NZ Cup teams
The Air New Zealand Cup consists of a 14-team, two-pool competition comprising: Pool A: Auckland, North Harbour, Wellington, Bay of Plenty, Taranaki, Tasman and Manawatu. Pool 'B': Otago, Canterbury, Southland, Waikato, Northland, Hawke's Bay and Counties Manukau.
The two pools are seeded based on finishing positions in the previous year’s competition. The competition takes place over three “rounds”, in round one the teams within each pool playing three home, three away, and a bye. After round one, the top three teams from each pool moving to the “Top Six” and the bottom four teams from each pool moving to either Repechage A or Repechage B in Round Two of the competition.
Club Rugby in New Zealand
The Top Six teams will play the three teams they did not play in round one, with either two home/one away or one home/two away. The number of home games will be determined by finishing position at the end of round one, so the teams with the most points at the end of Round One will have the most home games in Round Two. All points from Round One will carry through to Round Two, then all points from both Round One and Round Two will count in determining the finishing position of teams at the conclusion of Round Two.
All teams in the Top Six will move to the quarterfinals, where they will be joined in 7th and 8th position by the winners of repechage 'A' and 'B'. The top four finishing sides will be the home sides.
The winners of each of the four quarterfinals with home games awarded to the teams ranked the highest in the quarterfinals. The winners of each semi will progress to the final and the side ranked highest in the quarterfinals will host the final. The winner in 2006 was Waikato.