Friday, 8 September 2017

Rotorua winners of National Beauty Pageants : Maureen Waaka (nee Kingi)

Maureen Kingi (Waaka), 1942-2013. 

Maureen was first crowned Miss South Seas on 22 May 1962, then on 5th June 1962 she was crowned Miss New Zealand.
From : Rotorua Museum Collection,
Photographer Jack Lang.

Excerpts from the Daily Post :
‘…Student Radiographer …in a daze for some minutes after the result was announced. Then she gulped, wiped away a tear and said “I shall represent New Zealand proudly and to the best of my ability”.  Her Father Mr Kingi of Ohinemutu was hoping Maureen would get 3rd in the contest, because he was anxious there should be no interruption to her radiography exams’  5th June 1962 p.1

‘Maureen’s brief return :  for nineteen year old Maureen… the all too hurried two day visit to Rotorua this week, during a ‘show-the-flag’ tour of New Zealand, meant a round of congratulations, receptions and a barrage of questions’ 16th June 1962.

‘Miss New Zealand…Maureen Kingi was seen by 40 million American viewers, when she appeared on a C.B.S.  Coast-to-coast, television network in San Francisco. Miss Kingi was in California for the Miss International Beauty Contest’ 25th August 1962.

‘In the weeks since winning the Miss New Zealand title, she (Maureen) can count only one quiet day. Once in America, she was so fatigued, she slept for 17 hours on end. “It’s no joy ride. It’s thrilling yes. But the pace is on…” 31st August 1962.

Maureen Kingi went on the compete at the Miss World contest in London during November of 1962, unfortunately she was “eliminated in the first round”. 9th November 1962.
‘While in London, Maureen demonstrated the triple-long poi in an appearance at the Pigalle with the Maori Jazz group the Hi Fives’ 22nd Nov 1962.

In the Daily Post published on 10th December 1962, Maureen was photographed with her fiancé John Waaka at their engagement party in Ohinemutu.

Rotorua Lakes Council Photograph 

Just a few of Maureen’s contributions to the Rotorua community : Councillor, Te Arawa Standing Committee 1995-2013, Member of the Whakarewarewa Village Charitable Trust, Board member on the Lakes District Health Board, Miss Rotorua Beauty Pageant Co-ordinator (1993- ) and winner  of Miss New Zealand in 1962. Recipient of an MNZM award in 2001, for service to Tourism and Community.  Maureen passed away while still in office as a Councillor, on the 1st July 2013.