TWO young Whakatane women are in the running to be Miss Universe New Zealand 2017.
Hannah Henderson and Holly Waghorn, both 21, were announced as finalists last month and are now busy fulfilling the fundraising obligations of their selection.
A key part of the competition is an entrepreneurial challenge benefiting the Miss Universe New Zealand’s chosen charity, Variety.
The challenge is designed to allow contestants to think outside the square and to work outside what might be their comfort zone by organising an event to raise funds for the children's charity
For Miss Henderson, a Whakatane girl living in Wellington, the competition is nothing new – she was the Miss Universe New Zealand runner-up in 2015. With only two chances to enter the competition, Miss Henderson is making the most of her final opportunity to gain more experience in event planning.
“I was nervous to enter again but it is more about the experience and totally about the learning.”
With the support of SPCA Wellington, where she works, Miss Henderson will host a pet fashion show, an event she believes will be the first of its kind in New Zealand.
For her, the competition is not just about wearing a crown and a sash but about representing your country.
For Miss Waghorn, a Whakatane personal trainer, entering the competition was out of her comfort zone and something she never thought she would do, but the further she progressed the more she wanted to do well.
“It took a bit of convincing but I went to the website to check the competition out and started filling out the forms – but then I exited out of it. A week later I just thought, ‘do it’.”
She was brutally honest in her entry, admitting she didn’t know anything about the competition.
Thanks to her honesty and being herself, she received a call to say her entry was one of the most inspiring they received this year.
Miss Waghorn is organising four fundraising events – a garage sale, bake sale, movie night and an Ohope Beach Drag Race.
She said the competition was not all about beauty and how you presented yourself; the most important part was how you helped and looked out for people.
She loves the fact the competition is about raising money for charity.
Miss Henderson and Miss Waghorn will take part in a week-long retreat, the destination of which has yet to be announced, before the grand final in August at the SkyCity Theatre.
The winner of Miss Universe New Zealand 2017 is decided half by public vote and half by a judging panel made up of industry experts.