Glitz, glam and self-esteem the prize

FEELING FABULOUS: Miss Manawatu 2010, Jasmine Robertson.
FEELING FABULOUS: Miss Manawatu 2010, Jasmine Robertson.

Beauty pageants are about increasing confidence and stepping outside the square – not just glitz and glam, said newly-crowned Miss Manawatu 2010 Jasmine Robertson.

The 20-year-old, of Palmerston North, said winning the beauty pageant last night was a fabulous feeling.

"I feel very overwhelmed as I didn't expect this. I was surprised to even get into the top six," she said.

Miss Robertson, who is studying for a bachelor of agriscience at Massey University, said the competition was a good opportunity to learn new skills.

"It was a chance to expand my cultural experiences. It increased my confidence and I recommend it to everyone as I guarantee they'll love it."

The new Miss Manawatu reigned supreme over 15 other contestants, winning the right to represent Manawatu at the Miss New Zealand or Miss Earth New Zealand pageant later this year.

A crowd of more than 1000 packed into the Regent on Broadway last night for the Miss Manawatu and Miss Teen pageant.

Escorted by pilots from Ohakea Air Force Base, the 15 Miss Manawatu and 22 Miss Teen contestants danced, spoke and strutted in ball gowns and cocktail dresses. Maximum dance group provided entertainment, and the crowd was kept captivated by singing group Blush during the judges' deliberations.

The beauty queen cliche of advocating world peace was the favoured answer among the five Miss Manawatu finalists answering the question, "if you could change one thing in the world what would it be?".

Results: Miss Manawatu: second runner-up, Lisa Wong; first runner-up, Courtney Denton-Giles; winner, Jasmine Robertson.

Miss Teen Manawatu: second runner-up, Lauren Tillbrook; first runner-up, Shavana Ashford; winner, Bronwyn Hughes.

Manawatu Standard