The Fennec team has spent far too long debating the various vices, virtues and visages of the most recent batch of bachelors in the annual Fieldays Rural Bachelor of the Year competition. We ranked our results in the highly scientific Rural Bachelor Power Rankings, so you don’t have to!

  1. Kenneth Veen, Waikato


Kenneth is nice and humble, and doesn’t want to win the competition; he just wants to find a nice lady. Why is he ranked last, then? Because of his awful, awful date game. That’s why.

Kenny and the Jets’ ideal date is taking a lovely lady for a walk up his local Mt Pirongia, which is sweet, until you realise that ‘Mt Pirongia’ really means ‘Pirongia Forest Park,’ a vast swathe of impenetrable native bush on a steep volcanic slope which takes about two and a half hours to get to the first lookout and once you get there the clouds block any potential view and you take shelter from the gale force winds behind the closest dreary shrub (because nothing else grows on that desolate patch of land) and while you munch on your now-slightly-damp Marmite sandwich you wonder ‘why, why, WHY did I EVER think this would be a good idea.’

We speak from experience.

  1. Jason Clotworthy, Northland


The face of a film star but the name of a, well, we don’t really know. He put his social and dating life on hold while he set up his business, so it might be hard for him to switch back into that loving mode.

  1. Ross McCulloch, South Canterbury


Like Kenny, Ross has an interesting idea on what makes a date. Ross would like to take his girl on a nice weekend away (cute) to the small Mackenzie district township of Omarama (cute, very nice, very peaceful), and take her out for a good old fashioned pig hunt (cute – wait what?).

We’re sure there are plenty of girls out there who fancy a weekend in the wilderness, massacring swine-flesh with a man who sports a handlebar moustache that JUST WON’T QUIT, but it’s just not for us. Sorry Ross.

  1. Sean Richardson, Taranaki


Sean has his mind on his farm and his farm on his mind and ain’t about to tolerate no slack-jawed lackadaisical (adj: lacking enthusiasm and determination; carelessly lazy.) city-slicker who won’t put in a hard graft. “Farming is hard on people sometimes,” he said. “We can’t get off to go out at certain times of the year.”

He boasts an admirable work ethic and equally admirable beard, but his focus on work, work, and more work might be a bit too heavy for any potential bachelorettes. Also his nickname name is ‘Tractor’, which is a bit cute, but also means you’ll be going out with a man named after a piece of heavy machinery. But then again, maybe that appeals. Who knows. Maybe he has a piece of heavy machinery of his own?

  1. Matthew McAtamney, South Canterbury


Once you get your mouth around his surname, Matthew McAtamney is just like any other rural farming lad – but this Canterbury lad is on a crusade to win. Coming off the back of a defeat in the 2016 Rural Bachelor competition, the ol’ MacAttack is back with a vengeance, determined to find a lovely lady he can “wine and dine out the back in the mustering shed,” which sounds super super romantic, right?

Mattyboy also takes pride in making his own bed. What a man.

  1. Scott McKenzie, Auckland


Scott McKenzie is a sheep-mustering, contract-dealing, animal-health-planning yoga teacher from Helensville – which is really a suburb or Auckland, so calling him a ‘rural bachelor’ could be a bit of a stretch. A hitchhiking trip around New Zealand over the 2015 summer has left him with a philosophical view of life – “I like being picked up not as a hitchhiker, but as a person.” The ScottyMonster wants to treat his lady to a rack of lamb over a BBQ on a beach (cute) but he drops down the rankings for his quite frankly irresponsible desire to “ride off into the sunset together” on a jet ski because, as anyone who follows DJ Khaled on Snapchat will know, going out on a jet ski at night is A BAD IDEA.

  1. Joshua Rushton, Canterbury


Josh doesn’t really distinguish himself too much from his competition – quiet, hard working, Canterbury, etc etc. Except, of course, for the one big thing. HE FLIES HELICOPTERS. This guy said he’ll prep up a yum picnic before LITERALLY FLYING YOU TO A NICE MOUNTAINSIDE RIDGE. Let’s hope it doesn’t end up a la Fifty Shades of Grey.

  1. Gordie Mill, Queensland


The only Australian of the bunch but DAMN GINA, we approve. “I think it gives me more of an advantage really,” he said. “I’m the lone foreigner, so I’ve got that intrigue and exotic aspect.” With a winning smile and down-to-earth attitude, coupled with a picture of him holding a lizard on an outback dirt road, this Aussie bloke has our hearts aflutter. But this one is for the earlybirds – mustering or not, breakfast is at 5:30am.

The other downside is his home in Moura, a town with a population of just under 2,000 and a distinguished history of mine explosions. That, and you’d have to listen to a town with a population of just under 2,000 Australians say ‘Moura’ every day, which sounds like a small personal hell.

He’s cute, though.