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                                  IRON MĀORI 2014 - THE REPORT


Now that Ironmāori is finally over and completed, it's appropriate that I give some context why I've chosen to pursue this kaupapa.  I've witnessed the transformation in health and well being for those who have jumped on this waka.  All the Tipene Old Boys who have participated in Ironmāori can attest to the improvements in their health and I strongly suspect that the changes have been experienced in their whānau as well.


On Friday night when news of Peter Kapua’s passing had reached most of the Tipene Old Boy’s team, this was met with disbelief and imense sadness.  Disbelief because most had been in recent communication with Pete, but also because Pete was an active person and did not show visible signs of poor health.  From the photos posted on Facebook, some of the Old Boys can be seen remembering Pete and using the black arm band as motivation to push through the challenging periods of the day.  Later that evening a large group of Old Boys went to the Tony Leather’s Taradale Club and again remembered Pete with reminiscent stories and pakis.  I thank Tony for hosting us with kai and putting on the Fight for Life for the boys and just as well it wasn’t a league game or else we would’ve gott a running commentary by text or Facebook by Pete in his game analysis. 


No reira e te tuakana e Pete, kua ngaro to mauiuitanga naianei na, ā, me hikoi to hikoi roa ki runga i te huarahi o ratou mā ki te waahi ngaro.  Kei reira e tatari ana ratou mo to taenga mai, hei huitahi, korero tahi, tautohetohe e pa ana ki te painga, koretaketanga ranei o te kapa Warriors.   Heoi, moe mai e Pete, me okioki ra.


At Ironman earlier this year I also wore a black arm band as a gesture of recognition to the passing of Todd Bell’s brother at that particular time and it is poignant to reflect that it is somewhat of a contradiction to use a challenging sporting event to recognise the death of our friends, whānau and Māori men because of health issues.  However, I’m sure that everyone will agree that the health status of Māori men is woefully poor and therefore needs to be challenged and changed for the better.


As the school remains closed, the finite number of Old Boys will decrease as time passes and for Māori men, this will decrease at a faster rate than any others in New Zealand.  At 48 years old, this is far too early!!  If you don’t think that your health, lifestyle or behaviours need changing and you have yet to reach 48 years old, you’re playing chicken with your life and that of your whānau.  If you are ion the other side of 48 years old, your clock is ticking or slowly winding down.


Therefore Tipene brothers, our best times together are when we are living and enjoying each others company not paying our respects at a fallen brother’s tangi.  Let’s recognise Pete’s passing as a positive turing point in our lives whereby we look after our health, get regular check ups, eat like a 3rd former and at least train how we used to when at kura.  If Ironmāori can be that goal, motivation or ticking the bucket, then so be it.  If not, test yourself and find another kaupapa that will have the same positive health outcomes such as Old Boys rugby, waka ama, kapa haka, touch etc.


Okay, if you are still reading, you’re connecting the dots.  So that was the introduction of the rationale and objectives why I have committed to getting as many Old Boys involved in this kaupapa.  Health improvement is the key driver, but there are many other benefits for Tipene Old Boys.  Ironmāori is a great kaupapa to promote the Tipene Old Boys brand and this has been evident in the past two years with the Old Boys wearing the touch singlets and being recognised throughout the whole day for doing so.  Not only are Tipene Old Boys reconnecting with other Old Boys at this event, we are also making positive connections with other participants because we share the same journey.  Another positive from this event is the sense of accomplishment for each of the Old Boy who crosses the finish line and every one who starts – finishes this event.  The achievement is far greater and rewarding because many have stepped out their comfort zone and taken on a challenge that many mere mortals are not wanting to explore within themselves. 


There were many highlights and positive results from this event.  Firstly, I would like to congratulate all the Tipene Old Boys who entered and participated at this event, particularly the first timers and those new to triathlons:; Ray Barchard, Te Ururoa Flavell, James Gutsell, Frank Haimona, Carwyn Herewini, Warren Lawrence, Tony Loretz, Mike Nathan,  Innes Rupapera, Bernard Te Paa, Nathan York, Steve York, Tai Durie, Ged Makiha, John Kaimarama, Lee Lidgard, Mark Flavell, John Eruera, Adriann Ferris, Rei Manawaiti, Joseph Marsters, Dean Kidd, Manu Sione, Sam Ruha, Sam Maniapoto.




This year we had 25 Tipene old boys and one of their son’s compete in Ironmāori.  I’m confident that we can exceed this number for next year.


To make this a more whānau centred event, it would be great to include wives and partners in the teams section under each house. There’s also a suggestion to include our teenage kids into the mix as well. Therefore we could have a Panapa House partner’s team or kids or moko team and so forth for each respective houses. What an awesome sight that would be to have our wider whanau in the black and yellow strip competing side by side with their husbands, partners, fathers and grandfathers. 


For those who have taken in the purpose of this kaupapa from this report and now are thinking how this can apply to you for 2015, all it takes is a commitment to yourself, your whanau and to your house.  It’s a commitment of time to train, when it’s hot, cold, raining or when you can’t be bothered. But what’s time when it can all end when you don’t wake up because of cardiovascular issues, diabetes, obesity, sleep apnoea, mental illness etc. 


“If it’s important to you and your whanau, you will find a way. If it’s not, you will find an excuse.”

No reira e hoa ma, nei ra te mihi maioha ki a koutou mo te mutunga o te tau pakeha.  Mena, e rapu ana koutou he kaupapa mo te timatatanga o te tau hou hei whakapai to hauora, tinana hoki, me uru ki taua kaupapa, ara, Ironmāori.

“Tama kaukau, tama ora, tama paihikara, tama ora tonu, tama oma, tama Ironmāori!”



Steve York.



1st Panapa House

2nd Selwyn House

3rd Pomare House

4th Bennett House





Ray Barchard - Pomare

Te Ururoa Flavell - Pomare

Puanani Hunia - Pomare

James Gutsell - Selwyn

Joel Ngatuere - Selwyn

Richard Ratapu - Selwyn

Joe Harawira - Bennett

Mike Nathan - Bennett

Carwyn Herewini - Panapa

Warren Lawrence - Panapa

Tony Loretz - Panapa

Nathan York - Panapa

Steve York - Panapa

Innes Rupapera


Teams - House Competition

Frank Haimona

Ged Makiha

John Kaimarama

Lee Lidgard

Mark Flavell

John Eruera

Adrian Ferris

Rei Manawaiti

Joseph Marsters

Dean Kidd

Manu Sione

Sam Ruha


Other Teams

Sam Maniapoto



Craig Coxhead - Panapa

Te Ururoa Flavell - Pomare

Lee Lidgard - Pomare

Peri Marks - Selwyn

Watson Ohia - Pomare

Bernard Te Paa - Selwyn

Tomika Whiu - Bennett

Nathan York - Panapa

Steve York - Panapa


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