Māori players, coaches, administrators and audiences contribute to a wide range of sporting codes at all levels in Aotearoa/New Zealand and internationally. However, Pākehā media coverage, a representative sample of which we analysed in this project, presents Māori participation and achievement as limited and aberrant. This paper reports our analysis of New Zealand newspapers’ sports coverage in which Māori were represented. A database of 50 articles was created from 120 newspapers. This was examined using thematic and discursive methods to explore the nature of two overarching themes within sports stories. “Māori sport” depicted Māori as exotic and marginal to sporting life in Aotearoa/New Zealand, while “Māori in sport” articles subsumed Māori within monocultural sporting codes. The implications of these findings are discussed in the context of a theoretical framework of Māori self-determination and decolonisation.