Tuesday proved to be the busiest day for the Miss Universe New Zealand 2011 contestants, with visits to Parliament (with my neighbour Murray as the tour guide), Te Papa (with a very energetic guide, Lucy—and with thanks to Bridget MacDonald for her assistance), the Kilmarnock Heights Home, and Wagamama’s Queen’s Wharf, Wellington restaurant for dinner. They returned to the Museum Hotel for a make-up session with Farmers and Estée Lauder.
As with the ANZAC service, I think it’s important for our ambassador to Miss Universe to have a good grounding in the ingredients of our nation. While ANZAC Day allowed them to commemorate the sacriﬁces made by Australian and New Zealand military personnel, and reﬂect upon their meaning, a visit to Parliament allows them to appreciate the democratic system that we have.
Te Papa Tongarewa, the National Museum of New Zealand, is new on the Miss Universe New Zealand calendar, and provides an appreciation of the cultural aspect of Aotearoa.
A rest home visit is consistently on the calendar, and this allowed me to see how they interact with the senior members in our society. It’s a good test to see whose compassion shines through.
And Wagamama was a wonderful venue for everyone to let their hair down for dinner before Suzanne Purser from Farmers brought in a representative from Estée Lauder to brief the 13 contestants on one of their responsibilities on Thursday.
The young ladies all excelled today in their ﬁrst public speaking event (at Kilmarnock) though a few high-rise terminals crept in to the speech. I have mentioned it to them so they can be on alert for it later in the week.
And, as promised on Easter Day, I was able to dine with six of the young ladies I did not get a chance to chat to earlier. Samantha Papp, Miss Clinic 42, is the odd one out so far, and I intend to address this tomorrow, to keep things fair and to allow all contestants to get similar advice. It also allows me to see how they interact over dinner.
One commenter at this site mentioned that we could be at risk of picking the best ‘pretender’, though with this level of scrutiny all week, I don’t think one would get through the net.—Jack Yan, Publisher