The Māori Rugby Board believes the past year has been a good one for Māori in the sport.

From grassroots to the highest level of international participation, the numbers are impressive and growing.

At its AGM, the board says it'll build on that momentum; they also had an eye on the past by honouring one of our greatest ever All Blacks.

45 Māori succeeded or wore a Black Jersey on the International Footy pitch last year and over 40,000 Māori played rugby.

Chair Dr Farrah Palmer says the goal is to improve for next year.

“We have been working quite hard on looking at commercial opportunities and how we can get our people and Māori businesses to invest in Māori rugby.”

The other night one Maori Rugby's great chiefs were celebrated, Waka Nathan of Ngāpuhi, Te Roroa and Tainui descent.

The Board are focused on the year to come, but celebrating the year that has been and the accomplishments achieved is at the forefront.