The countdown in the hunt for the next Mr. Gay New Zealand is well underway with registrations officially closing this coming Friday 13 January.
The Mr. Gay New Zealand competition which officially opened registrations in late December 2016, are on the hunt for “kiwis who best represent and support their community,” with the winner, who will represent New Zealand at Mr. Gay World 2017 in Spain, being announced at the NZAF’s Big Gay Out on Sunday February 12.
Producer of Mr. Gay New Zealand and former Mr. Gay New Zealand, Matt Fistonich said that the 2017 search has once again been hugely successful, with over a dozen Kiwis putting up their hand to enter the annual competition already.
“It is great to see the Mr. Gay New Zealand competition continues to grow year on year, with such a diverse range of applicants putting themselves out there, with the intention of representing not only New Zealand but their community by winning Mr. Gay New Zealand 2017.”
“To me, holding the Mr. Gay New Zealand final at the NZAF’s annual Big Gay Out as opposed to a bar or club, as the competition had traditionally been held, was a better way of connecting with and encouraging participation from the community in which the competition represents.”
“I feel it necessary and of paramount importance to ensure that LGBTI youth feel a sense of ownership and are able to engage directly with the competition and the finalists of Mr. Gay New Zealand, something that simply would not be possible if it was held at a bar or club.”
Last year saw eight finalists take to the stage at the NZAF’s Big Gay Out, after completing a charity challenge raising vital funds for the NZAF, and a range of online and social media tasks comparable to the Mr. Gay World competition.
Bernard Lee of Wellington was crowned Mr. Gay New Zealand 2016 by a judging panel which included, New Zealand politician and former television host and presenter Tamati Coffey,National MP Nikki Kay, LYC Poster Girl, Human Rights Activist and Refugee Medulla Oblongata, and Producer of Mr. Gay New Zealand/former Mr. Gay New Zealand Matt Fistonich. Judges for 2017 will be announced soon.