The eight contestant for the inaugural Miss Pacific Islands pageant 2014 in Apia, Samoa
By Lagi Keresoma
APIA: TUESDAY 16 DECEMBER 2014: What used to be known as the Miss South Pacific Pageant promoting tourism and Pacific women beauty has changed its name to the Miss Pacific Islands Pageant.
The Pageant’s Board officially endorsed the name change in Apia where the week long activities of the competition will culminate in the final this weekend.
Acting Prime Minister Lautafi Fiu Purcell with the assistance of the MSP Teuira Napa officiated the relaunching of the pageant’s new name, crown and sash.
The change was first raised in 2011 when board members of Papua New Guinea and Hawai’i presented their views on the issue in Apia during the Miss South Pacific pageant that year.
Their concerns were that Papua New Guinea and Hawai’i were not in the South Pacific zone, yet they have always participated in the competition.
“I’m excited that after 3 years since we raised this issue, we feel the pageant is inclusive of us,” said Dr. Misi Lam, PNG board member.
He said the Pacific is for unity and bringing them together will not only unite the Pacific on the pageant alone, but on other issues that the Governments are bringing to the attention of the world.
The reigning Miss South Pacific Ms. Teuira Napa of the Cook Islands will be crowning whoever will win the crown on Friday night as the first Miss Pacific Islands.
The pageant was an initiative by the Samoan Government to boost tourism in the country.
Acting Prime Minister Lautafi said the pageant is an avenue in promoting the Pacific’s diverse culture and destination.
The pageant also showcases the immense contribution of Pacific islands women in overall economic and social development as well as highlighting women issues in the region.
“It is hoped the renewed operation for the pageant will engage other Pacific countries from the Northern and Central Pacific to be part of a pageant with a difference,” said Lautafi.