastern side and approximately 20 minutes from the center of town.

Auckland has approximately 550 members playing in U10, U13, U16, U19 & 3 Senior Leagues.

Auckland city and surrounds

New Zealand is the best holiday spot in the world, according to Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper & Auckland has been ranked the third most liveable city in the world by the Mercer Quality of Living Survey. Auckland boasts a thriving outdoor culture, a vibrant nightlife, a high but affordable standard of living, and a bumper economy. The sporting capital of New Zealand, Auckland is relaxed, friendly and community focused. Many players take off on day and overnight trips around the North Island.

What you need to prepare

Step One

If you interested in applying for an import player position on the Botany Swarm Roster please email your application to:


Jeff Boehme

Assistant Coach Botany Swarm

You should include:

  1. A personal/professional resume including references
  2. An ice hockey resume including references (with contacts)
  3. State the reason why you would like to play for Botany Swarm
  4. State the reason for coming to New Zealand


Step Two

Botany Swarm will advise successful applicants ASAP.


Step Three

Send us copy of your confirmed flights before the date advised. Our offer of a position on the team roster will be withdrawn if flights are not confirmed and paid for by that date


Step Four

Once you know you are coming to Auckland you will need the following:

A New Zealand visa, we recommend a working holiday (you can also come as a student if you are studying at one of Auckland’s educational institutions)

Most players who play for the Botany Swarm come to New Zealand on the 12-month working holiday visa. Countries that participate in this program are Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States of America

You should check this information for yourself at;


You should understand that Botany Swarm would be unlikely to sign you if you are not able to work during your stay in New Zealand.


Medical Certificate

You should also arrange a medical certificate confirming that you are fit to play hockey at an elite level.


Step Five

Come to Auckland and have a great experience that you will remember for the rest of your life.


If you would like a unique experience visiting and playing hockey in New Zealand for Botany Swarm and would like further information, please contact us by email; we look forward to meeting you in 2017.


A few words from past imports:


Mickey Rhodes (2013)

I played for the Swarm this past 2013 season as an import player. I am a big traveler, so to play the sport I love and visit one of the most beautiful countries in the world was an opportunity I could not pass up.

The Botany Swarm organization is surrounded by individuals who will do anything to help its players, especially the imports. Families like the Guests and the Hays go above and beyond to accommodate the Swarm imports and players in many different ways (eg. dinners, pregame meals, a car, jobs, and trips).  It’s really a family environment more than anything. Not once was I homesick, these families made us feel like we were a part of not only the Swarm family, but their own family.

Moreover, the Swarm import players are put up in the wonderful Auckland City Hotel in the heart of Auckland city and receive a great weekly rate for their stay.  The employees of the hotel were very friendly and always helpful.  As for jobs, the team helped us find positions working for Paradice’s Aotea Square outdoor rink. This was very convenient for all of the imports and was five minutes walking distance from our hotel apartment.

Practices were twice a week and run by head coach Andreas Kaiser and assistant coach Jeff Boehme. Practices for the Botany Swarm were always structured and enjoyable. Coach Kaiser understands what it takes to win multiple NZIHL championships and pushes his players to their fullest potential. It was a pleasure playing under him this season. 

The team is very close knit and has been playing together since they were kids. The road trips with my Swarm teammates were some of my fondest memories of playing this season.  I am going to miss the team atmosphere more than anything.  I just wish the season was a bit longer so I could spend a bit more time with these guys. Nevertheless, I can say a majority of these relationships I have made with everyone the past few months will last a lifetime. And although we fell just two games short of the final game, this season was one of the most powerful hockey adventures I have ever experienced. 

If you are looking to play competitive hockey abroad and be taken care of by some of the kindest individuals you will ever meet in your lifetime, look no further than the Botany Swarm organization.


Brandon Contratto (2013)

Hello, my name is Brandon Contratto and I played as a Botany Swarm import player throughout the 2013 season. From the time I arrived in Auckland, New Zealand I could tell my experience with this organization was going to be above and beyond any international hockey experiences I had previously had.

The team management is truly a family environment and offers the import players a home away from home on a daily basis. They take you in and treat you like one of their own. The team took care of finding accommodation for myself and all imports at Auckland City Hotel apartments in the heart of Auckland City. Even once all of us imports had been moved into the accommodation and we had been aided in finding jobs with Paradice Ice Arenas we were still looked after and brought into people's homes for even more of a family environment and strong sense of team unity.

The coaching staff of Andreas Kaisser and Jeff Boehme brings fast paced practices and a strong game plan to the forefront of the team. They are experienced at the NZIHL level and have been involved with winning 4 NZIHL championships along with coaching the Ice Blacks National Team.  These coaches and team management are some of the main voices in New Zealand International Ice Hockey as well and have many contacts worldwide along with offering a chance to coach Representative teams and youth teams for imports that are qualified and interested which I enjoyed and took advantage of.

The NZIHL level of ice hockey is great for staying in shape and helping improve your game as well. The level has improved every year and the level of imports has gone up each and every year to include NHL draft picks and AHL players.  I have played all over the world including professional hockey in the Czech Republic and the experience with the Botany Swarm was by far the best experience of my career. I strongly recommend playing for the Botany Swarm and spending your offseason in Auckland, New Zealand it is an experience you will never forget


Evan Mackintosh (2013)


Playing for the Swarm is a great hockey experience. Coming down from the US, I did not know what to expect of the hockey or the team. But after the first practice and getting to meet the guys, I could not have found a better team and place to play.


The entire organization is full of the most helpful and friendly people that I have come across while playing. Starting with the General Manager to the team managers, the coaching staff and the players, all will do what they can to make sure the team has what it needs to be ready for the games. Each person puts in extra time behind the scenes making sure that we are comfortable and have the things we need so that everything on and off the ice is easier. If you need anything, they will do what they can to make sure you get it.


As an import you're very well taken care of while playing for the Swarm. They set you up, living right in downtown Auckland. It's an amazing set up and great location. You're right in the center of the city, so there is a ton to do when you have free time.


As far as the guys on the team, could not get a much better group. Every guy is friendly and welcoming and makes you part of the team right away. There is a strong locker room bond and it shows during the games. Everyone picks each other up when a teammate is having a bad game and makes sure each player stays focused on the game. It all starts though with the coaching staff. Andy and Jeff are good at making sure all the players are focused on the game and only game. This is reinforced by the captains and vets of the team. All the older players are great group of guys and help make the imports feel part of the team and take you under their wing.