Our Kiwi makes mark as 'Kiwiest'

By Aaron van Delden

Daniel McKechnie felt "like a kid at Christmas" yesterday, after being told he was the "Kiwiest of all Kiwis".

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

Having been named a finalist earlier this month, the Wanganui plumber was hopeful his Kiwiana tattoo would see him to victory.

A winner was due to be announced yesterday and Mr McKechnie said he was feeling excited when he woke up - "not just because the All Blacks won".

The 26-year-old was about to take a break for lunch when he took the call that told him he had won.

The prize involves travelling by helicopter to the Forest Lifeforce Restoration Trust's base in the Maungataniwha Forest, Hawke's Bay, to encounter the kiwi in its natural habitat.

Its timing would depend on when kiwi eggs were hatching or mature birds were ready to be released into the forest, Mr McKechnie said.

His wife, Teana, gave him the voucher he used to get the tattoo as a Christmas present last year and she will accompany him on the trip.

The Kiwiana tattoo was applied by Eva Harkness (aka Eva Marie), who said she could not take much credit for its design.

"Dan brought in all the pictures of what he wanted in it and I just laid them together," she said.

Eva, formerly of Wanganui, now lives in Wellington, where she works as a tattoo artist and at a tea shop.

She was pleased the tattoo had led to success.

Celebrity judge Rachel Hunter said Mr McKechnie's entry "stood out as quintessentially Kiwi and really unique".

- Wanganui Chronicle

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