The Plunket Shield is one of New Zealand's oldest sporting competitions.
The shield itself was donated by Lord William Lee Plunket, New Zealand's twelfth Governor, in 1907, and is considered the most beautiful sporting prize in New Zealand.
Canterbury was the first choice to hold the shield, which was promptly lost to Auckland in the first challenge match.
If two or more teams are equal on points at the completion of the series of 10 rounds, the winner is decided by the most outright wins or, if still equal, then by the higher net average runs per wicket.
In 2016/17 the competition bookended the home season and comprised a series of 10 rounds, each of the three matches per round played over four days. The New Zealand first-class season concluded on 1 April.
Defending champions Auckland Aces were runaway champions in 2015/16, claiming the Plunket Shield with a round to spare, but were denied a repeat title when the Central Stags defeated them in the final session of the last day of the 2016/17 season, Canterbury therefore holding onto its position at the top of the table to claim the Plunket Shield for the third time in four years.
2015/16 Auckland Aces
2012/13 Central Stags
2011/12 Northern Districts
2009/10 Northern Districts