A GREAT BALANCING ACT
After being dropped in 2015, Aniwaka says having a family “was always on the cards”.
The following year she was recalled to the squad – but had to politely decline after finding out she was pregnant with her daughter.
“After she was born - nine weeks later - I played in a NHL game in Wellington - I still loved hockey and I wasn’t ready to hang up the stick, at a national level,” Aniwaka says.
“In 2020 my son was born, and once again, ‘Crazy Ani’ was back on the pitch five weeks after having him, playing club hockey.”
Between everything else, Aniwaka has been working full-time at ANZ, leading a team of developers working on the bank’s app, goMoney.
“I sometimes don’t know how I fit it all in, and I always get told I’m like a superwoman,” she laughs.
“If I’m not on a hockey trip or at training, I’m at home, going to swimming classes, doing drop off and pick up, and then working around all of that.
“What helps me is ANZ’s attitude towards flexible working, which gives me the ability to juggle my commitments a lot more easily.
“It’s important to note my husband’s role is flexible too, which makes it easier for me to be a mum, have a working career and also play hockey.
“And that’s exactly the order of most importance to me - I’m a mum first, then a people leader at work, and hockey follows.”