Miss Cook Islands - Photo courtesy of Miss South Pacific 2010 Organizing Committee

BY TERI TICO – PORT MORESBY, PAPUA NEW GUINEA – For the first time in the 25 year history of the Miss South Pacific Pageant, Hawai’i was tapped to host the 2011 Miss South Pacific Pageant.  When the Hawaii delegation failed to appear at the pageant last week in Papua New Guinea, the bid to host the 2011 pageant was awarded to Samoa, instead.

The Miss South Pacific Pageant is held annually with contestants representing Pacific island regions including Fiji, Cook Islands, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Kiribati, Tuvalu, Niue, Solomon Islands, Tokelau and Tonga among other island nations.

With emphasis on Pacific Island culture and traditions, the pageant distinguishes itself from traditional beauty contests whose contestants are judged on physical appearance.  Instead of parading down the catwalk in bikinis, Miss South Pacific contestants show off elaborate sarongs representatives of their island homes.  They are also judged on research projects, interviews, traditional talent, and costumes reflecting their native cultures.

Miss Hawaii did not compete in the Miss South Pacific Pageant.  Donald Trump is the owner of the Miss Hawaii pageant and does not allow his pageant winners to compete in pageants he does not own.

Trump does not own the Miss Hawaiian Islands pageant and, this year, Miss Hawaiian Islands, Pomaikai Klein, flew to Port Moresby and competed in the Miss South Pacific Pageant.  She was fourth runner up.

Winning the crown of Miss South Pacific 2010 was Miss Cook Islands, Joyana Meyer, who also won Best Saraong, Best Talent, and Most Photogenic.  Miss Aotearoa (New Zealand) was first runner up, Miss Samoa was second runner up, and Miss Fiji was fourth runner up.

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