The Samoan community gathered in Mangere, Auckland last night for an evening of culture and beauty for the return of the long anticipated Miss Samoa NZ pageant.
Three finalists were selected from six contestants, and it came down to two finalists on the night after one contestant withdrew due to personal reasons.
Over the past two years, the pageant was postponed due to the ongoing global pandemic, however it is back in 2022 celebrating 31 years since it was founded in 1991.
22 year old Shilohm Vaeluaga Filipi from the villages of Siumu, Matautu-Lefaga,Saanapu,Saleaaumua, and Vaovai Falealili, won the coveted crown in front of family and friends at the Fale o Samoa.
Director of Miss Samoa NZ, Ulalemamae Te’eva Matafai, acknowledged the outgoing Miss Samoa NZ, Fonofoifafo Nancy Mcfarland-Seumanu, who was also crowned Miss Samoa and Miss Pacific Islands for her grace, service and patience, holding the position over the past three years.
“You put your life on pause for three years for three crowns… you have definitely left your mark in the pageant world as the longest standing beauty Queen of the Pacific, fa’afetai tele lava Fonoifafo for your service to our communities.”
Fonofoifafo, who is a trained and registered nurse, played a key role during the measles epidemic in Samoa and the pandemic, with her work in health promotion and the vaccination drive for the Pacific community.
The pageant was live streamed with thousands beaming in to watch from across the Pacific.
Shilohm is studying towards a degree in communications. She is currently in administration support for Taeaofou i Puaseisei Preschool.