Local girl competes for NZ crown
A former Miss Manawatu has been confirmed as a contestant for next year's Miss World New Zealand pageant.
Rachel Crofts, 24, was crowned Miss Manawatu in 2006, and went on to win Miss Earth New Zealand in 2008.
She now has set her sights on the Miss World New Zealand, which is being held over five months in Auckland next year.
"I'm really excited to be taking part," she said.
"This competition is a great platform to make a difference."
The Miss World pageant has a strong focus on charity work and community involvement.
Next year's theme is ‘Beauty with a Purpose', which was created to help and support disadvantaged children.
Miss Crofts has decided to fundraise for the United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef) and Variety during her campaign.
She is planning a mufti day that she hopes schools around the lower North Island will participate in to raise money for her chosen charities.
Miss Crofts said her passion for working with children had encouraged her to study a graduate diploma in primary teaching at Victoria University next year.
About 15 candidates in the pageant are required to attend training, rehearsals, charity events, fashion shows, presenting workshops, and pre-judging in Auckland.
Miss Crofts, who now lives in Wellington, said she was on the look out for a sponsor to help with her travel costs.
The winner of Miss World New Zealand will be announced on April 27 in Auckland, and will travel to Indonesia to represent New Zealand in the international final.