The long-reigning Miss Rotorua pageant will be hitting the screens, having been announced as the focus for an upcoming bilingual reality series.
The pageant will feature in a new show called Gowns and Geysers by Te Noni Productions, and it will follow the 2021 pageant contestants in an eight-part series for TVNZ On Demand and Māori Television.
Te Māngai Pāho teamed up with Irirangi Te Motu/NZ On Air to co-fund new bilingual productions that will see te reo Māori used across a variety of genres.
Pageant organiser Kharl WiRepa says this is an exciting opportunity for all to learn about the community work the organisation provides.
"I am pleased that we have achieved a new milestone for the charitable trust and our efforts to bring vibrancy to Rotorua and build up safer communities."
He says three years ago he was approached by the television producers TeNoni Productions.
"It was Ngahuia Wade who had contacted me to do a reality series.
"Over the past few years there had been several discussions about the show and in 2020 Ngahuia and show director Tina Wickliffe had been in talks with TVNZ who endorsed the show for filming in 2021."
Kharl says this is a great opportunity for Māori as there are few Māori in mainstream reality series.
"People may think being in a reality series is all fun and glamour. And also that Miss Rotorua is a superficial, materialistic-based organisation.
"However, the TV show presents an opportunity showcasing the transformation processes of the women involved as they take a journey of self discovery, self confidence and love."
He says the show is also a great opportunity for Rotorua as it will showcase all the local people, organisations and businesses that have been supporting and working with the Miss Rotorua Foundation since 2017.
"This show is pioneering. It reflects the culture of Te Arawa, our manaakitanga, kotahitanga, kaitiakitanga, and whanaungatanga.
"The bilingual show will surely reflect the first bilingual city in New Zealand which is Te Rotorua-nui-a-kahumatamamoe."
Kharl says he is looking forward to meeting the new contestants, working with them over 12 weeks on the life-changing journey they will take part in, and seeing their transformation at the end.
"It is a powerful thing what we do - the lives that the pageant has touched and the wāhine who have maximised their potential through the services of the pageant.
"We have sent ladies all over the world. From Las Vegas, Washington DC, to Thailand and Fiji, etc.
"It is beautiful to see our people elevate to a new level of excellence every year."