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Hard working . . . Oamaru woman Justine Clark keeps herself busy in the butchery of Oamaru New World. PHOTO: TYSON YOUNG

Oamaru butchery apprentice Justine Clark, who will soon compete in the ANZCO Foods Butcher Apprentice of the Year competition. Reporter Tyson Young talks to her about her job and the competition.

Q Where do you hail from, Justine?
I come from Oamaru, originally.

Q How long have you been a butcher?
I’m in my second year as an apprentice. I’ve got one more year to go before I’m fully qualified.

Q What made you want to become a butcher?
There was nothing in particular, really. I’ve always liked working with food. I’m a qualified chef as well. I studied up in Christchurch and worked there for a while. After the earthquakes, I came back down to Oamaru, where I got a job in New World as a packer in the butchery. Eventually, my boss asked me if I wanted to do a butchery apprenticeship – I happily accepted the offer.

Q How have you found the apprenticeship so far?
Really good. The people at New World are really encouraging and very supportive.

Q What is it about the job you enjoy the most?
At the moment, I’m enjoying the learning side of it. I learn something new and different each day. I also love the people I work with – it’s a close-knit workplace.

Q What can you tell me about the upcoming competition?
The competition I’m entered into is the butcher apprentice of the year competition. There are three legs in the competition. The first is the South Island competition and then there are two North Island competitions. If I manage to pass all there, I’ll go on to represent New Zealand in an international competition.

Q What do you like to do in your spare time?
When I’m not working, I like to do quite a bit of baking at home. I also like to get up to a bit of DIY around the house.

Q If you could have a glass of wine with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
I’d have a drink with my granddad, Jim Clark. He died when I was a baby, so I never got to know him.

Q If you could be the Prime Minister for one day, what would be the first thing you’d do and why?
I would remove the tax from healthy foods like fruit and vegetables. I’d then put the tax on unhealthy foods like soft drinks.