“The scariest moment of the pageant was introducing myself in front of very important people and large crowds, because I do have a slight fear of public speaking – who doesn’t?”
But that fear was outweighed by the importance of her message.
“I spoke to a lot of girls about what their experiences were with their marine environment and I was so happy to hear that most of the girls were fighting back home to protect their environment,” she says.
“I spoke to all of them about the importance of our marine life and how in Aitutaki we did coral planting and paua spawning to help replenish the lagoon.
“It was so good to speak on the subject and inform some – who weren’t aware – of these practices we do back home. I do hope they take the information back to their countries and do the same!”
Story was named Miss Cook Islands New Zealand in Auckland, and represented Cook Islands at Miss Pacific Islands in Papua New Guinea. Though Miss Samoa pipped her for the tiara, she said she was sad their journey together had ended. “I couldn’t be more proud of my Pacific sisters.”
She recalled memorable moments along the way.
“A funny moment here was when we’d had an official photoshoot at sunrise and the girls showed up with gorgeous dresses while I showed up in my pareau tie thinking I could get in the water to do my photoshoot“
She got the last laugh, though. “We did end up with a photoshoot in the water in the end though!”