Best mates Jesse White and Meg Parfitt return to Nelson after two very different adventures. Photo: Brittany Spencer.

Local waitress becomes NZ’s Best Best Mate


Her friends already knew she was their best mate, but local Meg Parfitt survived a week on a barge bombarded with challenges, bad weather and cameras to become New Zealand’s Best Best Mate.

In conjunction with the Vodafone Mates mobile plan, Vodafone ran a national competition to find NZ’s best best mate.

Through the search, the Speights Ale House waitress and her three mates Jesse White, Jayden Walker and Kirsty Fern won an adventure of a lifetime in Fiji.

But there was a catch.

One mate had to stay behind, earning the holiday for their friends by toughing out challenges on a tiny barge in the middle of the Waitemata harbour and have the whole thing filmed and live streamed.

The group went through several stages of selections before being chosen on August 21 and flying up to Auckland the next morning to do a live unlucky dip to decide who would miss out on the Fiji adventure.

“I only got an hour sleep the night before, I was so nervous,” says Meg. “We were sh**ting ourselves when we walked into the studio, our whole week depended on a tiny slip of paper being pulled out of a hat.

“When they announced, ‘It’s Meg’, I just thought, ‘oh no, of course it is’.

“They were all freaking out for me and it took a while for the rest of them to realise they were going to Fiji.”

Each challenge Meg did upgraded her mates’ stay to include better accommodation, zip lining and helicopter adventures.

“I was quite jealous but seeing them having the time of their lives meant a lot and I knew I had to do it for them.”

Being the best mate she is, Meg did everything from kissing fish for room keys, squirming in cockroaches, snorkelling in freezing water and eating snails, chilli and a fish ’n’ chip smoothie.

But Meg says the worst was the cockroaches.

“I had 50 cockroaches on my face inside of a motorcycle helmet for a minute and cockroaches are my worst fear, they give me the heebeejeebees, I can’t even look at them without screaming.

“I almost lost it, it sucked, it was so gross but I did it and I’m so proud.”

She did every challenge except for shaving her head.

“We talked about limits before we entered and this was mine but Jesse was the man and shaved his head for us.”

Despite getting almost no sleep, being rocked around in a crazy Auckland weather bomb and spending some quality time in her portaloo after digesting the world’s hottest chilli, Meg lasted the entire time on the barge.

“It was a very long week but it was such an adventure, every day was different and you never knew what was happening until it happened.

And to top it all off, Meg was surprised with $10,000 for being New Zealand’s Best Best Mate.

“When I saw it, I flipped out and couldn’t breathe, everyone was cheering and I ended up hitting my head on the giant ceremonial cheque, and now it’s on the internet for everyone to see.”

“This whole thing has been quite overwhelming in a good way, and we were all good mates before this, but we’ve grown so much closer.”



Vodafone, in conjunction with Nelson Live are giving away two Vodafone Smart Turbo 7 phones and five $50 simcards.

To be in to win, send a photo of you and your best mate/s to [email protected] and tell us why you are Nelson’s best best mates.

The best two entries, as judged by the Nelson Live team will receive prizes and feature in next week’s Nelson Weekly newspaper.