National | Auckland

Young butchers carving up at Upper North Regional

Young butchers will put their skills to the test today as they compete in the Competenz Butcher Apprentice Upper North Island Regional of the year competition.

There are a total of  18 entrants in the Competenz Butcher Apprentice Upper North Island Regional Competition ahead of the Grand Final, which will take place at Shed 10 in Auckland City on 10 September.

This competition has been running for over 2 decades and has opened doors for competitors, with retail meat trades now actively looking for employees who have been involved in the competition. Employees recognise the skills competitors gain from the competition, setting them apart from the rest.

Entrants at a regional level must sit an exam, participate in an interview and do an intense practical cutting test.

The cutting test involves breaking down and displaying beef rump, pork loin and a size No.20 chicken within two hours. The exam and the interview are also an important part of the competition, testing their communication skills and knowledge of the trade.

Manager of Retail Meat New Zealand, Megan Claxton says, “Past competitiors now have jobs as butchery managers here in New Zealand. Many have participated in further butchery competitions, representing their island (North Island or South Island) and our 2014 Alto Young Butcher winner now represents New Zealand in our national butchery side which competes against Australia and Britian in the Tri-Nations Butchers' Challenge which is held annually.”

The program for today’s Upper North Island Regional Competition is as follows:


Registration & briefing             8.45am

Cutting                                    9.30am – 11.30am

Auction                                    11.45am

Exam                                        12.15pm - 12.45pm

Prize giving                              3.15pm


Registration & briefing             10.15am

Exam                                        10.45am – 11.15am

Cutting                                    12.30pm - 2.30pm

Auction                                    2.45pm

Prize giving                              3.15pm

The regional Competenz Butcher Apprentice of the year winner recieves a cheque of $150. The Alto Young Butcher of the Year winner (which will be announced on 5 July) will recieve a cheque of $300.

Claxton says, “The winning young butcher and apprentice competitor from each of the 5 regions then go onto the Grand Final where they have to undertake the same testing process, with the addition of a mystery cut and for the Alto Young Butcher finalists an on-stage element.”

Only time will tell who will represent Auckland at the Grand Final on 10 September.