Snap Fitness New Brighton's manager is eating burgers to save troubled dogs.

Marce 'The Tongan Tornado' Taulango will defend his title against five other contestants in the Lower 9th Diner's burger eating contest on Saturday.

Mr Taulango has raised money for charities in the past two annual events, in spite of the contest not being for charity.

Competitors will get 5min to eat as many burgers as possible.


Christchurch Bull Breed Rescue is the charity chosen by Mr Taulango this year. It provides food, shelter and re-homing for abandoned and rescued bull-breed dogs.

In 2015, his charity was the Second Chance Dog Rescue, and Cure Kids in 2016, where more than $1200 was raised.

Those making donations can either pledge money per burger eaten or make a contribution.

For each burger Mr Taulango eats, he will raise $104.

"The more I eat, the more I can help out the charity," said Mr Taulango.

Lower 9th Diner is now getting involved in the charitable act, pledging $10 per burger eaten to the Cancer Society.

Mr Taulango has won the past two contests at the diner.

"In the first year, I entered and thought why not try and make it a charitable event and I ended up winning, which I didn't really expect," he said.


Mr Taulango is hoping to demolish 10 burgers this year.

Last year, he managed to devour eight and a half burgers and six in 2015.

No preparation has been done, other than training at the gym - a strategy which has worked for Mr Taulango in the past.

"I happen to be up against professional eaters and I just try to copy their techniques," he said.

The charity is close to home for Mr Taulango, who owns a bull-breed dog himself.

Abbey Vanderplas, founder of Christchurch Bull Breed Rescue, started the charity in her own home and expanded it with the help of volunteers.

Mr Taulango's wife Rebecca also helps out at the centre and walks the dogs.