Strongman athlete boasts of Māori potential in growing sport

By Mare Haimona-Riki

Te Kiriwera Tukukino of Ngāti Tamaterā is chasing the title of NZ's Strongest Man in the 90kg division. 

He's relatively new in the sport but has already made the podium at the national competition last year, despite what he describes as "a couple of silly mistakes."

"Just the pressure of being in such a big competition. I ended up coming third by just a point and it's still kinda frustrating knowing that only a point separates you from being higher up on the podium."

With strength sports becoming more and more popular in Aotearoa, Tukukino says Māori have great potential in the sport of strongman.  


Māori strongman chases greatness.

"I just think that Māori have all the potential, I feel like the sky's the limit, I feel like the more exposure that we get, especially strength sports.

"You can't deny the natural gift that Māori do have for strength and power-based sports... it's obvious!"

Tukukino has his eyes on the national title, which he is already preparing for, alongside international comps later this year.

"I've got a whole year planned out just to work towards that. I also want to go overseas to compete. There's a big middleweight series comp coming up in April."