Proud Kiwi keen to be the Kiwiest

By Aaron van Delden

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It took 16 painful hours for New Zealand to be stretched across Daniel McKechnie's back.

But the 26-year-old plumber from Wanganui has not regretted his tattoo for a moment, and now it's earned him a place in the final of a search for the "Kiwiest of all Kiwis".

The competition, being run by Tasti Products, a New Zealand company which is celebrating its 80th year in business, called for people to submit photographs that showed why they were New Zealand's "Kiwiest Kiwi".

Those images were displayed on the company's Facebook page, where the picture of Mr McKechnie's tattoo proved to be the most popular entry, generating 587 votes and becoming one of 10 competition finalists.

The winner, as judged by Rachel Hunter and Tasti's Simon Hall, is due to be announced on Monday.

Mr McKechnie thought he'd "buggered up" loading the photograph on to Tasti's Facebook page and was surprised when his wife, Teana, asked him about his entry once she had spotted it online a week or so later.

Together with a friend, the contest's winner will travel by helicopter to the Forest Lifeforce Restoration Trust's base in the Maungataniwha Forest, Hawke's Bay, where they will encounter the kiwi in its natural habitat.

Mr McKechnie said it was a priceless prize, so he was relieved his picture actually made it on to the website.

He'll take his wife if he wins.

She gave him the voucher he used to get the tattoo as a Christmas present last year.

Mr McKechnie said he knew tattoos were a thing people regretted if they didn't get right, so he and tattoo artist Eva Harkness (aka Eva Marie) thoroughly developed the concept. Eva, formerly of Wanganui, now lives in Wellington.

"I love New Zealand," he said. "There's just so much to do. Everything you could ever need or want is on your back doorstep. I'm very proud of who we are and I wouldn't change being a Kiwi for the world."


 


DAN'S TATTOO



  • North Island: 1987 Rugby World Cup ball, kiwifruit, L&P;, jandal, kowhai flower, Four Square man.


  • South Island: Tiki, red-band gumboots, tomato sauce bottle, Buzzy Bee.


  • Stewart Island: Paua shell.


  • Background: Swanndri and family tartan.


- WANGANUI CHRONICLE

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