Niuean wins 2004 Miss South Pacific

ALOFI, Niue — The people of Niue had something to cheer about this October after 10 months of rebuilding their hurricane-ravaged island. Sinahemana Hekau, 24, an assistant Crown counsel lawyer of Niue, was crowned the new 2004 Miss South Pacific in Pago Pago, American Samoa.

A crowd of nearly 2,000 people attended the annual pageant to witness the selection of the woman that would represent the women of the South Pacific. From the pageant's inception in 1987 this is the first time Miss Niue will wear the honored crown.

For her talent she performed an intriguing Niuean action dance with reference to Cyclone Heta's devastation that hit her island in January last year. It showcased the resilience of her people in rebuilding both infrastructure and the lives of the people.

Sister Hekau spoke of her pageant experiences. "Perhaps I didn't know enough of the significance and magnitude of the Miss South Pacific title until I was actually there in Pago. It was such a big and important event in the two Samoas. I've always known from reading the rules and regulations of the Miss South Pacific organization that this event is one that brings together all the Pacific Islands in a partnership of sharing and promoting cultures, attributes of the Pacific Island women and regional issues and concerns. The experiences have further deepened my passion and appreciation for my island roots." <!–

Her father, Tukala Hekau, serves as the district president in Niue. There are 204 members of the Church on the small island of 2,000 inhabitants.