National | Merepeka Raukawa-Tait

Mayoral candidate steps into high heels for Miss Rotorua pageant

Rotorua District councillor and mayoral hopeful Merepeka Raukawa-Tait, has thrown her hat in the ring for this year's Miss Rotorua pageant, with the possibility of not only winning the crown but also adding the mayoral chains to her portfolio.

This year's Miss Rotorua beauty pageant has now launched, with contestants beginning their stiletto camp journey, which includes an evening gown shoot, high tea, runway and talent practice, fashion, hair and make-up masterclasses, tikanga wānanga, a city clean-up, and a hīkoi against meth.

Raukawa-Tait (Te Arawa) said that she has been a supporter of the pageant for years and that she was a judge for the event last year. “This year I thought about it and I thought why not.”

Raukawa-Tait said she had been interested in the classes that the contestants were getting and tried to talk to director Kharl Wirepa to see if she could participate in just those classes but found she had to fully commit to the show.

She said what she was looking forward to most of all was working alongside young women. "Everything about the pageant is positive.”