Navigation for Te Ahi Kaa

Whaia te iti Kahurangi ki te tūohu koe me he maunga teitei

The never ending pursuit of the dream and the unquenchable thirst for excellence

This week’s whakatāuki is explained by Tiare Teinakore nō Ngāti Haua, Aitutaki

In homage to the many Māori who have been the backbone of the New Zealand Shearing Industry, Te Ahi kaa presents a Shearing special where Justine Murray undertakes Shearing 101 at the annual Golden Shears Competition (28 February- 02 March, 2013).

At 85 years old Tinirau Owen Akuira still has a keen appreciation for shearing in the Wairarapa. Hardly surprising given he started as a learner shearer in 1946.  Since then he’s noticed a change in the physique, demeanour and demographic within the industry.  Akuira chats about those aspects all the while taking in the Golden Shears action from the sidelines.  

Tinirau Owen Akuira
85-year-old Tinirau Owen Akuira.

According to Josie Reiri-Rongonui wool handling is an as intensive and necessary part of the shearing process and nowadays is a highly transferable skill on international boards. So, clearing the wool of some 3000 sheep during the three day competition is just another day in the office.  Judging the quality of the shear is wool handling Judge Peter Lange and wool pressers, Brian Drysdale and Bruce Pankhurst demonstrate their craft.

Mavis Mullins heads a shearing dynasty – Paewai Mullins Shearing Ltd alongside her husband Koro. She describes how shearing has led to other opportunities within the business world.

Mavis Mullins
Golden Shears president Mavis Mullins.

From the archives of Nga tāonga Kōrero, host of Te Puna Wai Kōrero series Selwyn Murupaenga interviews George Potae a South Island based Shearing Contractor who won the Golden Shears in 1969.  A classic shearing waiata What a Dopey Gang composed by Tuini Ngawai (1910-1965) features.

Waiata featured: What a Dopey Gang composed by Tuini Ngawai, Welcome to the show and Cruise performed by Tama Waipara from the album Sir Plus and the Requirements (2009)