Recent rain has brought a huge smile to a rugby mad Mangatainoka farmer who has begun to transform a bare paddock into a top-notch pitch ahead of next year’s Super Rugby pre-season game between the Hurricanes and the Blues.

Kerry Fergus leases the farm on which the Mangatainoka Rugby Football Club grounds are located and has spent the last few weeks rolling the pitch to ensure it’s in top order for the Battle at the Brewery game to be held on Saturday, February 9 th 2019.

Following November’s announcement that the game, organised by Tui Brewery, would return to the small town for the first time since 2013, Kerry has been rolling the pitch and had planned to start irrigating until Mother Nature intervened.

“Two weeks ago, the paddock was pretty dry but thanks to this rain we’ve managed to push any irrigation out,” says the former Mangatainoka RFC No 8 and halfback.

“It’s been rolled several times and I’m now about to spray it and put the fertiliser on, before mowing begins.  Come next year we’ll keep it watered and looking tidy before putting up the temporary grand stand … it should come up looking terrific.”
Like much of the community, Fergus remembers fondly the first time the Hurricanes stepped out on the Mangatainoka RFC.
“We are damn lucky to have the Hurricanes return after this hiatus and it just puts the biggest smile on my face as back in 2010 when news broke that they would play here … no one believed me … not even my own family! But once the news spread the local marae and schools just got completely behind it,” recalls Fergus.

“That first game was held in a howling southerly and boy did it rain. I’ll never forget that the local Plunket only sold two bottles of water for the whole day however in town, all the wet
weather gear completely sold out of all the shops!”
Fergus, who has farmed in the district all his life, is as proud as punch that these games put Mangatainoka on the map and celebrate the small township (population 1560, Census 2013).

Along with Nick Rogers, who runs the visitor experience at Tui Brewery and originally came up with the idea to bring the Hurricanes to town, Fergus was part of a small team that helped raise $60K to save the historic wooden Mangatainoka RFC grandstand. In addition to Tui Brewery, it’s become an iconic photo stop as it is also located underneath the Tuiwood sign which overlooks the township on the hill above. 

“Come February 9 th , the ground will be in good order. There should be solid grass coverage which will make for a carpet for all the players,” says Fergus.
Tickets for Battle at the Brewery are on sale and numbers have been reduced to create a more intimate atmosphere at the game. There will be enough temporary seating to accommodate all ticket-holders, pre and post-game entertainment, and passionate fans turning out in their regional colours. There will also be prizes up for grabs for fans who go above and beyond with their fancy dress.
Rogers says tickets for the Battle at the Brewery are selling fast, and proving popular as gifts for Christmas.
Tui has teamed up with key match day supporters to make the day possible including: Big Barrel, More FM, Norwood, PGG Wrightson, Printcraft and Steens Honey, as well as Panasonic as Half Time Supporter, who will give some lucky fans the chance to kick for goal and win a 43” Smart TV.


Battle at the Brewery
Super Rugby pre-season game between the Hurricanes and Blues

Saturday, 9 th February 2019
Where: Mangatainoka

Gates open 12.30pm
Kick off 3pm.

Prices $45 GA before Santa
$50 GA after Santa 
$80 SUPPORTERS PACK (tickets will include a Tui cap, t-shirt and GA ticket to the
All tickets are available to purchase from or at Tui Brewery in
Mangatainoka. GA tickets are available from local PGG Wrightson and Norwood Stores. Once you’ve purchased your tickets, enter the draw at to be part of the half time entertainment where you will get a chance to win a Panasonic 43” 4K Ultra High Definition Smart TV.
For bus or train ticket deals – please visit or
For all match day information visit

Epic Super Rugby Clash Returns to Mangatainoka

It’s been a long time between drinks, but we are stoked to announce the Hurricanes will be returning to Mangatainoka on Saturday 9th February 2019 to tackle the Blues in a one-of-a-kind Pre-Season game that we’re calling The Battle At The Brewery.

This is grassroots rugby at its best, where professional footy collides with rural town community spirit for an entertaining day of pre-season Super Rugby, in what is usually a grazing paddock across the road from the Tui Tower.

This magical game has been on the road the last six years, visiting Masterton and Eketahuna but it just feels so right to bring her home to the Mangatainoka Domain.

Hurricane’s captain Dane Coles is equally pumped. “I know the whole squad will be looking forward to heading back to Mangatainoka, especially the boys who have not experienced playing there before. It really is a unique day and the boys get really well looked after from all the locals.”

It’s going to be epic, and we can’t wait. We’ve reduced the ticket numbers to give the game a more intimate feel – and expect them to sell out quickly.

Secure your tickets early to avoid disappointment. Click here for all the details.


It’s just been announced that the Mangatainoka Reserve will receive a $202,000 upgrade!

Just across the road from us here at Tui Brewery, the Mangatainoka Reserve will get a new block of two toilets, a shower and a solar-powered compacting rubbish bin.

When we heard that Tourism Minister, Kelvin Davis, had $19.3 million to distribute as part of the second round of the Tourism Infrastructure Fund we jumped at the opportunity to improve our little gem of a camping spot! With much of it going to wastewater, sewerage schemes and public toilets at tourist hotspots throughout the country, we got together with the Tararua Council to see how we could get the much-needed improvements made to the Mangatainoka Reserve.

