Welcome to Manawatoa Kennels and our whanau of bullterriers

Kia ora my name is Mandy Irwin and I have been living with and owned bull terriers for at least thirty years plus. They are addictive and I can honestly say that I have never been interested in owning any other breed.

2019 has had its ups and downs as far as breeding, however we are very proud to welcome Toki and Coco and their new whanau to Manawatoa Bull Terriers. These two are the progeny of Pinewood Waking the Witch and CH Boromir Satyricon ROM (Kahu and Grimm). Although only two pups in the litter they are both pleasing quality and substance and the best natures to boot. We are all excited about their future. Breeding dogs and especially bullies is not an easy pastime which I guess it is why it is a passion and we hope to have at least one more litter by the end of 2019. Drey (CH Black Hail O Manawatoa ROM) attended the latest NIBTC specialty Open and Champ shows in Auckland on the 31st of August 2019 and was at his stunning best winning NZ Bred Bull Terrier in both Shows, Best NZ Bred in the Champ in Show (Bull Terrier and Miniature Bull Terrier and Best Head in the Champ Stakes. He was such a good boy, if he had showed like he actually enjoyed himself out in the ring he could have got higher honours. Kihi came back with a beautiful trophy for Veteran Bull Terrier of the year 2018-2019. Our saddest time occurred February 2017 when we had to farewell our beautiful old Maa Pa - 13 years old, he held on for as long as he could, we his whanau struggled to let him go but we did the right thing. It was the first time I experienced bull terrier grief for one of their own, Ngawai broke her heart. Two and a half years on and I still miss him everyday.

Some background:

My first introduction to the breed was through Julie Clark of Lester Kennels, I worked in her kennels after school (that was a long time ago lol) and we got our first bullies (my family did) from her. I assisted in my first whelping in my last year of university and from that litter I chose BJ a big white bitch with red head markings and the love affair has continued ever since.

In the between times, I have got married had five children of my own, all of whom are bull terrier stalwarts and converted my husband into becoming one - a stalwart that is. After BJ we had our Jilly (dark red and smut) who along with Richard, my husband, helped to raise our five children and who died of old age in her 15th year. She was followed by her mokopuna - Moko (solid dark brindle). When Moko tragically died I was at my wits end as Julie Clarke was no longer breeding bullies and there was this huge hole in our whanau that needed to be filled.


Enter into our lives, Heidi and Dean Holland (Boromir Kennels) and thanks to them we managed to get Whetu (black and white bitch) in 2001. With Whetu's arrival I started to think about showing and maybe starting a kennel of my own, a dream I had had years ago and when Whetu had her first litter, I chose Maa (white dog). He proved to be the best dog out - he quickly gained his NZ Champion status (despite an aversion to the show ring), his best friend was our son Matiu who now lives in Australia. Their reunions at Christmas times were more touching than our own. 


Manawatoa kennels came into being in 2003 and I currently have a number of dogs under my kennel name, Poem (red and white) who lives with our daughter,Tanith and her family. Ruby and Kiki who I co-own with Brent and Midori and who live in Auckland, and my four at home - Kihi, Ngawai (Kihi's daughter) and Drey (Ngawai's son) and Kahu (who I co-own with Lori Prendergast). Billy went to live in his new forever home in Oteri Beach south of Dunedin in August 2014 and Moss (Ngawai's daughter) has gone to live with Richard and Alfie the staffy in Coromandel. And now we have Toki who was born on the 12/07/19 and lives with Vesna and Steve in Auckland, and Coco his sister, (my first tri-colour) who is now living in Christchurch with Shelley and her family, to join the ranks.

Hopefully we will continue to develop as a bull terrier kennel that is known for its excellent, quality dogs and bitches who - if they are anything like Maa and Dace, and Ngawai have the best personality to boot. Bullies are people dogs, they need a positive relationship with their human whanau to thrive and in that enviroment you could not ask for a better companion.


Mandy Irwin