Big Mac Guy will double as Kahu the Magpie

By Shane Hurndell

The new Kahu the Magpie has promised he won't be intimidated by opposing mascots during this season's ITM Cup.

"I won't shy away from the physical stuff if that is required," the $3 Big Mac Guy or BMG as he is better known, said.

BMG, aka Paora Pohatu, was revealed as the new Kahu the Magpie yesterday and will make his debut at Thursday night's ITM Cup rugby opener between the Hawke's Bay Magpies and Auckland at Napier's McLean Park.

There have been some interesting confrontations involving Kahu over the years and last year Hastings woman Keirran Stafford suffered neck and back injuries during her stint as Kahu when she was attacked by Bay of Plenty's unofficial mascot Hori, in Rotorua.

"I want to bring some life back into Kahu the Magpie," Pohatu said.

If the cult-like following he has in his BMG role is any indication he will certainly achieve that. His krumping and other dance moves while wielding a bright red sign advertising discounted burgers have attracted plenty of toots of support as he struts his stuff on the pavement outside McDonald's Hastings.

BMG, who has been labelled as Hawke's Bay's version of Slim Shady, will mix and mingle with Magpies fans outside the main gates at McLean Park before the match and during the game will spend plenty of time in front of the designated family areas and up and down the sidelines.

While the McDonald's Hastings and Hawke's Bay Today-sponsored Kahu lost his head while dancing with Ronald McDonald during a photo shoot he stressed there would be no repeat of that incident while taking on opposing mascots from around the country.

Meanwhile Hawke's Bay Rugby Football Union's commercial manager Jay Campbell is hoping for a crowd close to the 10,000 mark on Thursday night.

Yesterday was the best day to date for ticket sales to the match with 700 sold.

"We've sold just over 6,000 tickets and with good weather expected we should get a good walk-up crowd, too," Campbell said.

The curtainraiser will see Central Hawke's Bay College take on the Lindisfarne College 2nd XV.

Other entertainment will see the Power Man from Unison firing out numbered balls with allocated prizes, the Going Digital Choir Singers and the Wise Real Estate Dancers.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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