Beauty pageant hunky dory
Chris Beight had time to capture the title of Mr Kaiteriteri before heading back to Christchurch to work with his mates.
"That's 2013 done for me - that's the big one," the 22-year-old bodybuilder and personal trainer from Tai Tapu told the crowd yesterday.
But for Miss Kaiteriteri, Nelson's Sabrina Hennings, the title provided a glimmer of promise - a potential future modelling career.
"This is a highlight of my year and I'm definitely pleased," said the 16-year-old, who took out the teen section of last year's Richmond Mall Model Search.
"I won the junior title last year. But I'm moving to Germany next year as an exchange student, so I just have to see what happens."
Judges Emma Thompson and Kate Catalinac said the day's contestants showed a mix of natural beauty, style and potential.
"Even though the winners had good fun, some of them should consider modelling. And Mr Kaiteriteri was right in the spirit of the competition with his muscles."
Boys and girls from two years old upwards strutted, and occasionally stumbled, their stuff on top of a tarp-covered truck deck in front of a crowd of around 500.
"Oh, this is horrible," was the comment from one Mr Kaiteriteri entrant as he traipsed on stage, exemplifying male shyness. But the girls were keen, and 37 young female beauties lined up for the 9-11 age group. The day turned on patchy weather, with banks of cloud and gusty winds.
But the fun started from the time the day's first contestant, Ashlynn Dunn, 3, of Christchurch, finished her run onto the stage in her mauve two-piece with a twirl. She was relegated to second place in the 2 to 4-year-old girls class by Christchurch's Jade Collins, who overcame last year's fears. Those had seen her stop at the catwalk steps, crying, said mum Tracy Collins.
The number of Christchurch entrants on the catwalk was strong with a fair few of the buffed horde also hailing from the capital city.
Classic winners' speeches included 9-year-old Brodie Seelen's who, when asked if his victory in the 5-10-year-old class was his first, replied: "Nah - I've been doing it for years."
It was the third time Brodie had taken a title at the annual competition.
Organiser Ray Goodall said the crowd was smaller than in previous years, probably due to the weather.
There had been a lot of changes since he started in 1982, Mr Goodall said.
"We used to struggle getting the girls on stage - now they just lap it up."
The competition was part of the annual Kaiteriteri Carnival, which will include ski-racing, a tug-of-war and beach volleyball this weekend.