Tawera made his name in the highly competitive world of rugby league. A veteran of 19 tests for New Zealand as a forward, Tawera went on to captain the New Zealand Maori team at the Rugby League World Cup and was recently inducted into the New Zealand Legends of League.
In 2004 he had his right leg amputated and the traits that made him a sporting champion enabled him to excel in other areas. He is an ambassador for the Achilles Foundation which gives people with disabilities an opportunity to participate in mainstream events. In 2010 he finished the New York City Marathon and more recently completed the Oxfam 100km Taupo race which raised funds for African Villagers. He also spends time visiting new amputees in hospital giving hope that life is not over just because you've lost a limb Tawera’s passion and contribution to league continues.
He works with the NZRL as a New Zealand Selector and assists with the Junior Development Program, which is designed to youth about kiwi pride and what it means to wear the Kiwi jumper. He also seeks opportunities to further develop Maori … he’s the CEO of Aotearoa Construction with a vision to pioneer a business model that blends profit with social benefit, whilst delivering outstanding construction services.
He is also Managing Director and owner of a Corporate Development a training company that strives towards "Unleashing Human Potential". His experience and knowledge in elite sport teams over the years has given him a great insight in to succeeding at the highest level, and how to lead winning teams.
Tawera's has a strong sense of community and this is indicative of his loyalty and love for family, friends, country and teammates from all walks of life. Huntly locals talk openly of his mana, charisma and sense of community.
While he's a fantastic role model for young Maori men, Tawera's sphere of influence makes him a leader for all New Zealand and in 2011 he was awarded an Emerging Leader award at the Sir Peter Blake Leadership Awards in Wellington.
Tawera is an inspiration to all ... he's a living example of someone who refuses to quit no matter how hard he is hit. He’s an excellent communicator, and people from all walks of life appreciate his down-to-earth presentation style.