Māori ABs legend 'Hurricane Haynes' giving boost to Bowls

By Rukuwai Tipene-Allen

David Hurricane Haynes, a stalwart on the field and a master on the lawn. Gone are the days of the former Māori All Blacks winger, tearing up the rugby fields with speed and agility. Nowadays you’ll find him in Okaihau at the bowling club, today in particular you’ll find him with a straw hat on and a scorecard in hand encouraging a new generation of bowlers to pursue the sport.

Legendary Māori All Black David 'Hurricane' Haynes with moko Jackson

Above: Legendary Māori All Black David 'Hurricane' Haynes with moko Jackson / Supplied

The Okaihau Bowls club in Northland is home to the Haynes family. Since the 50s the club has been a pillar in the community. Today the club juniors are out on the lawn showing their skills under Hurricane’s watchful eyes. He says the "young fullahs are coming through and giving the old ones a run for their money." he says it's an easy game which means 'non-bowlers' can often get in there and 'give you a hiding' out on the lawn. He said laughingly, "out here one week you can be a champ and the next you could be koretake"

Young and old Māori All Blacks legend David "Hurricane" Haynes is leading a bowling revolution in Tai Tokerau

Stealing a moment from the intense competition for a cuppa and a natter Haynes says there’s something great about seeing people grow a love for the sport. The club is bustling with healthy banter and excitement. Haynes was gushing with pride talking about the legacy of the family that lines the walls in the club room.

"I've got some of my moko's Jackson and Dylan...they're on the honours board, you see their names there." Says the proud grandfather. 

The family is obviously no stranger to the green, another club member jokingly said, "they're greedy, they don't like to share" to which the legend laughed and replied, "whānau stick together...we've just set the standard and they've gotta kick us - they haven't done it yet." Laughter filled the atmosphere.

His son, Regan Haynes was in today's tournament. We asked them both who was the better bowler, Regan said he would "crush" him with a cheeky smile and a giggle, dad agreed. 

While we laugh about things it's his wife Kate who is keeping things ticking along, helping to maintain the green, tidy the club, do the admin, and encourage the up-and-coming bowlers. It's very obviously a family affair. 

David 'Hurricane' Haynes is spearheading a bowling revolution in Northland

In Haynes' next bowl on the green he'll be paired with grandson Dylan, the pair won last year and he confidently said "we are gonna defend the title again."

A rugby legend in the North

Haynes played 123 games and scored 282 points in his career playing for Northland, New Zealand Colts, New Zealand Juniors and New Zealand Māori. The son of the north played 108 games for Northland over 10 years and pulled in 263 points for the region solidifying his place and 7one of the provinces best backs. 

Te Ao Mārama asked the legend what the biggest difference is between bowls and rugby, the sporting master said "you can't blame anyone." He said it's just you out there.