Piri settles in to life after rugby
Former All Blacks star Piri Weepu is returning to his roots as a hunter and gatherer.
Wepu has swapped his rugby boots for tramping boots, a rifle, knife and a fishing rod.
The popular 34-year-old father of four hosts his own show Piri’s Tiki Tour on Ma¯ori Television starting on May 1.
Weepu says it has been a rewarding experience as he settles into life after playing though he is still involved in coaching at the Petone club and hopes to help out Wairarapa Bush in the coaching department too.
‘‘Making this show has been awesome. Travelling around and exploring new parts of the country that I haven’t seen has been mean,’’ Weepu said.
‘‘I knew my rugby career was nearing the end, so I started thinking about what I should do. I knew I wanted to go overseas, but after rugby I was a little bit unsure what avenue to pursue, so I was rapt when this opportunity came up.’’
Weepu sowed the seeds for the show before he headed to the UK and France for the twilight of his career and it came to fruition late last year and 10 episodes were filmed over the New Zealand summer.
‘‘I learned how to fly fish properly, which is harder than it looks.
‘‘It is beautiful to watch, and I was in awe of them. It has taken me 18 months to finally crack it and I am still not an expert,’’ he said.
‘‘I really enjoyed the serenity of New Zealand, but we did break it frequently by given each other s... and laughing.
‘‘As most of the hunters and fishing people will know, gathering food is not always going to go in your favour, so we were pretty fortunate to have a good run.
‘‘It was cool meeting people you would not normally meet, who were selfless and getting food for others in their community through hunting, fishing and diving.
‘‘We had some pretty good dives especially at the Chatham Islands and Kaitaia. You could just dive in your undies it was so warm, then you get to Wellington and there is a big temperature difference.
‘‘When I was pig hunting in Kaitaia, the two boys that hosted us would always take their niece and nephew with them and they have their own knives and dogs and are super keen.
‘‘They were right into gutting the pigs and showing us a thing or two and showed me up just quietly.’’
Weepu is hoping to shoot a second season of the show and is also planning to start a building apprenticeship.
Halfback Weepu played 71 tests for the All Blacks between 2004 and 2013 and was a key figure in the 2011 Rugby World Cup success.
Former All Blacks halfback Piri Weepu is returning to his roots, in a hunting and fishing show on Ma¯ori Television.