The Waiwera Society

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In the spirit of the season, The Waiwera Society spoke to Inga 'The Winger' Tuigamala - learning about his history as a rugby player, his childhood heroes and getting his views on the advantages of the home turf.

Which New Zealand rugby teams have you played for?
Obviously Auckland is my provincial team, so for the Auckland franchise as well as the Super Blues. Ponsonby is my club, I’ve been with them since 1976 as a young kid. So those are my teams, that I’ve played for.

Waiwera is one of New Zealand’s legendary stories. Who are your legends or heroes?
Sporting legends – definitely the great Bryan Williams, BG Williams, in the All Blacks in the 70s. He was one of the first Pacific Islanders to tear up the rugby field – so as a young kid, I was looking up to him. Also with the great Michael Jones, one of the more modern heroes that we’ve got – he was our local hero, who played in our local club, in our backyard really. Just seeing him excel and doing extremely well, being a wonderful role model and creating that pathway for a lot of us Pacific Islanders to follow in his tread.

How important is playing on the home turf?
Home advantage is always worth a few points, or worth a headstart. I’ve got no doubt that as we go into this World Cup, we’ve got a huge advantage over most countries. And you’ve seen in the past years in the previous World Cups that teams with the home advantage, it plays a big factor in whether they get into the finals or win the finals. We saw it in South Africa in 1995, when South Africa hosted it; we saw it in 1987, the inaugural World Cup, so it just goes to show that home advantage is very important for us.

What factors contribute to this home turf advantage?
There are a lot of factors that contribute to that advantage – obviously the home support, the die-hard fans, and just what it means to our players to know the whole nation is right behind them. The games are going to be tough, you know – the World Cup finals are going to be tough. There’s no guarantee that we’ll make the finals, however, with the home advantage it really does connect us to our people. Hopefully that’s the winning edge that we need to push us right through.

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This week, The Waiwera Society interviewed Sachie Nomura from Sachie's Kitchen - who is also the star of a new cooking show, coming to TVNZ!

As part of our Live Up To Legend™ platform, we're trying to gauge how New Zealand’s heritage is perceived, whether by locals or those from overseas.

Born in Japan, but having lived in New Zealand for over a decade, Sachie has a unique perception of the differences between the two cultures and the importance of water in each society’s history.

The video is coming soon!

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We just wrapped interviews with Emirates Team New Zealand's skipper Dean Barker and managing director Grant Dalton! Waiwera is the team's official water supplier, so while they're training in Auckland we took the opportunity to find out a bit about the crew and get their views on our most valuable resource: water.

Take a look at some behind the scenes shots, and keep an eye out for the videos, coming to the website soon.

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