The Miss Rotorua pageant will feature in a television series. The bilingual reality show will follow 25 women as they prepare for the competition.
The show will feature local fashion designer Karl WiRepa, last year's Miss Rotorua pageant winner Atutahi Potaka-Dewes, and Rotorua Lakes councillor Mercia-Dawn Yates.
WiRepa says the show will showcase the region's diverse female population.
"We have ladies of different cultures - Indian, Chinese - and different ages as well. We have contestants from the age 15 to about 48 years old," he said.
"The Miss Rotorua pageant isn't like other pageants, which are also ageist. Miss Rotorua accepts all women."
Contestant and aspiring musician Te Aroha Hapi was diagnosed with spina bifida at the age of 8 affecting her ability to stand for long periods or walk in high heels.
Hapi said through her participation, she hopes to inspire other women.
"My reasons for entering was to help empower a lot of young wāhine, those that don't have much tautoko and whānau," she said.
"And to show my son that I can, and he can, do anything."
Yates has a long family history in the pageant and will be an "aunty" on the show.
"My background around Miss Rotorua actually comes from having a whāngai mum, Linda Ritchie, she is now Linda Edward, being a former Miss Rotorua and then going on to become Miss New Zealand," she said.
"As well [my] aunty Maureen Kingi or Maureen Waaka, from Rotorua was a previous Miss Rotorua who then went on to become Miss New Zealand. So having grown up in a legacy, within a township, within a community, within an iwi base that elevated women to such high degrees of femininity, has been something that I've always admired and supported."
Filming of the reality series will begin with Stiletto Bootcamp in June and will air on TVNZ and Māori TV later in the year.
Note: The reporter of this article and video, Delilah Whaitiri is also a contestant in Miss Rotorua 2021.
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