OPOTIKI New World checkout supervisor Fiona Looney is back in the Opotiki supermarket after taking seventh place in the regional Checker of the Year competition. Photo James Sandbrook D4791-01

AN Opotiki New World staff member has broken into the top 10 at the regional Checker of the Year competition.

Checkout supervisor Fiona Looney took seventh place in the competition, which had around 100 competitors from across the Bay of Plenty.

The competition was held in Tauranga and included checkers from New World, Pak ‘n Save and Foursquare stores in the Bay.

The competition has been held since 1948, with the top three staff in the regional competitions entering the finals, where a mystery shopper visits the staff member in their home store.

Ms Looney competed alongside fellow Opotiki staff Lorraine Young, Arahia Palmer, Andrea Wesley, Montelle Mani-Brown and Taina Haig.

Ms Looney said staff competed four at a time on stage, with two judges per contestant judging speed, accuracy, presentation and other factors.

“They make us do what we do at work every day,” she said.

“I had to go up twice because the machine broke halfway through, it was a bit nerve-wracking.”

Having been with Opotiki New World for seven years, Ms Looney said this was either her third or fourth year competing, and her first time making the top 10.

Checkouts second-in-command Michelle Zeier said Opotiki New World had not made it into the top 10 for some years.

“It’s pretty well done for our tiny little town,” she said.

“We’re rapt.”

james.sandbrook@opotikinews.co.nz