A Kumeu beauty will represent New Zealand at the Miss World 2012 pageant next month.
Collette Lochore, who grew up in the north-west, left New Zealand yesterday bound for China.
The 18-year-old will compete in the Miss World pageant in Ordos, China, in August.
Collette grew up in Kumeu from the age of 3 and attended Huapai District School.
She recently had a fun day at Huapai District School where the students helped her raise $460 for Variety - the Children's Charity.
The model, actor and dancer, who lives in Remuera, is also involved in teaching hundreds of children in theatre and works with disadvantaged children in developing their confidence.
She has been involved in drama since the age of six.
The youngest contestant among the 12 finalists at the Auckland ceremony, Collette says she feels blessed to be given the opportunity to make a difference on a larger scale.
Her speech on world economics, drawn on the night from a variety of categories, wowed the audience at the Alexandra Park venue.
After the pageant Collette plans to get involved with communities and encourage others to become involved in her charity work.
She was a school prefect and excelled in productions and sport.
Collette has been raising money for Variety - the Children's Charity which works with disadvantaged children, doing drama games and confidence building exercises.
As a weekly volunteer at Ronald McDonald House, she is passionate about helping children be the best they can be.
She wants to help children develop characteristics that will see them achieve their goals later in life.
"My aim is to make children happy. I think your childhood and how you grow up really makes a difference in how you succeed in life."
Collette's manager Pam Cummings of PR Majic became her friend through Skintique Beauty Therapy at Westgate.
The women have worked together on sponsorship packages and fundraising for Variety.
Collette will have the title for a year and says she plans to excel in her position.
"I want to be seen as someone who has made a real difference in my reign, not just at Miss World placing-wise but in terms of increasing the awareness of the pageants as well as the standard of the pageants," she says.
Through the competition Collette says her desire to help and make a difference increased, but winning Miss New Zealand is just the tip of the iceberg.
"I think this is the break I needed to be able to show everyone what I can do."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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