Miss Samoa 2014/2015 – Miss Latafale Auva’a
By Tulifau Auvaa
APA: TUESDAY 09 SEPTEMBER 2014: Miss Samoa New Zealand, Latafale Auva’a, 20 years of age was crowned the new Miss Samoa in last night’s pageant at the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa (CCCS) hall Mulinu’u.
Ms. Auva’a’s win is hailed as a milestone for the Samoa – NZ community since their absence from the pageant for four years.
Ms. Auva’a also won the interview category.
She is the third Miss Samoa NZ to win the crown since the inception of the pageant 24 years ago.
She is a full time student at Otago University. Her reign will require her to work fulltime for the Samoa Tourism Authority in promoting Samoa.
She will represent Samoa in the Miss South Pacific Pageant 2014/2015 to be held here in Apia in December 2014.
Australian born Afiogatuutasioaiga Jessica Taulaga claimed the first runner-up placing.
She also claimed the same placing in the Miss Samoa Australia pageant but decided to run as a local on Monday night’s pageant.
According to reports from the pageant committee, Afiogatuutasioaiga was crowned Miss Samoa-Australia on the night of the pageant two months ago.
However, a miscalculation in the scrutineers part saw the crown removed from her and handed over on Tusipepa Sandra Lilomaiava, who represented the Samoan –Australian community in this years’ pageant.
Ms. Taulaga was sponsored by Moatoga Enterprises.
The second runner-up was Josephine Mafoa, sponsored by Polynesia Shipping Line Ltd.
The third runner-up placing was Tili Lafaele who also won Miss Photogenic and the People’s Choice award.
Tili was sponsored by Veronicas fashion.
The fourth placing went to Lagi Lealaitafea Tuisalega Farai who was sponsored by Thomsen’s Bridal Couture NZ.
She also claimed the Talents and National Tourism Awards categories.
Other special awards such as the Puletasi and traditional wear went to Monica Gisella Sene Schwenke.
Miss Internet went to Miss Samoa – Australia while the Miss Personality award went to Miss My Tiara’s Boutique Cheyenne Faapaia Maiava.
The Pageant’s theme was “We are Samoa”.
“It promotes the development of women and acknowledges the contribution of our artisans and designers, whose many original works elevates our arts, culture and country,” said Prime Minister Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi, who is also the Chairman of the Teuila Festival.
Ten girls vied for the crown.
In her farewell speech, outgoing Miss Samoa Susana Fanueli said it was “truly a blessing and a great honor bestowed upon me and I am humbled and privileged to have had this experience”.
“This life changing experience for me has been amazing but at the same time, very challenging” said Susana.
She said like any other journey in life, it was never a smooth ride, there were always rough and rocky paths, but it is all up to us to keep going and trust in the lord to guide us through”.
Master of ceremonies was former Miss Samoa/Miss South Pacific Janine Tuivaiti and Samoa Tourism Authority (STA) Marketing Manager Dwayne Bentley.