A new television documentary focusing on a smalltown shearing dynasty is set to air.

Shear Bro is an observational documentary following the Paewai Mullins, an inspirational Māori family in Dannevirke who have successfully run a shearing business for four generations.

The Country's Jamie Mackay caught up with the matriarch of the Paewai Mullins whānau, Mavis Mullins, for a sneak preview of Shear Bro, before it starts tomorrow night at 8:30 on Māori Television.

Mullins says she won't be the star of the show as Shear Bro focuses on the younger generation and "their new look on how this business works for them."


The Paewai Mullins shearing gang is now run by Mullins' daughter Aria. Although it's not the biggest operation in New Zealand, Mullins says Aria was probably handling more than a million sheep a year.

Listen below:

It can be challenging to train and keep good staff in shearing says Mullins, especially when there are more opportunities for remuneration overseas.

"It is a global sector now and when our staff can double their income just by going to Australia ... and triple it by going into the Northern Hemisphere, it becomes a lot more challenging to keep out people and keep them home, especially when we need it. So there is still a lot of work to be done in that area."

Mavis and her husband Koro stay close to the Golden Shears competition as it's a "fabulous event" that gives people "the rock star opportunities." Although Mullins says she gets to see "the new guys coming through," at The Golden Shears, the challenge is to keep them in the industry.

Shear Bro is going to be a realistic portrayal of "the challenge of the business of shearing ... I would say it's warts and all," says Mullins who confesses that she forgot the camera crew were there sometimes.

"These people are around you 24/7, they almost become a little bit invisible to you, so it'll be interesting. It'll be fun."

Watch Shear Bro on Māori Television at 8:30pm July 10th.