Fiery Māori wildcard takes on NZ chilli champs

By Rewi Heke
  • Northland

It’s a competition guaranteed to leave you in tears and gasping for air.

July 18th will see some of New Zealand’s finest fire breathing contestants come together to compete in the 'NZ Chilli Eating Champs' competition. The annual event moves into its 5th year with a special tribute to former champion, Daniel Naera who was tragically involved in a fatal car accident earlier this year.

Mr Naera came from the small settlement of Opononi in the Hokianga Northland. He was a well-known face within his community who quickly acquired the taste for the infamous chilli.

Not only will Mr Naera’s memory be honoured through the competition,  a new up and coming Māori contestant who shares the same first name is planning to make his mark as well.

32-year-old Daniel Kerekere has qualified as a wildcard in the NZ Chilli Eating Champs competition after what he recalls as a very painful experience.

“Yep I secured a spot after eating 2 superhot chilli's, very painful experience but worth it,” Mr Kerekere.

The soil of Hokianga also produces some of NZ’s Hottest Chillies.  Clint Meyer, the founder of "Fire Dragon Chillies", has been providing chili’s for the competition since its beginning. Clint's chilies also topped Hell Pizza’s spiciest pizza called, "Flaming Dragon".

Online reporter, Rewi Heke will be bringing you the latest updates online.