|League||National Basketball League|
|History||New Plymouth Bulls
New Plymouth Bears
|Location||New Plymouth, Taranaki, New Zealand|
|Team colours||Yellow & black|
|Main sponsor||Augusta Capital|
|Team manager||Mick McBeth|
|Head coach||Trent Adam|
The Taranaki Mountainairs are a New Zealand basketball team based in New Plymouth. The Mountainairs compete in the National Basketball League (NBL) and play their home games at TSB Stadium. For sponsorship reasons, they are known as the Augusta Mountainairs.
New Plymouth basketball entered the Conference Basketball League (CBL) for the competition's inaugural season in 1981, and after winning the league title in 1984, the team was promoted to the National Basketball League for the 1985 season. Known as the New Plymouth Bulls until 1991, the team changed names to the Bears in 1992 before changing identity in 1994, renaming themselves after the Taranaki region. The team's best NBL finish came in 1992 when they ended the regular season in first place and finished with an overall win/loss record of 18–5. After six seasons known as the Bears, Taranaki changed their nickname again in 1998, this time to the Oilers. However, following the 1999 season, the Oilers pulled out of the NBL due to a lack of funding and Taranaki basketball returned to the CBL in 2001.
In August 2002, the Taranaki Stormers won the CBL title behind the play of point guard Willie Banks and import forward Link Abrams. The win gave Taranaki's bid for renewed NBL status the perfect springboard, and in 2003, they were readmitted to the league and took on the "Mountainairs" nickname. However, since being readmitted to the league, the Mountainairs have struggled to record wins – the team has failed to play post-season basketball since changing their name from New Plymouth to Taranaki.
On 28 June 2015, import Aaron Fuller broke the franchise and NBL record for points scored in a game with 54, surpassing John Whorton's record of 50 set in 2003. For the second time in franchise history, the Mountainairs finished the season with a winless record. Their 2015 record of 0–18 added to their 2009 record of 0–16.
In 2016, the Mountainairs collected their best record since the 2008 season, finishing one win shy of the playoffs with an 8–10 record. Team captain Aaron Bailey-Nowell noted that the improvement in the team was largely due to one factor – coach Ross McMains. Notable improvers on the season were swingman Tony Tolovae, whose shooting stroke only got more efficient as the season went on, and defensive powerhouse Daniel Miller who led the league in blocks and finished second in rebounding.
Note: Flags indicate national team eligibility at FIBA sanctioned events. Players may hold other non-FIBA nationality not displayed.
Taranaki Mountainairs roster
- "THE GOOD HOME TARANAKI MOUNTAIN AIRS basketball team – History". Australiabasket.com. Retrieved 30 November 2013.
- Palmerston North vs New Plymouth Bulls and Otago Nuggets vs North Harbour Vikings
- Taranaki Take Out CBL Title
- Taranaki Mountain Airs' import smashes NBL scoring record but still loses
- Aaron Fuller Breaks NBL Record With 54 Points
- FULLER SCORES 54
- Taranaki Mountain Airs close out NBL season with dominant win over Hawke's Bay
- Maintaining core group key to Taranaki Mountain Airs' future plan