Homelessness within the LGBT community is something Cody Jarvie feels strongly about - and as a 2017 Mr Gay New Zealand finalist he hopes to make people more aware of the issue.

The 25-year-old Rotorua bartender and entrepreneur said he was "very excited" to be selected as one of 10 finalists in the annual competition.

Mr Jarvie said he entered as he wanted to create a positive change by being a role model and working within the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community.

"We have a small LGBT community in Rotorua but we have a big heart."


People are able to vote online for their favourite finalist.

"I want to get Rotorua to back me as much as I can. I hope that it gives others the confidence to enter," Mr Jarvie said.

The finalists have to write an article on a topic of their choice and Mr Jarvie has chosen homelessness within the LGBT community.

"It's something I feel strongly about and it's a growing epidemic."

Producer of 2017 Mr Gay New Zealand, Matt Fistonich, said the event was about reaching out to LGBT youth.

"This isn't a beauty contest, it's about community outreach, engagement, about mana, public speaking and the finalists' leadership skills."

One of the tasks the finalists had to complete was a charity challenge to raise funds for the New Zealand AIDS Foundation, Mr Fistonich said.

"Cody is great. He cares about homelessness which is disproportionate amongst LGBT youth. He also stands up for rainbow youth issues such as body image."

Mr Jarvie has attended pride marches before but said it would be his first time at Big Gay Out in Auckland on February 12 where the winner would be announced.

The man selected will represent New Zealand at Mr Gay World 2017 in Madrid, Spain.

It would be an amazing opportunity to represent New Zealand and to be able to spread the word about his cause, Mr Jarvie said.

To vote click here.