• Tim Tipene

    A life dedicated to change

  • About

    Tim Tipene with Mrs Battersby

    Tim Tipene with one of his childhood heroes, Mrs Battersby, 2017

    Tim Tipene, (Papa Tim)

    For 25 years Tim Tipene has been changing the lives of thousands through his acclaimed Warrior Kids program, his award winning books and his inspirational talks.

    Tim overcame a violent and abusive childhood, broke the cycle, and has spent his life transforming the lives of others, often without any form of payment.

    Tim has featured on television, radio and in various magazines and newspapers.


              Warrior Kids.

    In 1994 at the age of 22 Tim, homeless, jobless and without any formal qualifications or funding, set out to help kids just like him by creating a program to empower Children and Youth with Self Control and Social Skills within a therapeutic and loving environment. He named it Warrior Kids.


    Tim went on to provide Warrior Kids to communities and schools for over 25 years, taking referrals from community and government agencies, and changing the lives of thousands of children and their families. For 24 of the 25 years Tim ran Warrior Kids without any form of funding or financial support. Tim kept the costs to families low and many in hardship got to do it for free.


    In 2006, Tim's 'Warrior Kids' novel for children was published.

    It was re-released in 2012 as 'Bullies and Warriors'.

    In 2011, Tim's Manual 'Warrior Kids, Warrior Training for Children' was published allowing Warrior Kids to be taught nationally and internationally. Tim became a trained counsellor and gained a graduate certificate in Child and Adolescent Mental Health in 2000.



    Tim was first published in 1996. He is the author of ten books, five of which have won awards, including the picture books for children - Maui - Sun Catcher, Hinemoa te toa, Taming the Taniwha, Haere and The Wooden Fish. Tim's other books include Rewa finds his Wings, and the novels, Kura Toa Warrior School and Patu.


              Inspirational Speaker.

    For two decades Tim has been sharing his inspirational story

    of overcoming a violent and abusive childhood and breaking the cycle with audiences both young and old.

    Tim speaks in schools through Duffy Books in Homes, Storylines, the NZ Book Council and Getting Kids into Books. Tim was a speaker at the 2017 Auckland Writers Festival and is a part of the Sir Peter Blake Dream Team of Leaders.


    More facts about Tim


    Tim was adopted and raised in two cultures, NZ Maori and NZ European.

    His tribal affiliations are Ngati Kuri and Ngati Whatua.

    • In 2013 Tim was inducted into the New Zealand Martial Arts Hall of Fame.
    • In 2014 and 2015 Tim was recognised as a Kiwibank Local Hero and received a Medal in recognition of his contribution to the lives of others.
    • In 1994 Tim created Toatoi, a personal development and therapeutic art of de-escalation and restraint; and his own school 'Kura Toa Warrior School' to house his classes. 
    • Tim started martial arts at the age of 12 and over 30 years accumulated a total of 12 Black Belt Dan ranks and various teaching titles.
    • Tim started working in the community at the age of 18 when he became a live in support person for adults with special needs for Mt Tabor Trust.
    • Tim has also been an advocate for adults with special needs, a self-defence instructor for women and a facilitator of Anger Management and Living Without Violence programs for men.

    Click for Fact sheet for Media and Teachers

    Watch Tim's talk at the Auckland Writers Festival, 2017

    Click here to Buy Tim's Books

  • Speaker

    To have Tim speak at your school or event phone Rosemary

    on 021 840 898

    ''There is not enough superlatives in the dictionary to say how good Tim Tipene was. He is not only an excellent role model who makes a genuine connection with his listeners, but he is also a talented performer when delivering his 'story' about his childhood and 'Hinemoa te Toa'. One of our staff members actually based his thesis on Tim and his story.

    At the time we actually had a child who was dealing with Family Violence and Tim's connection to this boy was inspirational.

    High impact with laughter and tears of joy, real issues dealt with honesty and care. I know this was about reading, but Tim's korero was more than just that!' - Raniera Koia, Acting Principal, Riverdale School, April 2018.


