After a whirlwind year of charity events and fundraisers, our very own Miss Auckland is ready to take on the world.
Last week Howick local Natasha Unkovich, who was crowned Miss Auckland in July last year, began her training for Miss World New Zealand.
And if she wins, Unkovich will represent New Zealand on stage at Miss World.
“I would feel absolutely honoured to represent New Zealand. It’s the place that I have grown up in and the place that has provided me with endless opportunities, so to be able to continue to give back and represent my country would be incredible,” she says.
But it’s not going to be an easy ride, she says.
“I’m very excited but there are a few nerves,” she says.
“Having taken part in Miss Auckland I already have a little taste of what to expect.”
She says the strict rehearsal schedule will prove the most challenging.
“I think managing my time as effectively as possible will be my biggest focus. I am a full time teacher and will continue working throughout the pageant and I plan to give everything 110 per cent,” she says.
Unkovich also plans to continue her volunteer work with Ronald McDonald House Charities which she says has developed a very special spot in her heart over the months.
“What I’ve loved most about my time as Miss Auckland is getting the opportunity to get involved with such an incredible charity. I’ve been on-call for things like dinner hosting, various fundraising events and spending time with the children and their families.”
Unkovich says these are the experiences that which will make handing over her crown to the next Miss Auckland later this year bittersweet.
But she says she’s excited to keep moving forward on her pageant journey.
This year Unkovich will be raising awareness and fundraising for Annie’s lifeline, the chosen charity for Miss World NZ’s Beauty with a Purpose.
Annie’s Lifeline was started by the current Miss World NZ, Annie Evans and raises money for scholarships for suicide survivors.
“I’m really excited about raising awareness and fundraising for Annie’s Lifeline,” she says, “and sharing this journey with all of the girls competing in the Miss World NZ pageant.”
The final show will be held at SkyCity Convention Centre on Saturday May 5.