She is the new milky bar kid, and she is fluent in Te reo.
Blonde-haired, blue-eyed Hinetaapora Short from Rotorua beat out more than 1500 entries to fill the mini-cowboy boots of one of New Zealand’s most well known characters.
Milky Bar spokesman Jeremy Boucher said eight-year-old Hinetaapora was a hit with the judges and New Zealand public alike.
“We opened up this search to all New Zealanders, and it is exciting to have found a winner who not only has the special qualities to come through this audition process but who also embodies New Zealand in the 21st century.”
She is the world’s first female Milky Bar kid.
Three of Hinetaapora’s brothers also entered the competition.
“I think one of them was jealous,” she said.
Hinetaapora attends Te Kura O Tekoutu school and is fluent in Te Reo and also speaks Spanish.
More than 1500 entries were whittled down to a top 10 that featured six girls and four boys.
A panel of judges then picked Hinetaapora as the ultimate winner, but she also had the highest percentage of more than 11,000 total votes received.
“It was not a difficult choice to make,” said Boucher.
In her entry video, Hinetaapora said she would like to become famous.
Proud parents and guardians had been filming auditions of their children since August 9.
Public auditions were also held at branches of The Warehouse, New World and Pak’N'Save stores nationwide.
“We found that there are hundreds of talented kids, which made the judging extremely difficult.”
The finalists will each receive a Nestle hamper and a certificate to commemorate their experience, while Hinetaapora will star in the new Milky Bar television commercial in early 2011.
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