Miss Appraxus 2017 contestants wear puletaha

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By Suliana Mone

Miss Bou’s Fashions NZ is Miss Melesiu Jasmine Fale-Ula. Photo/Soane Gallaher Niukapu

Miss Bou’s Fashions NZ is Miss Melesiu Jasmine Fale-Ula. Miss Fale-Ula is the Daughter of Veisinia and Fā’onelua Fale-Ula from Kanokupolu, Hunga Vava’u, and Kotu Ha’apai. A member of Onehunga Methodist Church and Youth Group, nineteen year old Miss Fale-Ula is currently pursuing a Degree in Hospitality and Tourism at the Auckland University of Technology. Miss Fale-Ula sees herself working internationally as a hotel manager in the future. The pageant thus far has helped Miss Bous Fashions NZ grow significantly in self confidence and in understanding of her culture and religion. As a participant in this year’s Miss Apraxus Beauty Pageant, her definition of beauty isn’t limited to the physical form. She believes beauty is found in acts that are characterised by love and respect.

Miss North Memorial Onehunga Mall is Miss Maikale Vea Latu. Photo/Soane Gallaher Niukapu

Miss North Memorial Onehunga Mall is Miss Maikale Vea Lātū. Miss Lātū is the twenty one year old daughter of Mele and Pēseti Lātū from Toa ko Maafu, Kolokakala, Uiha, Lotofoa, Haʻatoukai, Haʻapai. She is a member of the Talafekau ‘O e Kosipeli Otahuhu Church and Youth Group. Miss Lātū is currently a full time student studying towards a Bachelor of Anthropology and Pacific Studies and a part time retail assistant at Auckland Airport. She has a passion for learning about her own Tongan and other Pacific Island cultures and dreams of becoming a Professor in Pacific Studies. Miss Lātū plans to eventually move back to Tonga to live, as she enjoys the beauty of simple island life. Miss North Memorial Onehunga Mall describes the state of being ‘māfana’ as the thing she enjoys most about our Tongan culture. Māfana as seen in the support shown for our Tongan rugby teams, with relatives of players rolling in the grass. Miss Lātū has a deep appreciation for Tongan mothers who work so hard and sacrifice so much for their children and aspires to be exactly like her own mother one day. As a young woman who’s been subject to unkind comments about her size on social media and has often been told she is too heavy to join a beauty pageant, she hopes that in her participating in the Miss Apraxus Beauty Pageant, other young women will be encouraged to embrace their own sizes and recognise that beauty comes in all shapes.

Representing Miss Brilliant Star is Miss Maryanne Fifita. Photo/Soane Gallaher Niukapu
Representing Miss Brilliant Star is Miss Maryanne Fifita. Maryanne is the fifteen year old daughter of Tuitui Folauhola and Elone Fifita from Ha’ano, Fakakai Ha’apai and Silapeluua, Vaikopuna Tongatapu. Miss Fifita was raised as a member of the Siasi Tonga Tau’tāina Favona but also regularly attends Potters House Otara. She is a student at Southern Cross Campus and hopes to one day become a flight attendant and travel the world. Being very shy in nature and often preferring her own company over that of her peers, Miss Brilliant Star has come to this pageant with the purpose of developing her self confidence and social skills. She aspires most to be like her grandmother Milika, who although is no longer with her, remains an infinite source of strength and positive influence in her life. In being a young Tongan woman, Miss Fifita values most in her culture the element of respect.
Miss Vava’u NZ is Miss Luseane Tupou Kauvaka. Photo/Soane Gallaher Niukapu

Miss Vava’u NZ is Miss Luseane Tupou Kauvaka. Daughter of Siosifa and Loleini Kauvaka who hail from Makave, Neiafu, Longomapu, Tuʻanuku and Fāhefa, Hā’utu in Tongatapu. Miss Kauvaka is a member of Vaine Mo’onia Ponsonby Methodist Church, of which she is the Youth choir conductor. The seventeen year old is a Biology and Chemistry Scholarship student and Prefect at Avondale College. She hopes to become a doctor in the future and is using the Miss Apraxus Beauty Pageant as her very first platform to speak out on the importance of our people living healthier lifestyles. Miss Vava’u NZ has a strong work ethic and values commitment and effort. Her love for her family and her wish to make them proud is what keeps Miss Vava’u NZ motivated.

