• Tim Tipene

    Award-winning Maori Author, Inspirational Speaker
    Founder of Warrior Kids and Toatoi

    Mrs Battleship.

    Tim speaking to Finlayson Park School for Duffy Books in Homes.

    The boy who wanted to marry his teacher.

    Finlayson Park School for Duffy Books in Homes.

    Being kicked out of High School.

    Blockhouse Bay Intermediate

    How not to make friends.

    Birkenhead Primary

    For two decades Tim Tipene has been sharing his inspirational story

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

    Tim has spoken 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 has been a part of the Sir Peter Blake Dream Team of Leaders.

    To have Tim speak at your school or event phone

    Rosemary on 021 840 898

  • News

    Check out Tim's latest updates!

  • From Pain to Purpose


    Tim as a child with some of his aunties

    Tim Tipene was adopted into the Waitai-Tipene whanau as a toddler. He was raised in two cultures, NZ Maori and NZ European. Tim's immediate family were abusive and violent. His biological father was a convicted predator and violent offender who spent much of life behind bars. It was only with the extended whanau that Tim felt loved.


    Tim's tribal affiliations are Ngati Kuri and Ngati Whatua.

    Expelled from high school Tim went through a number of jobs, homes and relationships before he managed to find help to address his past.

    Through a combination of therapy, martial arts and personal development, Tim overcame his abusive and violent childhood and broke the cycle. He has spent his life transforming the lives of others, often without any form of payment.


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


    For 25 years Tim has been changing lives through his acclaimed Warrior Kids program and Toatoi classes, his award winning books and his inspirational talks. Tim has featured on television, radio and in various magazines and newspapers.

    Tim started martial arts at the age of 12 and over 35 years has gained a number of Black Belt Dan ranks and teaching titles.


    In 1994 at the age of 22, Tim was unemployed and had no fixed abode. Without any formal qualifications or funding, Tim consolidated his learning and experience and created Toatoi, an art of personal development and warrior training.

    That same year he also established Kura Toa Warrior School to house his Toatoi classes, including the Warrior Kids program which he used to help kids in his community.


    In 2013 Tim was inducted into the New Zealand Martial Arts Hall of Fame.

    In 2014 Tim was recognised as a Kiwibank Local Hero and received a Medal in recognition of his contribution to the lives of others.


    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.


    Tim interviewed by Remuera Primary School, July 2019.

  • Warrior Kids

    Self Control and Social Skills for Children and Teens


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


    Tim has provided 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. In all that time Tim's Warrior Kids classes only ever received 6 months of funding.

    Tim became a trained counsellor and gained a graduate certificate in

    Child and Adolescent Mental Health in 2000.

    Actor Teuila Blakely talks Warrior Kids

    25 Years of

    Warrior Kids

    TVNZ talk

    Warrior Kids

    Parents talk

    Warrior Kids

  • Book Store

    Tim was first published in 1996. He is the author of ten books, five of which have won awards.

    Warrior Kids - Warrior Training for Children
    In 1994 Tim started the Warrior Kids programme and went on to provide it to communities and schools for over 20 years, changing the lives of thousands of children and their families. This book features the complete ten sessions of the Warrior Kids' in-school programme in an easy to use format. Focusing on bringing out the warrior within, the Warrior Kids programme draws on 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. Published 2009 by Oratia Books.
    Coming soon
    The Wooden Fish
    A Storylines Notable Book for 2000.
    Hanseni wants to help his mother and father but he's too little. Then one day the fishermen of the village return with no fish and the villagers have to go hungry. As each day passes there is still no food for the village. How can Hanseni help his village and make his father happy again? The Wooden Fish is a beautifully told story about a special gift from a son to his father. Illustrated by Jennifer Cooper.
    First published 1996 by Learning Media. Re-published 1999 by Reed Publishing.
    All options are out of stock
    Coming soon
    Bullie and Warriors
    Going to school is a misery for Sean. Whatever he does to avoid the school bully, Mark Thomas and his mates always catch up with him. Then the students join Warrior Kids, a programme that teaches leadership and self-control. So begins a journey for Mark and Sean that has a predictable outcome for one boy and a surprise for the other. This novel for 8 years and older is a realistic insight into school life as it is for many children. It offers strategies to address bullying for children on both sides of the problem. First published as Warrior Kids by Reed Publishing, 2006. Re-pub 2012, Oratia.
    Coming soon
    Haere, Farewell, Jack, farewell
    Haere received a Picture Book Honour Award at the 2006 New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children & Young Adults. It was named one of the top New Zealand picture books by Waikato University in 2010.
    A death is mourned, a birth is celebrated, and a little girl sees that life comes full circle. A poetic and moving tale by Tim Tipene, with evocative illustrations by Huhanna Smith. Published 2005 by Huia Publishers.
    Coming soon
    Kura Toa Warrior School
    In this novel for young adults, Haki must confront his fears and find a way to answer the challenge to serve his people, to serve his land, to fight a Taniwha and, ultimately, to become a warrior. An imiginative expression of Tim Tipene's warrior philosophy. First published 2004 by Reed Publishing. Re-published 2009 by Oratia Books.
    Coming soon
    Taming the Taniwha
    Taming the Taniwha was a White Raven title for 2002 and was named one of the top New Zealand picture books by Waikato University in 2010. Tama needs to find out just how to tame the meanest, greenest taniwha he's ever met.
    A great book for kids to explore different methods of dealing with bullies and an effective tool to generate discussion.

    Illustrated by Henry Campbell. Published 2001 by Huia Publishers.
    Coming soon
    Hinemoa te toa
    Hinemoa te toa received two awards at the 2009 LIANZA Children's Book Awards: Te Tohu Pounamu mo te wahanga Kaiwhakamaori and Te Tohu Taurapa mo te whahanga Pukapuka Pikitia.
    Hinemoa was tough. 'I am a warrior,' she'd say, 'Hinemoa te toa - just like my ancestors.' Is there anything Hinemoa is afraid of. Illustrated by John Bennett. Published 2008 by Scholastic New Zealand.
    Coming soon
    Rewa finds his Wings
    Rewa works at a job he doesn't enjoy. He often imagines being a bird and flying away. His worried mother sends him to a Tohunga, a wise man. The Tohunga grants Rewa his wish. Rewa flits as a Piwaiwaka, swoops as a Kereru and dances through the air as a Tui. Then even the Tohunga cannot bring him back to earth as Rewa flies higher and higher. Illustrated by Jo Thapa. Published 2008 by Raupo Publishing.
    Coming soon
    In this powerful novel for teenagers, 16-year-old Jahnine is having to fend for herself amidst a series of family misfortunes, with her mother in hospital battling cancer and her brother gone without a trace. Family legend has it that a Patu taken during the Land Wars by her great-great-grandfather has left a curse on them. Determined to return the Patu and lift the curse, Jahnine turns to a strange Maori boy, Andy, and follows him away from Auckland to try and put things right. Nothing turns out the way she imagines in this powerful, realistic novel.
    Published 2012 by Oratia Books.
    Coming soon
    Maui - Sun Catcher
    A Storylines Notable book for 2017.
    Imaginative, powerful and fun, Maui - Sun Catcher is award-winning author Tim Tipene's modern take on the classic story of Maui catching the sun, with vivid illustrations by well-known illustrator Zak Waipara and translated by Rob Ruha. This handsome hardback is in English and Maori.
    Oratia Books, 2016
    Coming soon
  • Message Tim