Dayna Tiwha was born on 23 July 1972 in Tumarunui (New Zealand).
A hard working student, Dayna already received art and music lessons as a child. Later, at boarding school, he chose Art as one of his NZQA examination subjects.
In April 2000, at the age of 27, he broke his neck in a head on tackle while playing rugby. He suffered comminuted fracture of cervical vertebrae C4 and C5. As a result, he was afterwards only able to move his head.
Later, he got to know the VDFMK student member and mouth painter Wayne Te Rangi, who tried to introduce him to mouth painting. Initially, Dayna wasn’t too interested in the idea. But during an occupational therapy session at the ‘Otara’ centre for spinal cord injury in May 2011 he first began to intensively concentrate on mouth painting.
Today Dayna is receiving regular painting lessons from the New Zealand VDMFK student members and mouth painters Murray Cohen and Robyn Martin Payne. The artist has found great inspiration in mouth painting and has succeeded in creating many original pictures. (The main image top left, is one he was working on when HRH Prince Harry visited us in 2015!)
The New Zealand Rugby Foundation has assisted Dayna over the years since his injury with housing and vechicle modifications, vocational training and adovcacy/representation with ACC to ensure maximum levels of rehabilitation to ease pain.
Dayna lives in South Auckland and is always keen to participatein any NZRF activities and intiatives.
To help the NZRF support Dayna and 101 other amazing VIPS click here.