Miss Sal’s Creations is represented by Miss Ophelia Kitiliti Kava. Photo/Soane Gallaher Niukapu

Miss Sal’s Creations is represented by Miss Ophelia Kitiliti Kava. Daughter of Kalisi and Samuela Kava from Kolonga, Niua, ‘Eueiki, Mo’unga’one, ‘Atataa and Haveluloto. Miss Kava is a member of SUTT Tuingapapai o Uesile Youth and Sunday School and enjoyed recently taking part in their annual fakame. Miss Kava is a 23 year old receptionist at East Tamaki Healthcare and enjoys her work as she loves to meet, talk to and help new people. She dreams of eventually becoming a flight attendant and will pursue studies towards this in the near future. In participating in this years Miss Apraxus Beauty Pageant, Miss Sal’s Creations has developed a richer appreciation for her culture and more significantly for herself in embracing her identity as a young Tongan woman. Miss Kava epitomises her mother, Kalisi, as the kind of woman she aspires to be. In 2011, her father suffered from a stroke, which left her mother solely responsible for the financial support of their family and the daily running of their household. Miss Kava finds the strength exhibited by her mother throughout this time inspirational, and through her example understands that women are capable of anything.

Miss Maa’imoa Catering is Miss Ana Christina Taufa. Photo/Soane Gallaher Niukapu

Miss Maa’imoa Catering is Miss Ana Christina Tāufa. Daughter of Tisileli and Toakase Tāufa from Uiha, Foa Ha’apai and Longolongo, Kolomotu’a, Kolofo’ou. Miss Tāufa is a twenty three year old student pursuing a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Auckland. She hopes to become an active and productive member of her community and considers perhaps joining the police force in the near future to help in the bid to reduce crime within our Pacific Island communities. Miss Tāufa is a member of Panmure Methodist Church where she is a Sunday School and Youth Member, participating ‘in everything at my church’. She enjoyed being part of this years fakamē and will continue to do so, despite her age, until she marries. In taking part in this years Miss Apraxus Pageant she values the opportunity to step out of comfort zone and try something new and exciting. Miss Maa’imoa Catering is very proud of the depth of her Tongan cultural heritage.

Miss Klickex Cooperation Miss Lilipeti Kathy Alla Sally Manu. Photo/Soane Gallaher Niukapu

Miss Klickex Cooperation is represented by Miss Lilipeti Kathy Alla Sally Manu. Daughter of Toe’umu Tonga and Kelepi Manu from Nukunuku, ‘Utui Vava’u, Halahopohopo Loutokaiano, Ongo Niua, ʻEua, Kolomotu’a, Nakolo Lakepa. Miss Manu attends St Mary’s Avondale Catholic Church. She is an enthusiastic member of their Lātaki and enjoys activities such as their annual ball, sports days and pō vaʻinga. Miss Manu is a nineteen year old holder of level 3 and 4 certificates in tourism and plans to to pursue a Bachelors degree at the University of Auckland. Miss Klickex Cooperation enjoys nature and discovering new places. She hopes to become a flight attendant and experience the world. Miss Manu describes joining this year’s Miss Apraxus Pageant as ‘a massive step’ for her, the bond she has made with strangers that have now become sisters, has been remarkable. Miss Klickex Cooperation’s ideal Tongan woman is her late Majesty Queen Sālote Tupou III, who she believes embodies everything of beauty in our women.

Miss Tuitui Fashions Miss Titania Tiara Matekuolava. Photo/Soane Gallaher Niukapu
Miss Tuitui Fashions is represented by Miss Titania Tiara Matekuolava. Daughter of Mapu Hafoka and Tevita Tupou from Tokomololo, ʻUiha Haʻapai, Ha’avakatolo and Pea. Miss Matekuolava is a member of the Latter Day Saints Panmure Ward. She is a twenty two year old holder of a Bachelor of Nursing degree from Manukau Institute of Techonology who currently works as a Coffee Club Café manager. Having grown up in Tonga, she is working on gaining her mother’s permission to return to live and work as a nurse in the Kingdom. Believing that she would be more effective in assisting her people there, than she would be here in New Zealand. Her experience at this year’s Miss Apraxus Beauty Pageant has helped her grow in confidence and specifically in developing her public speaking skills, which prior to the pageant were poor. Miss Manu aspires to be like her grandmother Manu Okusi Matekuolava, who raised her in Tokomololo, Tonga until she was ten years old and taught her what it meant to be a Tongan woman. Instilling in her the value of respect, especially respect for your elders.

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