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Newly-crowned Olevia Ioane minces no words

APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, Sept. 6, 2011) - Suggestions by the Miss Samoa New Zealand committee for an international Miss Samoa pageant have shocked people involved with the local pageant.

Last week the Miss Samoa New Zealand committee said they wanted an international Samoa pageant where the winner of the "local pageant" will compete with their reigning beauty queen. The pageant would include Miss Samoa Australia and Miss Samoa USA.

It would entail a "fair and pragmatic system where Samoa holds a separate local competition crowning a Miss Teuila."

[PIR editor’s note: In Samoa, contestant Olevia Ioane was crowned Miss Samoa on Sept. 3, 2011. ]

The winner of this international Samoa pageant would be crowned Miss Samoa and compete in the Miss South Pacific. This was the opinion of the Director of Miss Samoa NZ, Te’evā Matāfai Tagaloa-Leniu, in a press statement issued this week. But former Miss Samoa Jolivette Ete emphasized yesterday that "Miss Samoa should be held here, it is Samoa. This has come as a shock to me. The Miss Samoa New Zealand have been attending the past pageants and why the change of attitude now?"

For Miss Ete, there are other countries such as Tonga with beautiful Tongan contestants from all over the globe that vie for the Miss Tonga title. This too should also apply to Samoa.

Ms Ete hopes that the decisions by the Miss Samoa New Zealand committee are a reflection of what Miss Samoa New Zealand wants.

Miss Samoa Olevia Ioane referred to the suggestions as "pathetic" and "an insult to the intelligence of Samoa".

Miss Ioane wants no part of it.

"It’s pathetic of the committee to say that knowing the Miss Samoa is held in Samoa annually," she said yesterday. The highlight of the Teuila is the Miss Samoa Pageant and it should not be changed to Miss Teuila. It’s always been like this from the beginning and should stay this way."

She warned that Samoans living abroad should not try and change the history of this country.

"It’s an insult to Samoa if we consider the request," Ms. Ioane said.

In this year’s Miss Samoa pageant, only one contestant represented the Samoan communities overseas.

Miss Samoa Australia Rebecca Sutherton said it was not fair for the Miss Samoa New Zealand Committee to stop their winner from competing in the Miss Samoa pageant this year.

"She would have had a great time like we all did," she said.

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