Off Loading with SBW – article

Hi everyone, here’s a newspaper article about my new book for teenagers – Off Loading with Sonny Bill Williams.

What Lies Beneath

Come and see the What Lies Beneath Exhibition at the Gala Night on Friday 28th March 6pm National Library, 8 Stanley Street, Parnell. Partake in wine and nibbles while you listen to a children’s author/illustrator panel talk about the challenges and joys of creating a book, with time for a Q & A, see sneak peak previews of new books, and view the exhibition in its entirety for one night only. There will be book giveaways, printed teaching notes, and the opportunity to buy signed books. Gold coin donation. RSVP:


SBW book review

Off Loading with Sonny Bill Williams

Off Loading with Sonny Bill Williams is the incredible story of how a determined and humble young man became a champion in three different sports  . . . and one of the most sought after athletes in the world!  Learn how Sonny did it and how you can achieve your dreams through hard work too. The book is available now. E mail me or order here

Off Loading with Sonny B Williams ebook cover

Watch out for the Black Dog

I read this story about NRL player Reni Maitua this morning and found it really moving.

They call depression “the black dog”. If you have those “dark thoughts” about life, about whether you have value and a bright future, I really encourage you to read this story and get help. If you know someone going through this try to get them to read it and talk with you.


black dog

Legacy of Mandela

I like the words of author Seth Godin who wrote this blog post following the death of Nelson Mandela:

“For those that seek to make a change in the world, whether global or local, one lesson of his life is this:

You can.

You can make a difference.

You can stand up to insurmountable forces.

You can put up with far more than you think you can.

Your lever is far longer than you imagine it is, if you choose to use it.

If you don’t require the journey to be easy or comfortable or safe, you can change the world.”


Teachers be like . . .

RTS Instagram

Just wanted to give a big shout to all the teachers out there doing inspirational things with their students. It’s easy to hate on teachers, there’s a  lot of negative stereotypes out there:

-  teacher said, ‘you’ll never make it, you’re headed for jail!’

-  teacher said, ‘people like you can’t learn.’

-  teacher said, ‘get out of MY classroom!’

teachers be like

I have no doubt there are teachers who say stupid things like this. But  I’m so thankful for the many teachers who encourage, believe, inspire . . . in unseen ways, the little things they do every day that show love and make a REAL difference.

I was reminded of this when reading a post by Kiwi rugby league winger Roger Tuivasa-Sheck this week.


To all our teachers and parents out there –  keep planting those positive seeds in our students. We might not see much at the time but who knows what effect we are having that will bear fruit in the future. There have been many students I’ve worked with over the years who I wondered if I was even making a difference with, some even left school early, only for them to contact me later and say thanks for something I may have said to them or done that has impacted them.

Thank you Mr Max White, Mr Trevor Thwaites, Ms Sue O’Rorke, Mr Warren Lincoln . . . and the other teachers of Viscount Primary, Arahanga Intermediate and Mangere College who believed in me, challenged me, expected the best from me, were patient with me, showed grace and played a part in the journey of who I am today.




Kids Books NZ

Here’s a review of Steppin’ with Benji Marshall on the Kids Books NZ blog

Pasifikan Descendants

So proud to be a “Pasifikan” after watching today’s rugby league World Cup quarter final between Fiji and Samoa.

There was some of this




but finished with this




Proud to be a white Pasifikan today :)

Ua ou sau nei ma le mea atoa [Here I come completely prepared]

The title of this post is a line from the “Manu Siva Tau”, the dance the Manu Samoa rugby team performs before test matches. The Manu Siva Tau was written for the 1991 Rugby World Cup, Samoa’s first World Cup. That was the tournament where Samoa scored one of the biggest shocks in rugby history beating Wales 16-13 on their home soil.Image

Some of the guys from this year’s Manu Samoa visited our school Tangaroa College recently. Some of our students under the guidance of legendary Art teacher Patsy Fata, designed and made necklaces the team will wear on their European tour. The story connected with the necklaces is David and Goliath from the Bible.

I was so honoured to meet Brian Lima. Brian is the only player in history who has played in an amazing 5 Rugby World Cups! He’s also the only Manu Samoa player in the International Rugby Hall of Fame. In case you didn’t know, when Brian played he was one of the most feared players in the world. He tackled so hard that his nickname was “The Chiropractor” because guys would have to visit the doctor to get their backs healed after being hit by Brian!


Traditionally David is seen as the underdog in the story of David and Goliath. This is because he was young, small in comparison to Goliath and had only stones and a sling as weapons. His opponent Goliath was a giant, an experienced warrior, armoured and weaponed up!

But I think we could look at the story from a different perspective and view David as an equal. In this perspective David isn’t an underdog at all. He’s really skilled with the slingshot and stones, so skilled that he could strike Goliath in the forehead, the ‘kill zone’ from a far distance. Goliath had no chance!

“Ua ou sau nei ma le mea atoa” [Here I come completely prepared]. I’m a person that always has to be reminded to look at what I have rather than what I don’t have and that’s the message I take from the Manu Siva Tau.


This post is written in honour and respect of Peter Fatialofa, captain of the legendary 1991 Rugby World Cup team. Peter sadly passed away in Samoa this week. Good luck to the Manu Samoa team on their 2013 European tour, ia manuia ou faiva.