Meika Watson-Burrows always dreamed of entering Miss Taranaki so this year she did and she came out the winner.
"I did it for the experience and a bit of fun," the the 17-year-old Sacred Heart Girls' College student said.
The theme of this year's pageant was ‘Beauty with a Purpose,' and Meika had chosen to support the Taranaki Women's Refuge.
She hoped to help raise awareness of the organisation and said the Women's Refuge did a lot of hard work in the community.
"It's a really great cause that needs to be seen."
During the pageant, which was held in the Theatre Royal at the TSB Showplace on Sunday night, contestants did "a few dances and a few walks", several costume changes and a 20-second speech, Meika said.
When it was announced that she was the winner she was very excited.
"I was freaking out, and then I was, like, ‘whoa'."
Competition was stiff and she said the 10 girls in her section were all very good.
She was very happy to have had her family and friends in the audience. This year's pageant was the first time since 1995 it has not been held on the beach, organiser Lois Finderup said, calling it a "free flowing evening of entertainment".
About 300 people attended, mainly family, sponsors and friends.
She said the new event was "so classy".
Meika was very excited to have won a $1500 voucher to design her own ring at Ringcraft Moana.
She said she hoped to put the $1000 Mondo Travel voucher, which she also won, towards travelling to the Philippines to do aid work.
To celebrate her win she went out to dinner last night with her family.
Laney Chard won the Junior Miss section and Noveau Rogers won Miss Teen.
- Taranaki Daily News
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