Commitment, teamwork and family were critical in the World Cup win for the Silver Ferns - all pulled together by coach Noeline Taurua, Labour MP and former Silver Fern Louisa Wall says.
Ms Wall played for the Silver Ferns from 1989 to 1992. She recalled the 1991 World Cup - the final against Australia, with New Zealand going down 53–52 to the trans-Tasman rivals. History repeated last night but swung the one-point final win in New Zealand's favour, taking out Australia 52-51.
"The clashes we've had against Australia have been Titanic, epic, down to the wire," she told 1 NEWS, adding she was ecstatic about the win.
Ms Wall credited the Silver Ferns' ability to vary the rhythm of the game, the players' ability to extend themselves and was "full of praise" for Silver Ferns coach Noeline Taurua.
"Netball's gone through a tough time. She inherited a fractured group... When she took the reins 11-months-ago, she did so with one end goal in mind, to go over to the World Cup and bring the cup home for New Zealand," Ms Wall said.
She said Taurua's ability to create an "incredible" and supportive team had been central to the success last night.
"This is a team built around a shared commitment and passion and a desire to be successful."
Pulling family into the team environment, playing against the mens teams back in New Zealand and positive reinforcement added to the tight-knit team that was produced, she said.
The win could be the boost netball in New Zealand needed, Ms Wall said.
"It is women who led netball.. we've been coaches, players, volunteers, we've seen an expansion of that to men and boys who love playing netball. It is time we acknowledged the value of netball to us as a county."
Ms Wall had just returned from representing New Zealand in the Parliamentary netball team, the Parly Ferns. The team, alongside National's Nikki Kaye brought home the gold medal in the inter-parliamentary tournament.
National's recreation spokesperson Ms Kaye also praised coach Taurua for "outstanding leadership", saying the Silver Ferns played with "real grit and determination".
"All New Zealanders should be proud of the Silver Ferns Netball World Cup win in Liverpool. I have no doubt they will receive a heroes welcome when they come home.
"The Silver Ferns faced challenges prior to the tournament but through perseverance, superb teamwork and great leadership they won the cup. This is also the first Netball World Cup win for New Zealand in 16 years, a great boost for netball in New Zealand."