A design inspired by the foreign land ownership debate won a major award at the Fieldays Ag Art Wear competition.
Judges said the garment by Auckland designer Kerry Trent Ranginui, entitled "Maui – not for sale", was well executed and based on a strong and timely concept.
Ranginui told Waikato Times his idea came from watching the Waitangi Day protest at the Te Tii Marae.
"It was powerful to watch, inspiring, all those people gathered together, chanting `not for sale'," Ranginui said.
"I was inspired by the energy of the crowds, by what they were fighting for."
Once the idea was in place, he "locked himself away for three days" while he designed and made the striking garment.
And plans for the cash prize? "I am going to buy a new sewing machine."
The Ag Art Wear competition wound up with a gala dinner at The Atrium, Wintec House last night where 180 people enjoyed the rural to runway fashion show.
Mystery Creek event manager Sonya Anderson said the glitzy night was about bringing a taste of Fieldays to town.
"Fieldays isn't just about the farm. It has so much more to offer. The diverse range of garments on show last night showed just how talented and professional the ag art wear market is."
Last night the Ag Art Wear show announced a three-year partnership with Gallagher, and named the Waikato Breast Cancer Research Trust as its preferred charity.
Trustee Margaret Comer, who is also a corporate services executive with Gallagher, said the partnership brought together three "awesome Waikato organisations".
"Gallagher have for many years been a substantial participant in Fieldays and there was a nice connection between Gallagher and National Fieldays to not only support agricultural women, but all women in this way," she said.
Mrs Comer was diagnosed with breast cancer six years ago and has had the "all clear" after undergoing a mastectomy.
"One of the extraordinary things about living in the Waikato is that there is such an awesome team of people dealing with this disease and the survival rates are fantastic – so the more research they can do the closer we can come to total eradication," Mrs Comer said.
Other category winners of the Ag Art Wear competition included Landcare Awareness category winner Jazmine Teei with her design "Korari", Joanne Bowe took out the Designer Traditional category with "Eggy Peggy", while the Avant Garde – under 21 section went to Tessa Paaymans for "Ikran".