The annual Tauranga Gala Dinner is back and it is shaping up to be a stellar night of wining, dining and rubbing shoulders with stars and legends of sport, according to organiser Heath Ingham.

Special guest speakers for this year's event will be All Blacks legend Andrew Mehrtens, alongside broadcasting and commentating heavyweights Scotty Stevenson and John McBeth.

The MC of the evening is Commonwealth Games gold medallist and in-demand speaker Dick Tayler, who will lead the panel through a series of discussions.

Ingham says he is thrilled to have Tayler lead the line.


"Dick Tayler is one of the best MCs and speakers around, so the night is already set to be entertaining, let alone adding the other three speakers to the mix. Mehrts is hilarious and Scotty and John will bring their stories and behind-the-scenes insights. It'll definitely be a night of laughs and tales you'd never expect to hear."

The line-up is an impressive list of who's who in New Zealand sport and broadcasting.

McBeth is a veteran broadcaster that has covered everything from rugby to Commonwealth and Olympic Games, bowling, athletics and yachting.

Stevenson, or Sumo as he is known, has become the face of New Zealand rugby punditry, and leads the line for Sky Sports in its rugby programming.

Mehrtens, regarded as one of the country's best rugby players, is still the All Blacks' second highest points scorer, sitting only behind Dan Carter.

The gala dinner is also an opportunity for charity CanTeen to raise funds and awareness.

A charity auction will take place, with funds raised used to support young people in the Bay of Plenty living with cancer.

CanTeen supports more than 1500 youth in the country, aged 13-24, living with a cancer diagnosis, or who have a family member with cancer.

the fine print
What: Tauranga Gala Dinner
Where: ASB Arena
When: September 29