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ALOFI, Niue (Niue News, Oct. 30) – Niue's contestant in the Miss South Pacific pageant at Pago Pago, American Samoa, has won the coveted crown.

It is the first time a Niue participant has won the Miss South Pacific title since its inception in 1987.

The winner, 24-year-old Sinahemana Hekau, is one of 13 children in the Hekau family of Alofi.

Hekau, an attorney, was this morning still ecstatic after her crowning ceremony, as were the residents of Niue when the news broke at 6 a.m. on the local Radio Sunshine.

Hekau is the daughter of former Member of Parliament Makamau Hekau and former chairperson of the Niue Public Service Commission Mahetoe Hekau.

Hekau’s pageant victory is a cause " for more and more celebrations," said an excited tourism director Ida Talagi-Hekesi.

"This is good news for the country after Cyclone Heta. It has lifted our spirits," she said.

The victory announcement followed a colourful state dinner at Hakupu village when the Premier Young Vivian hosted the New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark and a large delegation of Niueans living overseas.

Most of the island’s 1,300 residents attended the function which included a huge feast and Niuean dancing.

November 1, 2004

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