The problem in New Zealand – and actually also a great thing – is that all of its citizens are from somewhere else. Even the Maoris were from the islands up north who sailed with their canoes and discovered this land of the long white cloud. But that’s our New Zealand – a country of immigrants where tolerance and diversity runs high. You can be born in some other country and yet you can be a Prime Minister. Not so many countries allow that of course.


But for New Zealand Herald to proclaim that the Miss World New Zealand Arielle Garciano is a Filipino beauty is plainly wrong. Sure, she was born to an English mother and a Filipino father but Arielle is a Kiwi. She is a Miss World New Zealand and she represents New Zealand. Period. Let’s not get into that pride thing – a notoriously prevalent practice in the Philippines fuelled by its maniac media that basically claims almost anyone as a Filipino. Even Miss New York USA Candace Kendall who is just a quarter Filipino and does not even speak the Philippine language gets a Filipino Pride treatment in the Philippine media. Yet, when someone claims that Miss World 2013 Megan Young is an American, chaos in the social media would follow.


Beauties that represented New Zealand are so diverse and that’s because our society embraces diversity. But let’s claim our beauties and be proud that they are representing us all. Let’s not allow other countries to take credit and be proud of our Kiwi beauties for this is a battle of nations. How would we feel if Richie McCaw would be playing for the Wallabies? Or if Air NZ would replace the koru with an English rose?  Sure, we all came from different places and part of us comes from other cultures. But our identity as Kiwis shouldn’t be muddled and that’s not just in rugby or in industries. It would also mean that we should stand up for our Kiwi pride even in beauty pageants.





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