Shearing sports season underway with Māori shearers and woolhandlers in the mix

By Te Ao - Māori News
Paerata Abraham and Jack Fagan in 2017.  Photo / File.

Several top Māori shearers are competing in shearing championships in Canterbury this weekend as the new shearing sports season gets underway.

On Friday, Masterton's Paerata Abraham won the open-class speedshear event on the opening night of the NZ Spring Shearing Championships in Waimate, shearing two sheep in a time of 47.1 seconds.

Earlier in the evening, he finished third in a six-man NZ winter comb open final, shearing 10 merino wethers in a time of 20 minutes 44.75 seconds, just two seconds behind winner Troy Pyper. Abraham was the 2019 national circuit champion and has been a New Zealand Trans-Tasman test representative.

Hohepa Te Rata-Taituha, of Taumarunui, was runner-up in the senior winter comb final in which competitors shear five sheep, while Mya Kawana (Palmerston North) was runner up in the senior speedshear.

World teams champion woolhandler Pagan Karauria made it through to Saturday’s Open woolhandling final, with Keryn Herbert, of Te Kuiti, and Gore-based Candy Hiri and Chelsea Collier.

The titles were the first of about 17 to be decided at the championships which have attracted over 170 shearers and woolhandlers.