HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 608: 21 March 2012

Miss Cook Islands Pageant 2012
Several hours of primping and preening at Marama Salon and a final swim wear wardrobe check the 9 Miss Cook Islands 2012 contestants were just about ready for their beachside glamour shots posing alongside Pure Fiji products. Despite the uncanny weather of the day the girls were in high spirits and eager to share with the Cook Islands Herald their ambitions, dreams and hopes for the event of the year Miss Cook Islands 2012 Pagent. It was only after talking with each individual contestant that I realised the judges do indeed have a hard task ahead of them. Putting the fame and the glory of the pageantry title aside some pretty important insights dawned on me, several months prior I had spoken with MICIIPA president Clee Marsters who suggested that most people confuse Miss CI with only being about beauty. Oh how the weight of his words are dropping like anvils, I realised to view these contestants as objectively as a butcher eyes a rump steak would be to completely miss the exuberant personalities of these young contestants, truly reinforcing that trying, ambitious quality true of our young Cook Island women.

By Maria Tanner

Miss Vonias Michelle Elia-Siloata

Having recently completed her Bachelor of Administration and HR Management Miss Vonnias Michelle Elia-Siloata decided to head over to Rarotonga to participate in the spectacle that is the Miss Cook Islands pageant. Elia-Siloata having grown up in New Zealand says that notion alone was part of the determining factor in her decision to join the pagent, “Cook Islanders in New Zealand have a small voice and we (Cook Islanders) are so widely dispersed I thought it would be nice to have our voice heard out there on a global scale,” and for her she believes that Miss CI is the “perfect medium on being able to achieve that.”
Proudly breed from both Cook Island and Samoan roots the 21 year old Miss Vonnias prefers to work with her strengths and is looking to bring a modernised approach to this year’scompetition, “ I’ve noticed the other contestants have a really strong pacific feel,” she shares with me, “so hopefully my diversity plays out for me.”
Already a fairly confident young women it’s taken Michelle a few home trial runs at the beachwear section to slowly warm to the idea, “I’m the type of person who when going to the beach finds the most deserted stretch of sand. Where no one is, that’s where I am,” she says in between laughs, “in my bikini, so prancing about on stage is going to be pretty nerve raking. Positive affirmations of confidence I assure her, “and maybe a couple of cans of Red Bull will help get me across the stage,” Michelle says with fingers crossed.

Miss Gas Cook Islands Antonina Browne

“This will be the first and last time entering for me, regardless of the outcome,” professes Miss Gas Cook Islands Antonina Brown. Joining this year’s competition for “a bit of fun” Antonina brings a lift to the competition atmosphere and having experienced a fair deal already is excited at the prospects of the evening. “I really came into the competition with nothing so I plan on leaving this with all the knowledge I’ve learnt so far and take it with me where ever i go.”
 With ambitious plans if crowned Miss Cook Islands 2012 Brown says that she’ll endeavour, “to give back by promoting women to find their inner confidence.” Academically Brown has aimed high again with plans to enrol at university to gain a degree in law and commerce, “I want a career that’s suitable for the Cook Islands,” she tells me, “because one day I’m going to be an active member in preserving our paradise.”

Miss Kafoteria Vivian Tuteru

Backed and supported by the family business the 18 year old beauty Miss Kafoteria Vivian Tuteru has a fair bit resting on her gracious shoulders.
Living over in Sydney, Australia the youthful challenger says she enjoys her lifestyle and keeps herself busy with her course and studies in business management but wanted to take part in this year’s 2012 Miss Cook Islands. 
Putting the final applications of hair spray to her amazingly styled French twist Tuteru says she’s enjoyed taking part in all the necessary pagent appointments, including the schedule Pure Fiji glamour shots, and everything she’s learnt so far. Greatly appreciative of the tutorials Vivian is readying herself for the Thursday’s big night, “I’m trying to work on building my confidence on stage,” she shares with me.

Miss Tarani's Crafts and Pearls Teuira Napa

“Nervous!?” she belts my question back at me, “yeah, I guess,” comes a confident unassuredness from Miss Tarani’s Craft and Pearls Teuira Napa. Napa, also sponsored by family owned and operated business Tarani’s Crafts, is enjoying the pampering qualities of the Miss Cook Islands competition, it’s a no brainer really, “look at how amazing my hair is,” she jokes, “oh I can’t wait for the evening wear.”
Biting the bullet and seizing the day Teuira joined this year’s pagent as a goal she had set for herself, “Originally I had planned to join in 3 years time after school and hopefully would have gained a bit more personal confidence, but decided it’s now or never. I’d rather say that id done it instead of thinking back to myself “oh Teuira you really should have just joined then!”
As their can only be one winner Miss Tarani’s Craft and Pearls has bright plans chartered for her future regardless of being crowned on Thursday evening. Napa has been accepted on an I Work scholarship to Brigham Young University in Hawaii studying business management, “seeing as marine biology isn’t offered there,” she says undismayed.
“Actually,” Napa pipes up, “we had a marine biologist come and talk to us (contestants) and I thought, yay for me!”

