Profiles

Ambassadors

All our Ambassadors make a huge difference to the Blue September campaign, every year they donate their time to help support Blue September and we really want to say a BIG THANKYOU to our great team.

Sir Peter Leitch
The Mad Butcher

Sir Peter is one of our longest serving and most high profile patrons and a true New Zealand icon. He is as well known for his philanthropic work as he is for The Mad Butcher and his passion for rugby league.

“Prostate cancer doesn’t get the publicity it should even though blokes are dying from it every day. Blokes are not getting checked as often as they should be which is terrible. I passionately believe in the cause. I’ve raised over $100,000 for the Prostate Cancer Foundation. I am very proud to be involved in Blue September.”

Buck Shelford
Former All Black

A battle with non-Hodgkins lymphona eight years ago is the impetus behind Buck’s support of cancer awareness and promotional campaigns, including Blue September.

“I did a lot of reading during six months of chemotherapy and realised prostate cancer had a fairly low profile so I wanted to help.”

Buck is now cancer-free, but encourages all New Zealand men, especially Maori men who are more reluctant to visit their doctor, to have regular checks for prostate cancer so they can live long and happy lives with their children and grandchildren.

Slade McFarland
Rugby Player & Boxer

Slade McFarland is one of only four North Harbour Rugby centurions. Also a stalwart of the NZ Maori side, the bulky hooker who goes by the nickname ‘Buddha’, McFarland represented the Blues and the Crusaders for a total of 52 career Super rugby caps. After participating in the Fight For Life charity boxing tournament which was supporting the Prostate Cancer Foundation, Slade McFarland was keen to support Blue September.

David Hartnell, MNZM
Celebrity Gossip Columnist

“My long-time friend of more than 50 years passed away from prostate cancer last year. I was with him throughout his diagnosis and treatment, and was there when he died. Getting regular checks for prostate cancer is something Robert believed and encouraged. His voice is now mine, and I encourage all men to have regular checks. Do it for yourself, your family and your friends.”

Frankie Stevens
Entertainer

“Maori and Pacificmen have always been fearful of going to the doctor, and of possibly being seen as less masculine, like many Kiwi men. But prostate cancer affects all of us, no matter what colour or culture; brown, black, yellow, pink or …blue. This September weare all blue! So my advice to the fellas is “to go to the doctor, get a blood test and get checked!”

Tarun Mohanbhai
Comedian

New Zealand born Tarun Mohanbhai has been doing stand up for over ten years. Having performed in New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Malaysia, Singapore, USA, Canada and the UK at various comedy venues and festivals Tarun has accumulated some serious air miles. His endearing yet hilarious stand up runs the gambit from astute and insightful material about being Indian and living outside of India to Bollywood style song and dance routines and Michael Jackson as you have never heard him before!

Ray Woolf, MNZM
Entertainer

Ray Woolf is one of New Zealand’s most well known entertainers with an extremely long list of television credits from C’mon, Happen Inn, Marlin Bay and the Ray Woolf Show to Xena, Shortland Street, Orange Roughies and more recently, Nothing Trivial.

Ray has toured extensively and made numerous recordings with two albums. He has received many awards including NZ Entertainer of the Year for four years running (1997-1980).

Ray Woolf was diagnosed with prostate cancer several years ago during routine blood tests, while managing Type 1 diabetes. He had surgery in 2012, is now prostate cancer-free and encourages other men to be proactive and have regular checks.

Mike Puru
Radio & TV Presenter

Mike Puru is a seasoned Television and Radio Broadcaster who hosts the popular Edge Breakfast Show. (born 20 August 1975 in Gore, New Zealand) is one of New Zealand’s most successful Radio DJ/Presenters best known for working at The Edge. He also competed on 2006 New Zealand reality show Sing Like a Superstar and in the early 2000s he was Co-host of Flipside.

Mike has also hosted 2 years of the Rockquest TV show as well as a local documentary called Rumba with Jane Yee, and fellow radio presenter Joe Cotton. Mike was the head boy of St. Peters College in hometown Gore.

 

 

Brett McGregor
MasterChef

New Zealand’s first MasterChef competition winner, Brett McGregor, is focussed on preparing fresh, healthy meals for his family and fellow New Zealanders.

“I am all about getting the word out on men’s health issues especially when so many deaths can be prevented by a simple test.”

Brendon Pongia
Former Tall Black

Brendon Pongia is a former Tall Black and TV personality. Brendon’s father in law passed away from prostate cancer and so, Brendon is passionate about raising awareness about the need for regular prostate checks. He has a particular interest in encouraging Maori men to take prostate cancer seriously as right now Maori men are 72 percent more like to die of prostate cancer, after they are diagnosed, than non-Maori.

Stu Wilson
Former All Black Captain

“I have a check for Prostate Cancer every year. I have done for some years now. If it comes back fine then I’m happy and I know I can get on with my life. You have to be realistic about your health and how your situation changes with age. There’s no point pretending it’s not happening! So get real and get blue this September!”

Kerre McIvor
Broadcaster

Kerre McIvor first won a wide television audience as a reporter, over five seasons on consumer rights show Fair Go. Since then, alongside television excursions on Nightline, Heartland andIntrepid Journeys, she has become a successful talkback host, author and newspaper columnist.

“I am delighted to help out with Blue September – my dad ultimately died from the cancer trifecta (prostate; bowel; liver) ten years ago, so this is a cause dear to my heart. As is getting men to take more responsibility for their health.”

