Q&A: Christchurch’s Georgia Waddington crowned Miss New Zealand 2023

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Jul 08, 2023 |

Photo: AZ Photography

Christchurch resident Georgia Waddington was crowned Miss New Zealand 2023. Georgia will represent New Zealand at Miss International in Japan in October.

Not only did she win the title of Miss New Zealand, she also walked away with several special awards: Best in Evening Wear, Best in Swimwear, Miss Fitness, Top Model, Social Media Queen And, most importantly, Charity Queen – for her work both in her fundraising and awareness raising efforts for I AM HOPE and Brave.

What was involved in the competition to get ready?

Miss New Zealand goes beyond just celebrating external beauty, emphasising the empowerment of women and using their platforms to drive change, raising awareness for meaningful causes, and meeting like-minded individuals.

Charity was one of the most important aspects. I chose to support two causes that are very close to my heart. The first was mental health awareness, which included organising a venue, catering, arranging sponsors, and hosting the I Am Hope charity fundraiser. I arranged for Mike King (The founder of I Am Hope) to guest speak with Mike Pero to emcee. I raised a total of $6,382.46 through ticket sales and a silent auction. 

My second chosen charity was Brave NZ, to raise awareness about sexual harm, consent, healthy relationships, and staying safe online. I organised and conducted multiple school visits across New Zealand, with the founder of Brave. These visits provided an opportunity to engage with thousands of students and educate them about these crucial topics.

Preparing for the competition to become Miss New Zealand demanded commitment, hard work, and dedication. Throughout a transformative six-month journey, my weekends were exclusively dedicated to rehearsals, requiring travel to Auckland.

Behind the scenes, daily hours of training, learning pageant walks, and poses. Weekend sessions with exceptional coaches, organising charitable events, and securing sponsors. Additionally, I invested significant time participating in photoshoots, engaging in debates, and practicing on-stage questions.

“From being the girl in school who was hesitant to give a speech or put my hand up first. I have come a long way!”

Throughout the pageant journey, we engaged in a range of activities. This included a Fitness Day, Women’s Leadership Conferences, and the Presenter’s Platform, which focused on communication and public speaking skills. I also participated in head-to-head debates, a development panel, and received training in a pageant boot camp. 

Sustainability and environmental action also played a significant role.

As part of our cultural awareness, we did a marae stay, learning about Māori traditions and te reo Māori.

When did you start entering these sorts of competitions? 

This was my first-ever pageant experience. I had never entered any pageant competitions before.

Following your win, what do you actually win?

 The Miss New Zealand title and crown, In October I will be representing New Zealand at Miss International in Japan. This includes flights to the Miss International pageant, extra baggage, and accommodation. 

I will also receive a stunning custom gown for Miss International, a national costume from The Pageant Store, the most beautiful custom kākahu created by Korowai by Hiria, a custom-tailored suit provided by Dorset Suits, an escape for a weekend getaway for two in a New Zealand hotel, a luxury nighttime slip, a professional photography and coaching package by The Pageant Store, a beauty prize package, a professional media kit and portfolio, and a 1-month coaching program.

What are the other competitors like? 

Each one of the girls in the pageant was lovely and I got on with each one of them. I have made lifelong friends through this experience. Throughout the competition, we grew together and experienced personal development.

What would you say to others considering entering beauty competitions?

I would enthusiastically say yes, do it! Engaging in pageants offers invaluable personal development and growth, allowing you to step out of your comfort zone and flourish. It serves as a platform where beauty intertwines with a purpose, shedding light on crucial topics and acting as a representative for New Zealand. It is truly worthwhile.

And anything else you’d like to add?

I am incredibly grateful to have won several awards as an all-rounder, including the fitness challenge, top model, evening wear, charity, social media, and swimwear, these awards were determined during pre-judging. We also went through an interview, charity presentation, and talent section with a panel of judges. 

I am thrilled to have the opportunity to represent New Zealand on an international stage and empower change for a better future with my UN Sustainable Development Goal of good health and well-being. This project has multiple initiatives such as; Creating an e-book, a morning routine challenge, promoting a healthy lifestyle/diet, and an Interview with a blind Paralympic NZ record holder. I can’t wait to get started.

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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