Miss Pacific Divers Miss Andrews

Bringing previous gained experience to this year’s Miss Cook Islands Miss Pacific Divers Mii Andrews says she had so much fun joining Miss Tiare in 2007 she decided it should be the same for the 2012 pageant.
Being naturally boisterous and effervescent Andrews a self proclaimed “outgoing person” has taken to talking with the other contestants and in doing so has bonded quiet well with the other girls over the short span of time. “They’re all really nice,” she confides in me.
The 23 year old Andrews is passionate about our Cook Islands culture and says she visions herself as a role model to our people and  would like to see more, “Cook Island people returning home to continue teaching our culture to our people.”
Although experienced with pageantry Andrews, like most of the other contestants list the swimwear leg of the competition as the most nerve racking, “hmm beachwear,” she laughs, “well i usually wear them at the beach, but this will be quite different.”

Miss Edgewater Blossom Daniels

Listing public speaking as her main fear Miss Edgewater Blossom Daniels made the decision to join Miss Cook Islands to build confidence in an area she felt was lacking.
Originally laughing off a text she received from her cousin Julia asking whether she would want to join this year’s competition Daniels immediate response was a definite “I can’t,” rousing to her senses Blossom decided that not only would this competition give her that needed boost of confidence but would be the perfect outlet to touch on something that the young Café Jirah barista is passionate about, our youth.

Where most people would shy away from the things they don’t know or understand Blossom approaches things with a wonderfully candid humility, “to be honest I haven’t thought about that aspect,” she says answering my question, “I just know being a good role model is really important to me,” Daniels shares, and helping with young people in the community is a path she is fervently set upon, “because who better to know what’s going on with our youth than our youth.”

Miss Cook Islands News Kate Ngatokorua

Miss Cook Islands News Kate Ngatokorua knows all about shows, not only an employee of Cook Islands News the energetic Mangaian born Kate is also a member of the Te Vara Nui dance team performing her cultural dancing talents across the stage three nights a week. Having a wealth of on stage presence and experience Ngatokorua along with other competing girls will no doubt be bringing with her recently acquired pageantry knowledge and in a show stopping performance.

Miss Telecom Cook Islands Saramata Takai

Although a great deal different from the normalcies of her average day Miss Telecom Cook Islands Saramata Takai has been enjoying the 180° head spin of the Miss CI pageant to date and who can blame her with a handful of stylist and photographers waiting to take her shot.
 Bringing a light hearted sense of fun to this year’s competition Takai says “it’s not all about being serious.” Enjoying a good laugh at a decent comedy or roaring at a hilarious joke comes easily for the 18 year old contestant but when asked what sets her nerves on edge she doesn’t hesitate for a moment, “smiling a lot,” Saramata answers, “I just don’t know if I can smile on cue, or all the time,” she adds thoughtfully.
 While Not completely set on an ideal career pat just yet Takai knows that her ideal chosen profession would have to be based around her love of art and design with possible plans to study with AUT in New Zealand in the near future.

Miss Sumaringa Jemima Tekena

The youngest and last of all contestants to join the Miss Cook Islands 2012 pageant Miss Sumaringa Jemima Tekena at only 17 decided to join whirlwind of excitement with the other 8 Cook Island beauties. Although Tekena is too young to officially contend in the Miss Cook Islands pageant she wanted to participate in the glitzy event to gain what most girls are working towards, confidence. Gaining entrance from MICIPA Miss Sumaringa will be participating in this year’s event featuring separately in the entertainment section of Thursday’s event. It doesn’t hurt either that with plans to compete in the next Miss Cook Islands pageant as a fully fledged contestant Jemima will have already gained the necessary experience.


Herald Issue 608 21 March
- Terms of one China Policy document should be reviewed
- Pacific Media Assistance Scheme Seeks Innovation
- Successful NZ visit by PM
- Rerekura Teaurere New Climate Change Coordinator
- News Briefs

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