Northland boxers 'square off' to knock-out P in the North

By Raniera Harrison
  • Northland

A selection of Northland's finest boxing talent has turned out to put on a show in Kaitaia - all in the name of denouncing methamphetamine in the region.

"Making better men out of ourselves and tonight some men grew into giants, you know, they just grew another foot taller," says head organiser of the event, and social services advocate, Jason Reti.

Frenzied flurries from a fine selection of Northland boxers at Te Puna Ora gymnasium, at Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Te Rangi Aniwaniwa, in Kaitaia. With a card of 11 bouts in total - all in all, the event the second of its kind denouncing the prevalence of methamphetamine in Northland.

"It's killing our people,  and to come here and support this kaupapa I'm all about it" says OTC boxer, Sean Herbert - the eventual winner of the 4-man event 90-105kg competition sponsored by Tane o Aotearoa.

Organisers are still uncertain of the total amount of funds raised, the intention being that 100% of the profits would be returned to social services in Kaitaia.

OTC boxer, and teacher at Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Te Rangi Aniwaniwa Rawiri Bishop, who also fought in the 4-man competition, says that the benefits are huge.

"There's only one person in the ring. You determine your own fate, you carve your own path" he says.

The event was attended by approximately 300 spectators who turned up to witness the event.

"Bad influence in P around here, its good that everyone's coming together to fight against it. It's coming together up here and I'm glad that something's finally happening" says crowd favourite Hori Popata, fighting out of the Kaitaia Boxing Club.

Funds raised at the event will go to assist in the building of a community friendly playground area in Kaitaia West - one of the most impoverished suburbs in the small Far North town.

"There are men out there that are changing lives and changing their lives and changing their whanaus lives at the same time," says Reti.

Organisers say they are now looking towards securing further sponsorship for next years event.