Finalists vie for the Miss Samoa NZ crown
Five finalists will vie for the Miss Samoa New Zealand 2018-2019 crown at Fale o Samoa on July 14, as well as the opportunity to represent Aotearoa at September’s Miss Samoa Teuila Festival, at Salelologa, Savaii.
Miss Samoa New Zealand will join other winners and representatives from around the world and locally in Savaii in what is the first time the contest is being staged there.
For nearly three decades, the pageant has been held at various locations, around New Zealand.
Event Director for Miss Samoa New Zealand Ulalemamae Te’evā Matāfai says it is an important and unique event for the Samoan community.
“The largest population of Samoans outside of Samoa reside in Aotearoa,” she says.
“Unlike other beauty competitions that focus mainly on physical features, the Miss Samoa New Zealand pageant emphasises the importance of identifying as a Tama’ita’i Samoa (Samoan woman).
“Cultural pillars of fa’aaloalo (respect), tautua (service) and alofa (love/compassion) are the building blocks of this movement.”
Vaiotausala Natalie Leitulagi Toevai won the 2017-2018 title and Ulalemamae says she has served the community excellently.
“Vaiotausala now lectures in Pacific Studies at the University of Auckland after recently graduating with her MA.
“She uses her passion for dancing to empower others and not only is a renowned Pacific dancing professional but also runs free community workshops for emerging talent, the next generation.”
Twenty-eight ladies initially expressed interest in taking part in this year’s contest, and a judging panel shortlisted that number to eight, further reduced to five, who will contest the title at Fale o Samoa on Saturday, July 14.
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