Joe Naufahu
Founder, Ludus Magnus

Joe Naufahu once played professional rugby, but now spends his time acting and running a ‘gladiator’ style work out at Auckland gym, Ludus Magnus. You may have seen him in the big ‘small screen’ hit Spartacus, and more lately in the NZ feature film, The Last Saint, written and directed by his brother, Rene Naufahu.

Joe wants to see men taking responsibility for more than their physical physique by going to see their doctor regularly about prostate and testicular cancer.

Mark Hadlow
Actor & Comedian

Actor, comedian, singer, writer, producer, director – Mark Hadlow is one of New Zealand’s most prominent actors and entertainers. He is driven by a passion for performance: 130 plays, musical theatre, dozens of film appearances, television series, commercials and radio voice-overs in the thousands.

Playing the dwarf Dori in The Hobbit will be Mark’s third Peter Jackson movie. In Meet the Feebles he played the voices of Heidi the Hippo and Robert the Hedgehog, and sang many of the songs. King Kong saw him rehearsing and performing the role of Harry in the vaudeville scenes opposite Naomi Watts and Bill Johnson. He regards Peter Jackson productions as the most exhilarating experiences.

Darcy Perry
Blues Musician

My dad died at 55 of cancer, so I’m letting men know that they need to look after themselves. It’s about getting the message out there that it’s okay to go to the doctor. Prostate cancer kills more than 600 men in New Zealand every year. Thousands more are diagnosed – many of them far too late. By going and getting a check-up from the age of 40, you are not only taking responsibility for your own health, you are also ensuring we have communities with more dads, sons, brothers and grandfathers.

Mark Inglis
Mountaineer

In 1982 Inglis and climbing partner Philip Doole were stuck in a snow cave on Aoraki/Mount Cook for 13 days due to an intense blizzard. Following Inglis’s rescue, both his legs were amputated below the knee due to frostbite. He returned to Mt. Cook in 2002 and reached the summit successfully on prosthetic legs.

In 2003, Inglis received the New Zealand Order of Merit as an Officer in recognition of his services to disabled people.  On 15 May 2006, after 40 days of climbing, Inglis became the first ever double amputee to reach the summit of Mount Everest, the highest mountain in the world.

Monty Betham
Former League Player

Monty Betham is a professional boxer and former rugby league footballer . A New Zealand international representative forward, he played club football for the New Zealand Warriors of the National Rugby League and has captained the Wakefield Trinity Wildcats of Super League.

In 2011 he fought Shane Cameron in the Fight for Life charity boxing event which raised $166,000 for the Prostate Cancer Foundation.

A man of many talents, Betham was runner-up on Season 4 of New Zealand Dancing With The Stars in 2008.

Stephen McIvor
Sky TV Commentator

Stephen McIvor is Sky Sport television’s anchor presenter. Over the past 18 years of Stephen’s presenting career, he has fronted some of New Zealand’s most notable sporting events, including the Halberg Awards.

Stephen McIvor is the face of the SKY Sports team having started at SKY on the network’s first day of business.

Natasha Fitzsimons
Black Sticks Player

The 46-cap defender first joined the national team in the runup to the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, where they won a silver medal.

Natasha was introduced to the Prostate Cancer Foundation by Sir Peter Leitch and it quickly became a cause close to her heart when her grandfather was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2013.

“I met Sir Peter Leitch at a Bendon event, and he gave me his business card and I saw ‘Prostate Cancer Ambassador’ on it, so I asked him how he got involved and he just got me in contact with the CEO of the foundation and we went from there. It’s about just getting the word out there – even if it motivates one person to get checked, I think that’s a job well done.”

Shane Cortese
Actor

Shane Cortese is an actor and singer. He is perhaps best known for his role of Dominic Thompson on long running soap opera, Shortland Street, a role that was written specifically for Shane after he impressed the show producers with his audition for a different role. He is also known for his roles as  Mac on Nothing Trivial, Loki on the Almighty Johnsons and Hayden Peters on hit show Outrageous Fortune.

Tony Marsh
Former Rugby Union Player

Tony Marsh is a New Zealand-born rugby union player who has represented France playing at centre. Tony is one of the only players who managed to win back-to-back Super Rugby titles with different teams, the Blues in 1997 and the Crusaders in 1998.

He moved to France in 1998 and was named in the French national team in 2001. Early in 2003 he was diagnosed with testicular cancer but overcame the disease after gruelling months of chemotherapy sessions and rejoined the French team, reaching the semi final stage of the 2003 Rugby World Cup.

Peter Montogomery
Sports Commentator

A personal experience with prostate cancer and a desire to help other men understand the disease meant Peter Montgomery had no hesitation when asked to become an Ambassador for the Prostate Cancer Foundation.

Montgomery, a sports commentator who is affectionately known as ‘the voice of yachting,’ had his prostate surgically removed in 2006. He said he visited a specialist on another matter and the prostate diagnosis came out of the blue.

His advice to men is to get regular prostate checks — “no doubt about that”

Leo Bertos
International Soccer Player

Leo Bertos is an international footballer who currently plays as a midfielder for Hamilton Olympic in the Australian National Premier Leagues.

He played for Wellington Phoenix for many years including the ’09-’10 season where the Phoenix made the Australian A-League finals for the first time.  He has represented New Zealand over 50 times, including at the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Lady Deborah Holmes

Lady Deborah became involved with the Prostate Cancer Foundation after the passing of her husband, Sir Paul Holmes.

“My message to women out there regarding prostate cancer would be that some men are not very good at getting themselves checked out so make sure they do. It’s a simple test and you’ve got peace of mind.”

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