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Inspirational rugby league player, coach, leader


Tawera 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 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.

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. Fonterra

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

St Kentigerns School Parents & Friends

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

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

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)

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

Te Rito Maioha
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