Our submission went in earlier this year and was accepted last week (it’s a no-brainer really, the secret is out about the best camping spot in the country). Tararua District Council will receive $102,404 to supercharge the freedom camping facilities at Mangatainoka Reserve. Some funds will also go towards installing solar-powered waste compacting rubbish bins at Waihi Falls, Akitio and Herbertville, so there’s no excuse not to explore Tuiville by camper now!

The Council had already allocated $100,000 towards these projects, and this amount will now make the infrastructure possible.

Mark Maxwell, Economic Development and Communications Manager for the Tararua District Council, was chuffed about the idea to work with us on this project.

“This is a key partnership between Council, who will provide the capital for construction and Tui Brewery, who have agreed to maintain it.
“This is a great example of council and businesses working together to achieve positive outcomes for the community.”

Labour list MP, Keiran McAnulty, described Tui Brewery as one of the region’s most popular attractions and said the team there did a marvellous job of attracting people to the region (thanks Keiran!).

“It seemed logical to me that Government would look to assist in upgrading facilities so that the Mangatainoka Reserve opposite the brewery could cope with the steady increase of visitors.
“I am very pleased for them, and the region, that this investment has been confirmed.”

Reserve sign

PHOTO: Mangatainoka Reserve Road sign installed in 2018 by Tui Brewery

Since adopting the Mangatainoka Reserve in 2016 with the Launch of our Plants & Pints Project, motor-homers have been making the most of our hotspot. Our team at Tui Brewery have planted over 1,000 native plants, improved the accessway, installed signage, tidied fences and added a walking track to the brewery (all of 300 meters away). The increase in motorhomes to the reserve has led to an increase in rubbish and the demand for toilet and shower facilities.

With the national shortage in accommodation for tourists, more national and international tourists are choosing to travel by campervan. The hope is that with the right facilities available we can attract people to travel State Highway 2, visit the Tararua region, and stay one or two nights in our campsites along the way. This will see and increased spend by these travellers who have budget for activities, petrol, meals and attractions.


PHOTO: Mangatainoka Reserve is becoming increasingly popular for motorcaravans.

Our team at Tui Brewery have also recently installed a dump station and potable water source for freedom campers at Tui Brewery which is offering another reason for freedom campers to travel through Tararua.

New Zealand Motor Caravan Association chief executive Bruce Lochore said Tararua was becoming a popular region for motorhome and caravan trips. The Mangatainoka Reserve, in particular, was on many travellers' "must-do" lists thanks to the Tui Brewery.

"[Tararua] makes us feel welcome. It's the little things like this [upgrade] that really make the difference."


Dump at Mangatainoka

From this week, those exploring SH2 by motorhome or campervan can swing in to the home of all things Tui and refill your water supply and use our new dump station.

Right here in Mangatainoka we have just opened a new dump station to motorhomes and campervans either passing by, visiting the brewery or staying across the road at the Mangatainoka Reserve. Open during brewery hours, the dump station and water refilling station will provide another alternative for those travelling north or south along SH2 - a popular touring route linking Hawke's Bay with Wairarapa and Wellington.

Dump Station in Wairarapa

The dump station is an extension of the Plants and Pints initiative we implemented in 2017 where we gift a native tree for visitors staying at the Reserve to plant (we even gift you with a spade to plant it). Since then more than 1000 native have been planted along the banks of the river and within the reserve. Our onsite nursery has been a hive of activity with our planting more than 500 seedlings to keep up with demand. Our team have also made improvements to the picnic tables, pathways and driveway in the Reserve with funds raised at our various events.

We're encouraging all visitors staying here to leave the environment in better shape than they found it and now, they can also enjoy our new onsite facilities that will make their travel experience more enjoyable.

We also encourage those staying at the Mangatainoka Reserve to pop across the road to the brewery and enjoy lunch outside in the garden bar and do a brewery tour, which traces our 129 year history and includes a guided tour through our state of the art brewery.

 Pints & Plants Project

Plants & Pints

To celebrate Arbour Day 2017 and encourage those exploring SH2 by motorhome/caravan to travel sustainably, the Tui Brewery will gift a native tree to plant to visitors staying at the Mangatainoka Reserve. 

Plants & Pints

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 Cleaning Up SH2

The SH2 experience is about to get even better. This weekend marks the start of conservation week. Conservation week begins October 14th and goes until October 22nd. The Theme this year is Look after your own backyard.

Community Projects

Community Projects

Community Projects

Community Projects

Community Projects


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Community Events

Tui Brewery give back to the local community through ongoing support of these local events:

Race to the Brewery - raising funds for Relay for Life – see more on our events page.

Race to the Brewery


Bush Cycle Tour – Raising funds for Pahiatua projects – see more on our events page.

Bush Cycle Tour


Toki Truck Stop Show & Shine – raising funds for important causes each year – see more on our events page.

Truck Stop Show and Shine


Hurricanes biannual preseason rugby game in Mangatainoka is all about bringing the professional game to the country, and the event always raises money to go towards a worthy local cause. The event also gives local community groups the opportunity to fundraise through food stands – returning in 2019.


And our new monthly Car Shows – Mangatinoka Motors the last Sunday of each month, $10 entry will go towards a local cause each month – see more on our events page.

Mangatainoka Motors

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