Butcher And Butcher Apprentice Of The Year Finalists Confirmed

rmnz thumbnail.jpg


Butchers from across the country have proved their skills with a sharp start to this year’s Alto Butcher of the Year competition. After four regional rounds, we now have our top 6 contestants who stood out.

Alto Butcher of the Year finalists (alphabetical by surname):

  • Simon Dixon – Island Bay Butchery, Wellington – Lower North Island Regional Winner

  • Greg Egerton – Countdown Dunedin Central – Lower South Island Regional Winner

  • Brad Gillespie – New World Rototuna, Hamilton

  • Riki Kerekere – Countdown Meat & Seafood, Auckland

  • Dan Klink – Mangawhai Meats – Upper North Island Regional Winner

  • Samantha Weller – New World Rangiora – Upper South Island Regional Winner



Now you're probably scratching you head going I thought there were only 6 finalists going through, well the scores had us scratching our heads too! There ended up being a three way tie for the final spot in the Apprentice Butcher category so we thought, the only thing to do is take all three so we have an extra two apprentice butchers coming with us to the Grand Final. 

ANZCO Foods Butcher Apprentice of the Year finalists (alphabetical by surname):

  • Shaun Boyle – New World Eastridge

  • Maria De Lourdes Pio – PAK’nSAVE Rangiora – Upper South Island Regional Winner

  • Tom Frood – New World Gardens – Lower South Island Regional Winner

  • Charlie Hang Leang – Countdown Meat & Seafood

  • Cherise Redden – Countdown Meat & Seafood, Auckland – Joint Upper North Island Regional Winner

  • Makalah Stevens – New World Foxton ­– Lower North Island Regional Winner

  • Filipo Taliu – New World Eastridge

  • Dylan Thompson – Mangawhai Meat Shop – Joint Upper North Island Regional Winner


The regional competitions involved a two hour cutting test where the competitors were required to break down a size 16 chicken, a boneless beef rump and a full pork loin into a display of value-added products.

All finalists will now continue on to the Grand Final, being held on Thursday 8 August at Shed 10 in Auckland, where they will showcase their cutting skills, creativity and knowledge of the trade against the best in the country.

Head Judge and Captain of New Zealand’s Butchery team, the Hellers Sharp Blacks, Corey Winder has been involved in the competition for 20 years now and says the skills needed to become a great butcher are ever-growing.

“It’s inspirational to see so many apprentices and butchers showing up at competition level. It not only increases their skill set and gives them the opportunity to network with their peers, but gives them the confidence to look to the future and the possibility of one day competing at an International Level at the World Butchers’ Challenge,” says Corey.

“To have the motivation and drive to showcase their skills at this level means the New Zealand butchery industry is in good hands with plenty of candidates setting their sights on becoming a member of the New Zealand butchery team, the Heller’s Sharp Blacks, in the future.”

The competition is proudly sponsored by Alto, ANZCO Foods, Wilson Hellaby, Alliance, Beef + Lamb New Zealand, Competenz, Dunninghams, Tegel and Hellers

Details for the Grand Final are as follows:
Thursday 8 August
Shed 10, Queens Wharf

Tickets for the Grand Final are on sale with early bird rates closing this Friday 5th July.

Click Here to book your tickets