Man of the year to heat up New Year's Day

Wanted: Strong, well-rounded Taranaki men.
Wanted: Strong, well-rounded Taranaki men.

The blokes are being given a chance to steal the spotlight from the ladies at the annual Oakura Beach Carnival on New Year's Day.

For the first time, and under the banner of Taranaki Man of the Year, men can go head-to-head in a fun, if not embarrassing, multi-discipline challenge.

The annual crowning of Miss Taranaki could take a backseat to what is promising to be a competition to remember.

Although the exact details are a closely-guarded secret, carnival co-organiser Sara Greensill-van Prehn said competitors would need to know their way around the home as well as how to swing a hammer.

"It's not about looks, it's about having fun," she said.

"We want to promote our strong, well-rounded Taranaki men."

The competition is open to those aged between 18 and 80 and, depending on numbers, there could be a few heats run before the main event.

The competition is part of a day-long programme of entertainment run by the New Plymouth Old Boys' Surf Life Saving Club.

New Zealand boy band Titanium will also hit the stage, and beach volleyball and the big dig will make a return.

"We wanted to create a more action-packed day this time around," she said.

Now in its 43rd year, the carnival starts at 11am and will go ahead rain or shine.

While all the serious beach celebrations will be in Oakura, carnival-goers hunting a more subdued experience can get their fill four days later.

Opunake Beach Carnival spokesman Eric Arden said their successful laid-back formula would not be altered this year.

"It's just a good, free family day out.

"People don't have to put their hand in their pocket to get in and there's something for everyone."

Run by the Opunake and Lakeside Lions, the carnival starts at 10am, on January 5, and winds down from about 4pm.

Taranaki Daily News