audio close compressed excel CS_logo_icon_solid_yellow_alt Created with Sketch. x x image insta-black menu pdf Print BTN - Shortlist Created with Sketch. Share Asset 1 word


Inspirational rugby league player, coach, leader



Tawera Nikau is one of New Zealand’s most successful professional athletes. He made his name in the highly competitive world of rugby league. A veteran of 19 tests for New Zealand as a forward, Tawera went on to captain the New Zealand Maori team at the Rugby League World Cup and has been inducted into the New Zealand Legends of League.

Current work

Tawera’s passion and contribution to league continues as he currently sits on the NZRL Board of Directors and is a selector for the New Zealand Kiwis.

Tawera is Managing Director of Team One International a training company which is dedicated to “Unleashing Human Potential”. He brings a wealth of experience in high-performance sports and effortlessly translates this knowledge into clear insights in the areas of leadership and organizational and individual behaviour.

In recent years he has become involved in the agricultural industry as he oversees the management of his Whanau’s Farms.


In 2004 he had his right leg amputated due to complications from injuries suffered in a motorbike accident. The traits that made him a sporting champion enabled him to excel in other areas. Tawera is now an ambassador for the Achilles Foundation which gives people with disabilities an opportunity to participate in mainstream events. He has completed the New York Marathon three times and in 2010, 2015 completed the Oxfam 100km Taupo Trail Walker which raises funds to support Oxfam New Zealand.


As acknowledgment for his contributions Tawera has been appointed as a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for Services to Rugby League and the community and in 2011 recognized as an Emerging Leader by the Sir Peter Blake Trust.


Tawera is a highly sought-after speaker as audiences find his life story truly inspiring and motivational. He is a living example of someone who refuses to quit no matter how hard he is hit. An excellent communicator, people from all walks of life appreciate his down-to-earth presentation style.

Talking Points

Workshop: Law of Constraints & Power of Perspectives

Many people do not move forward because they fundamentally need a mind shift. In order to take the workforce to a place where they understand this, it is first necessary to allow them to understand that old ways of thinking (aka: lens scratches') are not helpful to creating the new future. If we hang on to old thinking (and old grudges, antagonisms etc.), we create a self-filling prophecy around our miss-beliefs. Managers cannot load new information onto old lens scratches it will just be filtered through the scratches and dismissed through active or passive resistance to new initiatives. This programme delivers the mind shift.

¢ Examine previous assumptions in a non-threatening way
¢ Recognize which of these assumptions are not helpful to create the future
¢ Deal with and remove old antagonisms, grudges and hurts
¢ Be ready and motivated for new attitudes, learning and skills
¢ Have a sustainable strategy to maintain motivation

Workshop: Life Achievement Matrix

No matter how much talent each person has, most of us tend to plateau around a certain level of performance. This level varies according to the level of talent, but it still creates a glass ceiling that even top achievers struggle to rise above. This powerful module has been used by top achievers and athletes up to the All-Black level as a part of determining what the glass ceiling is, and how to push through it to new levels of achievement. This module is powerful for breaking through both individual and/or collective organizational glass ceilings.

¢ Understand why it is that they have plateaued (or are in danger of doing so)
¢ Design the level of achievement they want to aspire to
¢ Determine the mix of the four aspects of life that set their ceiling.
¢ Create strategies to break through this mix to higher levels of achievement
¢ Maintain long term insights and motivation to keep growing
Tawera was an absolute pleasure to deal with from the moment he arrived at the venue. He is very humble for an experienced speaker (a breath of fresh air actually). Nothing was an issue and he just went with the flow. Our delegates thoroughly enjoyed his presentation and we are delighted he opened our conference. We would highly recommend him to others. Foodstuffs Wellington Cooperative Society Ltd

Very easy going, helped manage the audience and the time and was very enthusiastic.

Wellington Electricity Annual Contractor Workshop

Tawera exceeded expectations. He delivered well and made an impact with his experiences. The presentation was excellent.

St Kentigerns School Parents & Friends

Really enjoyed having Tawera attend and speak at our apprentice days. He weaved ATNZ messages about support, resilience and focusing on goals into his story extremely well.

ATNZ (Apprentice Training New Zealand)

Really enjoyed having Tawera speak at our recent function. His stories and experiences covered a wide range of topics from farming, teamwork, leadership and resilience which appealed to all members of our audience. He engaged the crowd and made a point to weave our values into his presentation.


Tawera was amazing. His stories were in line with the event topic and very, very well received.

New Zealand Forest Managers

Tawera's powerful story had our audience so engaged and really hit home the messages we were wanting to convey. He genuinely inspired our team and was a perfect fit for our audience.

Livestock Improvement Corporation

Tawera had made the effort to know about our business. His message was on-point, he knew our strategy and values and made a point of weaving this into his stories. His personal stories were extremely raw and so relatable for our audience. I thought he was an inspiration while he brought his mana with him.

Dairy Holdings

Tawera has had some amazing experiences and this really captured the interest of our staff. His ability to connect with his audience to get his point across regarding the strength of a team and how this can lead to success was fantastic. I personally enjoyed meeting Tawera and how down to earth and approachable he was.

Farmlands Trading Society Ltd

You could have heard a pin drop from the moment Tawera started speaking. He was so powerful, funny, moving, emotive and entertaining. Every single person in the room could take something from his speech. However, he was so much more than just a speaker. He mingled with all of our guests, from Directors to factory workers and was so incredibly approachable and personable. Everyone loved him and if the right opportunity arose, we'd love to invite him back to other company events.


Tawera captivated the audience with his powerful story and inspired us all. He was the perfect choice for our event. It was great that he interacted with others before and after his speech. Very relatable but professional too.

Rural WorkNet

Tawera was very possessional, he engaged with our conference attendees and nothing was too much trouble for him.

Storage Box

Tawera was able to relate exceedingly well to our staff from the outset. His speech was inspirational, professional with a sense of humour thrown in. He has a very down to earth approach.

Stead Construction

Very lovely man who totally engaged with our staff and delivered a memorable presentation.

Te Rito Maioha
Let us know

and we'll send all the latest Celebrity Speakers updates and news direct to your inbox
Thanks, you have been subscribed
View Shortlist