    'We had Tim in the last week of school and he was outstanding..., even the newspaper reporter commented on how engaging he was. His message was a powerful one, delivered in an engaging, humorous manner. Just absolutely fantastic thank you. This is the first role model we have had at Te Hapara School, but I have been to other Duffy Schools before and Tim would rate as one of the best role models I have ever seen. A huge vote of thanks to him and to Duffy for making this happen. We feel so privileged to have had Tim at our school.' - Linda Savage, Principal, Te Hapara School, April 2018.


    'It was a pleasure to meet Tim, listen to his fabulous story telling and be inspired by his korero. The children were in awe, hanging on to Tim's every word. Tim's stories of his upbringing and the challenges he faced as a child are also a reality for a number of children at our school. It was real, relevant and gave our children hope. It was fabulous for the children to hear about Tim's successes, especially his love of writing and reading. Our children are currently a part of our whole-school inquiry process on 'Pure Reading', so it has been wonderful using Tim and his books as examples of great NZ stories written by great New Zealanders.'' - Gina Holmes, Cobham School, April 2018.


    'Thanks to Storylines for the fabulous author visit from Tim Tipene yesterday. We were his fourth school of the day and he still had great energy and enthusiasm. He held the kids interest for over an hour! Tim is very motivational as a speaker and I'm sure he struck a chord with many students, both with his stories of his life and his passion for telling stories. The memory of this will stay with many of our students. Please pass on to Tim my heartfelt thanks and also my admiration of him, his many talents and his passion. Thank you again for this wonderful opportunity." - Jenny Joynt, Ruawai College, May 2017.


    'You will read below about our visit from the author Tim Tipene last week - a fantastic experience.

    In amongst the humour and quick-witted story-telling, he told the story of how one year, with one teacher changed the course of his life. Their connection, through her belief in him, and his desire to live up to her expectations, reflected in so many ways what has been a focus for us this year - the link between building relationships and learning. It was inspiring to hear the impact of this in

    'real-life'. The other huge positive from Tim's visit was the effect on so many of our boys, and how they see themselves as learners. Tim's story was very relatable for many, and reinforced the importance of positive male role models around our young men.' - Kathryn Ramel, School Principal. Snells Beach School. May 2017.


    'We were truly spoilt to have Tim Tipene speak at our school assembly last week. What an entertaining afternoon! Tim was honest, funny, sad, and most importantly 'real' when sharing the story of the events that led to him becoming an author.' - Snells Beach School Newsletter, 19 May 2017.


    To have Tim speak at your school or event
    phone Rosemary +64 21 840 898

    Photo: Tim speaking at the Auckland Writers Festival 2017.

    Photo by Stephanie Creagh.

  • Warrior Kids

    Warrior Kids has changed the lives of thousands of children and their families. Warrior Kids was founded by Tim Tipene in 1994 in New Zealand, and has been teaching Self Control and Social Skills to Children for 25 years.

    The renowned child centered class where the focus is on personal development, Warrior Kids is a high impact, full on, non-stop adventure for children, involving games and challenges where students become champions of life.

    Warrior Kids is taught as a personal development and therapeutic art of de-escalation and restraint within a loving environment.

    Focusing on bringing out the warrior within, Warrior Kids draws upon Maori warrior concepts and Eastern martial arts in a non-aggressive way designed to instill confidence, respect and self-control, leading children to become masters of their lives.

    Frustrated at the lack of support for children and young people Tim Tipene decided to do something about it. In 1994 at the age of 22, without any formal qualifications, funding or support, Tim created Warrior Kids to empower children.

    Tim has gone on to provide Warrior Kids to communities and schools for 25 years, taking referrals from community and government agencies, and changing the lives of thousands of children and their families.


    'A warrior is one who can face the challenges of life.

    One who can be with their emotions and their vulnerabilities.

    One who is not afraid to address the past,

    and who can engage fully in life and in relationship.

    For me to overcome my abusive childhood and

    break the cycle of violence I had to be a Warrior.

    To heal may mean to cry a river.

    Only a warrior could do that.'

    - Tim Tipene


    Warrior Kids is now being taught in communities and schools nationally and internationally. Look out for Warrior Kids near you.

    Classes with Master Tim

    Due to an increasingly busy schedule, lessons with

    Master Tim are now limited and open to a select few.


    To have the unique and exclusive opportunity to learn from Master Tim through Warrior Kids, or teen and adult Toatoi lessons, inquire below

    using the message form.


    Watch out for Tim's public seminars and workshops.

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