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.

It is now April 2021 and since I last updated this page a number of things have happened. Toki our new boy from 2019 has nows sired two beautiful daughters to add to the whanau. These two pups are in wonderful homes and have begun their champion title journey. 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 in 2021.

2020 will be forever marked for the advent of Covid-19. For my bullies and myself really, the self imposed exile was a wonderful time - we walked, we played, heaps of cuddles and of course more importantly I was home 24/7. When I went back to work Drey basically thought his world had ended and got really anxious. What a dufus, but eventually he has come to terms with it. Showing took a whole new approach as we went virtual and Poem, Drey and Toki placed in the New Zealand vs Australia Challenge. In July we welcomed Poem's first litter (sired by Toki) and that was a happy time, except that Ngawai who took over 'mum' duties when Poem went home had an open pyometra - a dangerous infection of the uterus which resulted in it being removed. With stitches and bandages Ngawai refused to stay out of the whelping box and did her duties. She is an amazing bitch.

January 19th 2021 Kihi was given the gift of the long sleep. She had a very aggressive form of cancer which literally took her life within a three month period. She lies beside her best friend Maa Pa and I miss her presence in our whare so much, for a little bitch she had a big personality. That has sort of got us up to date.

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, Toki who lives in Auckland with Vesna and Steve and Phantom who lives with Dana and her large whanau in New Plymouth. And my three who are at home - Ngawai (Kihi's daughter) and Drey (Ngawai's son) and Kahu (who I co-own with Lori Prendergast).

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 environment you could not ask for a better companion.


Mandy Irwin

Me and Drey 2020.jpg