Clash of cultures: Meet Taumarunui's horsemen

"Suppose you're here about the horses," bellows Joe Tuwhangai from the deck of his back-block house in Taumarunui.

The Ngati Maniapoto man looks wild - he has gaps where his front teeth used to be, aged ink in his skin and ragged black hair framing his bristled face.

It is Thursday, 11am and overcast, and the 51-year-old says the morning is about to get a whole lot better.