Are Manawatu women better looking than the rest of New Zealand?
When Catherine Irving takes to the stage at the Miss Earth beauty pageant in November she will be the fifth Manawatu resident to do so in six years.
Miss Irving, who is studying towards a Bachelor of Communication at Massey University, was crowned Miss Earth New Zealand in Auckland on Saturday and will represent New Zealand in the Philippines later this year.
She follows in the footsteps of fellow Massey student Rachel Crofts (now in her second year of study), who won the New Zealand title in 2008.
Feilding's Claire Kirby won both Miss Manawatu and Miss Earth in 2007.
In 2005, Tiffany Pickford from nearby Hunterville took the Miss Earth title, and Rachael Tucker of Palmerston North won it in 2004.
Rather than it being "something in the water", Miss Irving said she believes the high calibre of the Miss Manawatu pageant has helped girls from this region stand out from the crowd.
"They get good quality training here in Palmerston North."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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