Young Māori Butchers set to showcase their talent

Being young, talented and Māori isn’t normally a phrase automatically associated with the art of Butchery, but a group of hearty young Māori men are about to show off their skills in this industry.

6 Māori Apprentice Butchers will compete in the Auckland Regional Competenz Apprentice Butcher of the Year Awards next month.

The Māori apprentices competing in the Auckland competition are Hohepa Smith, Lua MacDonald, Carlos Tuhua, Hannon Pearson-Hoan, Jonathan Taiapa and Jacque Manual.

Our online news team will profile each of the Auckland competitors and highlight their skill and determination.

The first two talented contenders we speak with are 21 year old Jonathan Taiapa of Te Rarawa and 27 year old Jacque Manual of Ngāti Porou.

Jonathan Taiapa will be representing Pak n Save Albany in the competition while Jacque Manual will represent Pak n Save Mangere.

Jonathan has been an apprentice butcher for around two years and says he has been practising as often as he can for the upcoming competition.

He took his skills home when he attended a reunion with his father's side of the whānau at Manutuke Marae and says the people there were amazed by his talent and he was quickly scooped up and taken into the kitchen to work his magic.

He strives to be the best at what he does and has plans to one day open his own Butcher shop.

Meanwhile over at Pak n Save Mangere, another talented Māori is preparing to show his flare.

27 year old Jacque Manuel of Ngāti Porou has always had an interest in being a Butcher and says he used to watch his uncles cut up the pigs and any hunting, game or fishing meat, he says that’s what got him into it.

Jacque says his main goal is to be a positive role model for his kids and he has been in the industry since he was 15 years old.

While he hasn’t yet had the opportunity to display his skills on his Marae yet, this is a major aspiration for him in the future.

Jacque says he wants to become a legend in the industry and pass all the knowledge he has learned on to younger generations.

Both contenders are already proving a force to be reckoned and our Online News Team will compile online video profiles of the talented Butchers hard at work in their trade throughout the week.