Meet the Hellers Sharp Blacks

The Hellers Sharp Blacks are our national butchery side who compete every two years at the World Butchers' Challenge (WBC). The World Butchers' Challenge returns again in September 2020 and our team of seven, made up of the best butchers from around the country, will represent New Zealand in Sacramento, California, USA. 

Led by stalwart of the competition, Corey Winder - since 2011 - the Hellers Sharp Blacks have had multiple successes in the competition. In 2013 they took home the Pure South Tri-Nation's trophy, beating Australia and Great Britain in a test match held in Wanaka. In 2014 they retained the trophy, once again beating Australia and Great Britain in a test match held in Harrogate, England and they became three time World Champions in 2015 on home ground in Auckland. In 2016 they faced Australia and Great Britain once again in addition to a new team from France as the competition was renamed the World Butchers' Challenge. The competition was held in the Gold Coast, Australia with France taking out the title in their first year competing.

2018 proved to be no different with the team in black bringing home a silver medal. And given their emblem is a silver fern, it has a nice ring to it! Showcasing national identity, their display featured a mountainous backdrop which descended into a running water fountain and a bountiful amount of faux grass to mimic the hilly terrain of the South Island of New Zealand. Plenty of energy was given to the finishing of products as the team knew they had to deliver an extra level of finesse to beat the rest of the talent in the competition, and where possible each product was given a quintessential Kiwi name and used local ingredients. They also know how to kick it old school, click here. 


+ Meet The Team

The seven-man team, which includes one reserve, is made up of the best butchers from across the country and preparation will now start in earnest as they plan for the ‘Olympics of Butchery’ in September 2020.

  • Corey Winder (Elite Meats Bush Inn, Christchurch) – Team Captain, Product Developer A legend of the New Zealand retail meat scene, Corey is often described as the Richie McCaw of butchery. Captaining the Hellers Sharp Blacks since their inception in 2011, Corey is the glue that holds the team together. The ultimate team player, he puts in the hours of practice and preparation required taking him away from his own business and family. With three victories and a second place on his record, the Hellers Sharp Blacks will be in excellent hands come October 2020.

  • Jeremy Garth (New World Ferry Road, Christchurch) – Product Developer Hailing from Christchurch, Jeremy is another familiar face from the Alto Young Butcher competitions having won his regional competitions, Jeremy has travelled to the Grand Final in Auckland three times, and was even runner up in the national competition in 2014. Jeremy was also a member of the South Island team in the North vs South challenge in both 2014 and 2015. Working with Captain Corey Winder in the past, Jeremy has been able to learn from the best and was part of the Hellers Sharp Blacks team that finished second in Belfast in 2018.

  • David Timbs (Peter Timbs Meats, Christchurch) – Product Developer David cut his teeth in the butchery world under the guidance and tutelage of his uncle, Peter Timbs himself. Fast-forward to the present and his role has reversed, overseeing all the training and practical skills taught to the company’s latest crop of apprentices. Having been a Hellers Sharp Black in the past, David will bring an essential understanding to the team.

  • Riki Kerekere (Countdown Meat & Seafood, Auckland) – Breaking & Boning Riki is the heart and soul of Countdown’s central processing plant in Otahuhu, overseeing a 450-strong team that supply every Countdown Store in the North Island with meat products seven days a week. A poacher turned gamekeeper, Riki was the New Zealand judge at the 2018 World Butchers’ Challenge in Belfast, but made the decision to apply for the team following his success in the 2018 Alto Butcher of the Year competition, taking out the top title.

  • Reuben Sharples (Aussie Butcher New Lynn, Auckland) – Breaking & Boning Reuben is a stalwart of the butchery competition scene, having taken out the title of Alto Butcher of the Year in 2017 and competing in Butcher Wars at Meatstock. A media darling and housewives’ favourite, Reuben is the owner of the Aussie Butcher in New Lynn. His team have won numerous awards for their sausages and hams and Reuben will be bring a wealth of experience to the team.

  • James Smith (PAK’nSAVE Pukekohe, Auckland) – Garnishing and Display James may happen to be one of the younger members of the team but he’s managed to pack an incredible amount experience in to his eight years as a butcher. Now running the show in the PAK’nSAVE Pukekohe butchery department, James goes out of his way to further himself and develop his skill set often seeking experience with other top butchers and chefs. A self-confessed foodie, it will be James’ flourish and panache that will put the finishing touches to the products before they face adjudication from the judges.

  • Luka Young (New World Eastridge, Auckland) – Reserve Luka is no stranger to success at the World Butchers’ Challenge have being part of the Young Butchers of New Zealand Squad in Belfast, taking third spot in the World Champion Young Butcher Competition. Hailing from the New World Eastridge in Auckland which has previous form for producing Sharp Blacks, Luka’s role will be invaluable. He will be turning up to all the practices and will need to be ready to step up at a moment’s notice should someone need to drop out.


Naming Rights Sponsor

Principal Protein Sponsors

Gold Sponsors

Team Supporters


+ Hellers Sharp Blacks History

  • 2018       World Butchers' Challenge in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Winner: Ireland

  • 2016       World Butchers' Challenge in Gold Coast, Australia. Winner: France

  • 2015       Tri-Nation's Butchers' Challenge in Auckland, NZ. Winner: New Zealand 

  • 2014       Tri-Nation's Butchers' Challenge in Harrogate, UK. Winner: New Zealand 

  • 2013       Tri-Nation's Butchers' Challenge in Wanaka, NZ. Winner: New Zealand 

  • 2012       Trans-Tasman Test Match in Melbourne, AUS. Winner: Australia  

  • 2011       Trans-Tasman Test Match in Christchurch, NZ. Winner: Australia 

+ Hellers Sharp Blacks By Test Order

  1. Peter Martin, Mad Butcher Onehunga, Auckland (2011- 2014)

  2. Calum Sutherland, Rotorua New World, Rotorua (2011)

  3. Bruce van der Nett, Taupo Pak'nSave, Taupo (2011-2015)

  4. Marcus Waldman, Mad Butcher Palmerston North (2011-2012)

  5. Corey Winder, Elite Meats Bush Inn, Christchurch (2011-)

  6. David Porter, Harmony Foods, Paeroa (2011)

  7. David Timbs, Peter Timbs Meats, Christchurch (2012-2014, 2018)

  8. Paddy Kennedy, Allenton Meat Centre, Ashburton (2013)

  9. Peter Tuapawa, Victoria Park New World, Auckland (2013)

  10. Abigail Lane, Neat Meat Queenstown (2014- 2015)

  11. Phill Pirie, Clarke's Organic Meat Specialists, Auckland (2014-2015)

  12. Greg Egerton, New World Mosgiel (2015-2018) 

  13. Matthew Spires, Pak'nSAVE Te Awamutu (2015)

  14. John Cox, New World Hillcrest (2016)

  15. Nolton Laing, Harris Meats Cheviot (2016)

  16. Rowan Lee, New World Hokitika (2016)

  17. Hannah Miller, A Lady Butcher (2016-2018)

  18. Jeremy Garth, New World Ferry Road (2017-)

  19. Zac Grammer, New World Eastridge (2017-2018)

  20. Hohepa Smith, Northern Corporate Meat Company (2017-2018)

  21. Riki Kerekere, Countdown Meat & Seafood, Auckland (2018-)

  22. Reuben Sharples, Aussie Butcher New Lynn, Auckland (2018-)

  23. James Smith, PAK’nSAVE Pukekohe, Auckland (2018-)

  24. Luka Young, New World Eastridge, Auckland (2018-)

Latest News