The organiser of a Maori beauty pageant says the competition proved that intellectual substance is more important than looks.
The Miss Aotearoa 2012 show was held in Hastings recently with six young wahine Maori from throughout Aotearoa vying for a place to go on and represent New Zealand at the Miss South Pacific parade.
Organiser Angela Cudd - a former Miss Aotearoa of Ngati Porou descent - says she set a high criteria to ensure the ideal candidates came through who know their whakapapa (genealogy) including having cultural knowledge.
She says the questions in the application form were a lot more intensive than previous contests and it revealed which young women were prepared to put in more effort, compared to those who only did the bare minimum.
Miss Cudd says her panel had come up with ways to draw out the quality contestants.
She says there is a certain beauty that comes from having meaningfulness, rather than focussing purely on aesthetics.