Ruth is the human interest reporter and a photographer for the Bay of Plenty Times.

Bay woman looks for love under glare of TV lights

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Papamoa woman Lara Christie (left) with another The Bachelor New Zealand contestant Naz Khanjani, who has quickly become known as the trouble-maker.
Papamoa woman Lara Christie (left) with another The Bachelor New Zealand contestant Naz Khanjani, who has quickly become known as the trouble-maker.

Papamoa woman Lara Christie is not sure if being a contestant on this year's The Bachelor New Zealand is the best or worst decision of her life.

The reality TV show premiered this year's season on Monday night where Ms Christie was introduced as one of the contenders to win over bachelor Jordan Mauger's heart. Former Te Puke woman Kate Cameron is also on this season's show.

Read more: Vying for 'stud muffin' Bachelor's heart, Te Puke style

Ms Christie grew up in Rotorua and moved to Tauranga when she was about 14. She lives in Auckland now but still calls Papamoa home.

"I think this whole journey is going to be an interesting one. I'm still wondering if this is the best decision I've ever made or the worst," she told the Bay of Plenty Times.

"Guess we will wait and see."

Ms Christie said she thought the show would be a bit of adventure.

"If I find Mr Right, then what a story."

The first day, which aired on Monday night, was a big one, she said.

"When I finally got out of the car I was just thinking to myself don't fumble, face plant or ask him anything wildly inappropriate."

Ms Christie said she would be herself to win over Mr Mauger's heart, but "he's got to win my heart, too".

Ms Christie instantly liked Mr Mauger who was "a bit rough around the edges and had a really masculine voice" but she was not sure if he was her soul mate.

"I didn't get butterflies straight away but I am keen to get to know him a little more to see if we have a connection."

Ms Christie said she has had a series of long-term relationships and, in between, dated a few other guys.

"The dating game is hard and I haven't quite managed to find my perfect match. I have enjoyed the ride and learnt a lot about myself along the way.

"Finding the other half of your team is a tough one."

Ms Christie said the contestants were amazing women and she was looking forward to spending time getting to know them.

"As much as this is a competition I want to make sure I stay true to myself so competing directly with the other girls isn't really my style.

"Kate and I hit it off immediately, we are two of the girls who don't take ourselves too seriously. Erin and Gabs seem awesome, too."

Normally the loud one in her group of friends, Ms Christie was not sure that was the case in this scenario.

"There's a lot of strong personalities and potentially some girls who might throw you under the bus so they can take the limelight, but I'm not going to create drama or gossip for the sake of it.

"I'm a pretty ambitious girl who knows what she wants. He will either like that about me or he won't. It will be interesting to see how he gets to know the girls, he has a lot to get through.

"In terms of my weakness, I think if it gets too petty, I won't be able to put up with it for long. I realise the situation I have put myself in and how crazy it is that we are all potentially here for one guy."

- Bay of Plenty Times

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