Miss NZ elbowed aside at beauty pageant

By Vaimoana Tapaleao

Organisers of Miss World NZ will formally complain to the competition's international body after the Kiwi contestant was pushed by Miss Malawi as they stood on stage.

Collette Lochore, 18, of Auckland was taking part in the international pageant in the Inner Mongolian city of Ordos in China at the weekend.

However, during the competition, cameras caught Miss Malawi, Susan Mtegha, jostling with Miss New Zealand on stage.

Words were exchanged between the two, then Miss Malawi elbowed the Kiwi out of shot and stood smiling, with her hands behind her back.

Miss NZ could just be seen standing to the side, also continuing to smile.

Speaking from Shanghai yesterday, the director of Miss World NZ, Desmond Foulger, said he was shocked and upset for Miss NZ and would complain this week.

"What actually happened was that Collette was on her correct spot on stage, but Miss Malawi didn't realise that. Instead of asking her to move over, she just shoved her, elbowed her, and everybody in the audience was aghast.

"Our girl was fine, she was correct, but Miss Malawi was bad-mannered. I'm going to complain to the Miss World organisation when I get back.

"She was pushed hard, so she nearly fell over. It was a very rude and very unprofessional thing to do."

The video, which quickly went viral, had Twitter fans chatting eagerly about the incident, with one calling it "The Pageant Push."

Ms Lochore teaches drama to young people aged 3 to 18 and was this year inducted as the youngest member of the New Lynn Rotary Club.

Ms Mtegha is a fashion designer and dancer.

Mr Foulger said that after the incident, Ms Lochore did not approach or say anything to Ms Mtegha.

He praised Miss NZ for maintaining her composure and continuing to act appropriately.

"She's very professional, she just carried on. In fact, she didn't want us to make a complaint - she was really very good."

Miss China, Yu Wenxia, was crowned the winner.

- NZ Herald

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