Hohepa Smith takes out Upper North Regional Apprentice Butcher Comp

By Rewi Heke
Smith and his mother celebrate his success

The knives were out today as Auckland butchers competed in the Competenz Upper North Island Apprentice Butcher of the Year Regional Competition.

Butchers were judged on their practical skills during a cutting test followed by an exam to test their knowledge of the trade.

The regional Competenz Butcher Apprentice of the year award went to Hohepa Smith who walked away with the regional trophy.  Admittedly Smith had a quiet feeling that he was going to come out on top.

He says, “Quietly yeah I did to be honest, I’m happy, I’m relieved it’s all over. I’ve been stressing out for the whole week.”

Hohepa's whānau were extremely proud, none more than his mother who travelled all the way to the competition today from Te Kaha to see her son show off his professional skills.

For over 20 years now, this competition has created opportunities for competitors to seek future employment within the retail meat trades industry. Employees recognise the skills competitors gain from the competition, setting them apart from the rest. 

Tomorrow a $300 cheque will go to the Alto Young Butcher of the Year. 

Both winners from the Upper North Island region will advance to the Grand final on 10 of September to represent Auckland.