|Current champions||Napier City Rovers (5th title)|
|Most successful club(s)||University-Mount Wellington (7 titles)|
|2019 Chatham Cup|
The Chatham Cup, currently known as the ISPS Handa Chatham Cup for sponsorship purposes, is New Zealand's premier knockout tournament in men's association football. It is held annually, with the final contested in September. The current champions of the Chatham Cup are 2019 winners Napier City Rovers, who defeated Melville United 3-2 in the final. What would have been the current edition of the competition for 2020, was cancelled because of COVID-19.
The Chatham Cup is contested by teams from throughout New Zealand, and has been held annually since 1923 with the exception of 1937 and 1941-44. Typically between 120 and 150 teams take part, with extra time and penalty shoot-outs used to decide matches which end in ties. In the past, replays were used, and in the early years of the competition the number of corners won during a game decided tied matches.
The cup itself was gifted to the then New Zealand Football Association in 1922 by the crew of HMS Chatham as a token of appreciation for the hospitality they had encountered on a visit to New Zealand. The actual trophy is modelled on the FA Cup.
The most successful teams in the Chatham Cup have been Mount Wellington (seven wins, two of them since amalgamation with Auckland University), and Christchurch United and North Shore United (six wins each). Most of the competition's winners have come from the main centres of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, though teams from Dunedin, Gisborne, Hamilton, Masterton, Nelson, and Napier have also won the competition, and the inaugural champions were from the small settlement of Seacliff, with many of the team being staff from the nearby psychiatric hospital.
Many of the early winners of the competition no longer exist, as competition were not effectively organised in New Zealand until the advent of a national league in 1970, and still remains largely amateur to this day. Many early New Zealand clubs have amalgamated with their neighbours or disbanded.
Prior to 1970, the final was held between the winners of separate North Island and South Island tournaments, with national semi-finals often being referred to as "Island finals". In the early years of the competition, each regional association found its own champion to represent that region in the Chatham Cup, leading to confusion in many of the early records with regional finals, island finals, and the national final all often simply being referred to in contemporary reports as "finals". Further confusion is caused by the incomplete nature of many of the early competition records. It is only since the first publication of an annual New Zealand football yearbook in 1965 that any systematic record-keeping began to take place; earlier match reports and statistics are complete only inasmuch as the vagaries of newspaper sports reporting allow.
Early Chatham Cup competitions were not well supported by the clubs, and the regulations surrounding entry to the competition were often financially prohibitive. The clubs themselves received only a tiny percentage of the money made in gate takings, and often had to travel considerably further to play matches than they did in the provincial leagues in which they competed. Concerns as to the costs involved and the limited financial support from the NZFA for entrants in the competition led to some teams disbanding as a result of the debts incurred, notably early winners Harbour Board, and the competition itself was so poorly supported by clubs as a result that it barely survived its first few seasons. Only some 30 clubs entered each of the first few years of the competition, despite over 450 clubs being registered with the country's football administration in 1924; South Island participation in particular was poor, with only a handful of teams entering in the first few years, and the 1937 Cup was cancelled after only twelve teams nationwide registered entries.
Despite this, large crowds often came to watch the matches, indicating their popularity with the public. The Wellington regional final in 1924 was played before a crowd of 1500 spectators, one in sixty of Wellington's population at the time, and the 1928 national final was watched by a crowd of 6000.
Support for the competition among clubs has gained momentum since travel has become easier around the country and the financial regulation of the competition have been eased. Since World War II it has been typical for 100 to 150 teams to enter the competition.
Since the 1960s tournaments have been organised with a preliminary round and (occasionally) a qualifying round, four or five rounds proper, quarter-finals, semi-finals, and final. Competition begins in April, and the final is normally played in September. Early rounds are held on a regional basis, between teams within the country's three competition regions (northern North Island, southern North Island, South Island). Different publications often list different numbers for the rounds, making for some confusion as to whether the round before the quarter-finals is the fourth or fifth round in any particular year.
Between 1970 and 2003, when a national league was run between the country's top clubs, national league teams received byes to later stages of the cup competition. The current New Zealand Football Championship, which replaced this league, is contested between franchise teams rather than traditional clubs, and these franchise teams do not compete in the Chatham Cup. There is currently no formal system of byes to later rounds (as there is, for example, in the FA Cup). Several top sides do, however, gain byes through to the second round.
From 1986-1988, the final was contested on a two-match home and away series, but in other years the final has been a single match. In 1952, the final finished 1-1, and the title was shared. A replay was used to decide the 1970, 1972 and 1983 finals, and penalty shoot-outs decided the 1990 and 2001 finals.
The Bob Smith Memorial Trophy is traditionally awarded to the runners-up in the Chatham Cup, though this has not always been the case, notably in the years 1982 to 1997, when the trophy's location was unknown. Details of each year's runners-up can be found in the individual articles on each year's competition.
A Jack Batty Memorial Cup is presented annually to the player adjudged to have made to most positive impact in the Chatham Cup final. The trophy honours Jack Batty, who was both a member of the crew of HMS Chatham and also a three-time medallist in the early days of the tournament with Harbour Board, Tramways, and Tramurewa. The cup was donated by his son, John Batty, himself a Chatham Cup winner with Blockhouse Bay in 1970, and was first awarded to Greg Brown of Napier City Rovers in 1985.
|7||University-Mount Wellington||1973, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1990, 2001, 2003||First five wins as Mount Wellington|
|6||Christchurch United||1972, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1989, 1991|
|Eastern Suburbs||1951, 1953, 1965, 1968, 1969, 2015|
|North Shore United||1952, 1960, 1963, 1967, 1979, 1986||Title shared in 1952|
|5||Central United||1997, 1998, 2005, 2007, 2012|
|Napier City Rovers||1985, 1993, 2000, 2002, 2019|
|4||Manurewa AFC||1929, 1931, 1978, 1984||First as Tramways in 1929, then Tramurewa in 1931|
|Miramar Rangers||1966, 1992, 2004, 2010|
|Waterside||1938, 1939, 1940, 1947|
|Western||1936, 1945, 1952, 1955||Title shared in 1952|
|3||Cashmere Technical||1948, 2013, 2014||First win as Christchurch Technical|
|Petone||1928, 1930, 1949|
|Waitakere City||1994, 1995, 1996|
|Western Suburbs||1935, 1971, 2006||First win as Hospital AFC|
|Finals||Wins||Club||Most recent appearance||Notes|
|12||7||University-Mount Wellington||2003*||first 10 appearances as Mount Wellington|
|12||6||North Shore United||1995|
|9||3||Cashmere Technical||2014*||first six appearances (including one win) as Technical Old Boys, seventh appearance as Christchurch Technical.|
|8||5||Napier City Rovers||2019*|
NOTE: An asterisk in the "most recent appearance" column indicates that the team won the Chatham Cup in the year indicated 
* Does not include two-legged finals. The 1972 match referred to is the first match, which finished 4-4.