Dreams came true in the weekend for the winners of the Miss Rotorua 2018 pageant, crowned at the grand final on Saturday night.
Tourism student Nicole Agnew, 19, was crowned Miss Rotorua 2018.
This morning she told Rereātea, “It hasn’t fully sunk in yet that I am the new Miss Rotorua, but it is such an incredible feeling to know that I was chosen out of 20 other beautiful contestants.
“Any of those women could have been picked but it was me, and that feels absolutely amazing!”
She says there are many ways she wants to use this new platform to help others in the community.
“Most of all I hope that I can empower and inspire everyone in today’s society in hope for a better future.”
The Mrs Rotorua crown went to Stallone Edmonds who is a nurse and business owner.
“The whole thing is overwhelming but I know I didn’t get here by myself. I have many family and friends to thank; the sponsors, everyone who supported me in this journey. It’s their award. It’s their flowers. It’s their crown.”
Leading up to the pageant contestants fundraised around $26,000 for five charities including the New Zealand Cat Foundation, The Movement Rotorua supporting the homeless, Salvation Army Rotorua, Māori Wardens and Special Olympics.
“I didn’t enter the pageant expecting to win anything. I entered the pageant to give back to our homeless and The Movement was my charity,” says Edmonds.
“Anything above that, or to get an award – that was just a bonus.”
The first runner-up to Mrs Rotorua went to singer and mother-of-four, Renee White.
“I’ve learned so much. I’ve learned my strengths and my weaknesses. Where I fell, the other girls were confident and they picked me up and vice versa and it’s just been a remarkable journey. I’m blown away.”
The contestants, all aged between 14 and 41, were judged on interview, fundraising for charity, talent, evening gown and question and answer.
Director Kharl Wirepa says its great to see the changes the girls have made since entering the pageant two and a half months ago.
"I can see the efforts with the pageant organisation and the changes the girls have made themselves, the way they present themselves, the way they speak, the way they talk, the way they've been organising their charity fundraisers," says Wirepa.
"We like to help people of the whole community and its something that is very strong in the pageant industry so we're really excited about that."
Full list of winners:
- Miss Rotorua 2018 – Nicole Agnew
- Miss Rotorua 2018 First Runner Up – Charissa Rehu
- Mrs Rotorua 2018 – Stallone Edmonds Tepania
- Mrs Rotorua 2018 First Runner Up – Renee White
- Miss Teen Rotorua 2018 – Asrael Hansen
- Miss Teen Rotorua 2018 First Runner Up – Hannah Audas
- Miss Te Arawa 2018 – Tia Chadwick
- Miss Te Arawa 2018 – First Runner Up – Marie Rueben
- Miss Rotorua Beauty – Gracie Hayes
You can view the full Te Kāea story below.