Rose of Tralee winner crowned in Wellington
It was encouragement from the Irish owner of a superyacht rather than her parents or friends that led to the entry of the eventual winner of the Rose of Tralee competition.
Alana Marshall, from Oakura in Taranaki, was crowned New Zealand's Rose of Tralee for 2012 on Saturday night after the national final weekend.
Open to women with Irish heritage, the competition judges them on their confidence, personality, presentation, and overall suitability to represent New Zealand on the international stage.
Throughout the weekend, the finalists have attended events hosted by Irish societies around the Wellington region, performed for friends and family, and been interviewed on their goals and aspirations.
Today Ms Marshall, still bright and chipper despite the previous night's celebrations, said it had been the Irish owner of a superyacht she had worked on overseas that had first encouraged her to enter.
After recently returning to New Zealand after several years overseas she also realised her friend had entered and won last year's competition so decided to enter herself.
Ms Marshall, who has two degrees in marketing and European studies, works in the events team at the New Plymouth Council.
She said probably the hardest part of the competition had been singing solo in front of a group of strangers.
''I had never done that in public before by myself so that was an experience, but it obviously went ok.''
Ms Marshall will fly to County Kerry, Ireland in August to compete against Roses from all over the world.
The Dominion Post