Māori rangatahi takes surfing world by storm
At only 18 years old, Te Kehukehu Butler has achieved more than most Māori surfers at his age.
He recently won the World Surf League Australian Pro Junior title, the first Kiwi to win this title since Maz Quinn back in 1996.
He's the first Kiwi surfer Red Bull's ever sponsored, and is a staunch Māori raised from Tauranga.
Butler has stockpiled Pro Junior and Grom Search wins and says he wants more Māori to join the sport.
“Just trying to make another pathway for heaps of the Māori's and all Polynesians.
“And you know there's not just rugby and league, I want to bring them into surfing too because we are all voyages so we all have a connection to the ocean.”
The connection he has with surfing is also a family affair with Butler regularly competing against his father at Aotearoa Māori Nationals and his grandfather also surfs.
Now Butler flies out to Melbourne to train for the upcoming in the Philippines.
“Big competition over there, heaps of big boys use that event as a warm-up for the end of the year. Just looking forward to it.”
Butler will compete at the Siargao Cloud 9 Surfing Cup next week.