In 1982, the Saints, led by American import Kenny McFadden, won the second division title, promoting them to the first division. From 1984 the Saints made six consecutive NBL final appearances, winning championships in 1984, 1985, 1987 and 1988. Kenny McFadden's performance in the team during the 80s was acknowledged by his No.5 jersey becoming the first in the NBL to be retired.
The early 1990s held dwindling fortunes for the Saints. Following the conclusion of the 1996 season, both the Capital Power Saints and the Hutt Valley Lakers were struggling to survive. They amalgamated for the 1997 season and attracted naming sponsorship of the restructured regional energy company TransAlta, as TransAlta Wellington, but basketball fans wanted a 'real' name and so, for the 1998 season, they became the TransAlta Wizards. Even this wasn't strong enough for the fans and so, for the 1999 season, they returned to the original identity of Saints.