Pressure on for butchers at Great New Zealand Sausage competition

New Zealand butchers are facing a lot of pressure to claim the title of the Great New Zealand Sausage competition after a tough year for the industry.

For 25 years a panel of judges has been tasting hundreds of sausages to decide who makes New Zealand's best.  

This year, the award will mean a little bit more to the butcher, after the COVID-19 lockdown took a hit on the meat industry.

"I think it's just that everybody in the meat industry sees it as an opportunity to get their name on the map and they need a boost right now," says Megan Claxton, Beef + Lamb New Zealand events manager.

During the country's level 4 lockdown, butchers were forced to close and throw out thousands of dollars worth of meat.

Queenstown butcher Nicolas Karlsson says he feels for the independent butchers who struggled during COVID-19's "challenging times".

"There were a lot of independent butchers having struggles and I feel for them. We did lose a lot of local trade in Queenstown due to lack of tourism."

This year, Karlsson will judge the best entry, which is a month-long process until they can finally crown the 2020 winner.