Underneath a seemingly hard exterior lies a sensitive, gentle soul with an important message. Richie Hardcore, a self-described pragmatic idealist, is a vocal advocate for social change and mental health campaigner.
Living by the maxim ‘PMA till I’m DOA’ (positive mental attitude till I’m dead on arrival) gives you a few clues about this deep and interesting public figure and successful businessman.
Growing up in West Auckland with first hand experience of street and family violence and alcohol abuse, Richie describes himself then as a scared kid and an angry teenager. When his friends started drinking and doing drugs, something told Richie ‘nah, I’m not doing that’.
It wasn’t an easy road to follow, there was incessant peer pressure but he was staunch in his commitment to stay away from binge drinking as a teenager, instead opting for martial arts and punk rock, welcoming the positive ideas from these communities that allowed him to be different.
The structure and discipline of his martial arts, which he got into in his early teens, was a much- needed contrast to his troubled home life and environment.
The punk rock and hardcore music scene, complete with tattoos and an openly anti-drinking message, also helped shape the person he was becoming.
At the age of 17 Richie Hardcore started Muay Thai Boxing and by the time he was 20 he was on his way to winning a bunch of titles. He carried on as a professional competitive fighter right through to his early 30s. He started coaching while competing and continues to coach now. That is just one of the many strings to his bow.
While Richie chose to leave much of his distressing childhood behind him, the strength he gained from his martial arts and music have allowed him to help others who come from similar backgrounds. Making up with his Dad (now sober) was the first step.
Committed to changing the status quo in relation to sexual and physical violence, self-harm, suicide and homicide as well as attitudes to masculinity; Richie spends much of his time talking to young people at schools and people of all ages at community events, speaking engagements, conferences, and through social media.
A Ted Talk ‘It’s Not Men, It’s Masculinity’ is just one of the high profile events he has been engaged in.
But it doesn’t end there, Richie Hardcore has also worked with the Ministry of Health in drug harm prevention; he’s a board member at White Ribbon New Zealand; he’s a Ministry of Social Development ‘It’s Not Ok’ Champion, working to end men’s violence against women; he’s worked as a radio host at Auckland’s bFM radio and NewsTalk ZB; and notably he holds a post graduate honours degree from the University of Auckland (Political Science & Spanish).
All of this may have you wondering what the connection is with accounting and The Accounting Hub. Quite a lot actually.
While much of his work is pro-bono, Richie Hardcore runs a successful business, Hardcore Ltd. This involves his coaching and personal training work, his new gym and his paid speaking engagements.
Recognising that he needed more help with the financial side of his business, a friend who had being doing his accounts undertook online research looking for a ‘proper accountant’ who would understand his idiosyncrasies. The Accounting Hub was the chosen accounting firm.
She said, ‘they will take most of the work out of it for you.’
I’m not very good with money. I’m ok with earning it, I’m not very good a keeping it. I’m good at the front-facing, public stuff, not so good at the behind-the-scenes stuff. The Accounting Hub really help me, they really take the stress out of it for me. I’m busy, they do stuff in the background. They keep me ahead of my game for taxes so I’m not paying penalties.
Andrew’s always very affable and that’s important to me. I’m an affable person and if I don’t get a good feeling about someone, then I’m like, nah this isn’t going to work. I’m quite crazy… the Muay Thai, the hardcore… it wasn’t going to work with your normal f**ken boring accountant.