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Shock as Shears veteran collapses

Mii Nooroa (left) during last night’s woolhandling event shortly before he collapsed on stage. PHOTO/SUPPLIED


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A former two-times Golden Shears woolhandling champion was rushed to Wellington hospital after collapsing in front of a crowd of around 800 spectators.

Mii Nooroa, also known as “Mic”, had been competing in the final Veterans event at the 58th annual shearing and woolhandling championships in Masterton last night before suddenly collapsing on stage just a few minutes after.

The Masterton man has been a competitor almost from the time the woolhandling competition was formally added to the programme in 1985.

The programme came to an abrupt end as an on-site medic and others, including a trained nurse, worked frantically on veteran, aged in his 60s.

Golden Shears journalist Doug Laing said he was sitting upstairs after the event and realised the whole place had suddenly gone quiet.

He said the medics were there to assist him “within a minute” and continued to provide medical assistance for almost fifteen minutes until the ambulance arrived.

A defibrillator was also on-hand in the Masterton War Memorial Stadium, which Mr Laing believed was used.

Mr Nooroa won the Junior woolhandling title in 1988, was fourth in the Open championship in 1989 and third the following year.

He went on to become Golden Shears Open Woolhandling champion in 1992, edging out multiple World and Golden Shears champion Joanne Kumeroa.

Golden Shears president Phil Morrison, who has known Nooroa for most of the 30-plus years of the woolhandler’s involvement, said everyone was hoping for a speedy and full recovery.

“We are thinking of Mii and the family and friends, and wishing them all the best.”

“The whole shearing industry and sport, around the world, is one big family,” he said. “Obviously everyone is feeling for the wellbeing of Mii Nooroa.”

Former Golden Shears president Mavis Mullins was competing alongside Mr Nooroa in last night’s event and said Mr Nooroa had been a big part of Golden Shears history.

“We’ve competed together through the ages – he was one of the founders of the three shears championship.”

The final prizegiving of the night, including that for a trans-Tasman woolhandling test match, was held over until today as a result of the emergency.

Official placings for the veterans event were not yet confirmed.


  1. Our Hearts and Thoughts goes out to you Brother Mii, make a speedy recovery, see you back home soon, and not forgetting the Whanau, all our Aroha, Hugs and Kisses – Paul and Francine Le Gros- Auckland. ????

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