Kaipara pageant contestants stepping up
Beauty is one thing all nine Miss Kaipara Kai finalists have on their side.
The proud 15 to 18-year-olds were presented with their sashes at the Commercial Hotel alongside a briefing on their responsibilities as Kaipara representatives.
Organiser Grace Portanger says having met the finalists she is very proud.
"Hopefully this will be the start of something fresh and exciting for Kaipara girls. They were a bit shy to start off with but now they are all in really high spirits."
The meet and greet gave the finalists an opportunity to meet the three esteemed judges, Marion McEwing, Erin Wilson-Collins and Charlotte Colthurst as well as have professional portraits taken by Mike Collins.
Mrs Wilson-Collins was the last Kumara Queen in 2000 and says she is "stoked" something is returning for Kaipara girls.
"That's why I said yes to judging. It's a great opportunity to mingle with peers that you don't know. At the time I didn't appreciate it as much but now I look back and see it was great."
Finalist Hannah Mitchell, Miss Kauri Information Centre, says she entered the contest after pressure from her mother and aunty.
"I did it to build my confidence. I'm quite nervous about speeches and I can't walk in heels."
The girls will be required to wear high heels at formal events and Hannah says the last time she attempted to walk down the driveway in them, they broke.
The girls were given their sponsor sashes at random and Hannah is quite stoked to have the Kauri Information Centre as it was owner Sue Taylor who initially put the idea in her head, she says.
The committee would like to thank all sponsors for their donations.
"Without help from local businesses this pageant wouldn't be possible," Miss Portanger says.