Whanganui's Jessica Tyson is now Miss World New Zealand
Whanganui born and former Whanganui High School student, Jessica Tyson was crowned Miss World New Zealand at SkyCity in Auckland on Saturday night.
The Miss World New Zealand title for 2018 has been won by a woman from Whanganui.
Māori Television reporter and presenter Jessica Tyson was crowned at the SkyCity Convention Centre on Saturday night and her whānau are very proud, said her uncle Colin Tyson.
"She has worked very hard for this and we are all very proud of her.
"It's not just about her beauty, it's about her whole person."
Tyson, of Te Atihaunui-ā-Pāpārangi iwi, moved to Auckland in 2012 to do a communication studies degree, majoring in journalism, then studied te reo Māori.
Now co-presenter on Rereātea, Māori Television's online midday news bulletin, Tyson has told her Instagram followers that the Miss World title is "a dream come true."
The 25-year-old has already represented New Zealand at two international pageants in China and Japan.
In 2008 she won the Miss Teen World pageant in Australia, placed second at Miss World New Zealand and took part in Miss International in Tokyo in 2016 and won Miss Global City in Shanghai last year.
"I woke up today the happiest girl in the world," Tyson told her online followers on Sunday.
"I am so incredibly grateful for the Miss World New Zealand organisation and judges for choosing me, for my family and friends who flew from as far as Australia to come and support me at the show, to all of my supporters who have helped me with my fundraising efforts for Annie's Lifeline by attending my events."
Tyson is dedicated to supporting mental health causes and has been fundraising for Annie's Lifeline - an organisation that gives scholarships to youth who are suicide survivors or have gone through strenuous mental health problems.
The charity was started by 2017 Miss World New Zealand Annie Evans and Tyson organised an auction and fashion show to raise funds for the cause in April.
Tyson will represent New Zealand at the 68th Miss World pageant which will take place in Sanya, China on December 8 this year.
By Liz Wylie
Wanganui Chronicle 7/5/18