First Foundation's Tongan Beauty



First Foundation Recruitment Co-ordinator, ‘Evalata Vehikite (pictured), is preparing to go back to her roots, while taking on a new kind of challenge. She has been asked to take part in Bou’s Pageant along with other Tongan women from all over Auckland.

Bou’s pageant is a type of pre-pageant before the infamous Miss Heilala Pageant, part of the annual Heilala Festival, staged in June/July.

“I was approached to enter by a friend who told me they were not taking a ‘No’ as an answer,” ‘Evalata says. “I thought this is just another challenge for me, so why not take it up.”

‘Evalata has to complete six categories, including a pre-pageant interview, puletaha (tradition Tongan attire), tau’olunga (traditional dance), and the sarong and talent night. “Then there are the finals, along with the ball night, which anyone can attend along with the other events,” ‘Evalata explains.

Tickets for each event are $30.00, while the ball costs $70.00 per ticket.

‘Evalata has her first fundraiser on Saturday night, where she will perform a tau’olunga. “I am really nervous - last time I danced was seven years ago,” she says.

The winner for the tau’olunga event wins a trip to Tonga to represent pageant organiser Bou’s Fashion in the Miss Heilala pageant alongside Tongan beauties from all over the world. Currently, ‘Evalata and the other contestants are preparing for the pageant, having their photo/video shoots done and rehearsing for the performances.

By taking part in this pageant, ‘Evalata hopes to make her family proud, she says. “I also hope I can achieve something great and embrace this as a learning experience.

“I’m looking forward to learning more about my culture and traditions and also sharing experiences with the other contestants – there are 12 of us altogether. I can’t wait to represent Tonga - our little island in the Pacific with the other contestants.”

The events for Bou’s Pageant kick off on June 2, and run through until June 22.

Visit BOU’s Facebook page at  for more information.

All the best ‘Evalata – from your First Foundation family.