Shear Bro is an entertaining observational documentary following an inspirational Māori family in Dannerike who have successfully run a shearing business for four generations.
Koro and Mavis Mullins were renowned in the shearing industry for their professionalism and innovation when they ran their run for over 40 years. Now they’ve passed the mantle to their daughter, Aria, a no-nonsense businesswoman who’s got what it takes to survive in what is still largely a man’s world.
Older brother, Tuma, is a softie at heart and a world class trainer. He’s Aria’s right hand man, but this may be his last Main Shear...if his body keeps sustaining injuries. Youngest brother, Punga, was the black sheep of the family, but now he’s started his own shearing-themed cafe in the centre of town. He’s keen to learn reo Māori and might get back into competitive shearing too... if there’s glory involved. There’s never a dull moment with Punga.
We follow this whānau through the highs and lows of Main Shear, the busiest three months in shearing, and discover what makes them tick.
Shear Bro is a series filled with heart, showcasing grass roots New Zealand in one of our country’s most world renowned industries.
MEET THE MULLINS
Mavis Mullins – Mavis has a long history of involvement in the wool industry, including stints as a woolhandler, shearing contractor, wool classer, instructor and winning competitor. She was the first female president of the Golden Shearers and was named Business Woman of the Year at the University of Auckland Business Leaders Awards. As far as aspirational female Māori business mentors goes – she’s the real deal! Mavis provides practical business support and mentorship, and works with Aria on making sure the business is true to its core values.
Koro Mullins – Koro once made the final at Golden Shears, but is now equally famous for the shearing gangs his family run. These days he runs a dairy farm. He says about 90% of the wool handlers and up to 70% of the shearers are Māori. Mullins says the reason so many Māori are in shearing is because its whānau orientated work. “In the old days they moved in groups and went and camped on the farm and stayed there in their tents by the river. They shore together and it just evolved from there.”
Aria Mullins – Aria runs the operation in between juggling her duties as a mother to her two kids. She’s up at 5am making everyone breakfast and does all the organizing and administration work, hiring, firing and motivating her crews to deliver the goods. Aria is looking to improve the business and constantly calls on her parents for business mentoring, learning from Mavis and Koro every day.
Tuma Mullins – Tuma is a full-time funny guy, part-time shearer. He comes back from overseas in December each year to participate in the main shear. His main role is as a team leader, leading a key team from the front each day in the shearing shed. He is also instrumental in training the young fellas, something the business is nationally recognized for.
Punga Mullins – Punga is the youngest of the Mullins whānau, and no stranger to the shearing shed. These days he is an entrepreneur who owns and runs a sheep shearing themed café called ‘The Catching Pen’ in Dannevirke – the shearers favourite hangout.