Lack of entries prompts review of competition

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Only two of the three contestants in the Gore District Ambassador competition showed up for the gala night on Thursday.

There were originally four entrants. One dropped out early in the competition and another did not turn up at the ceremony.

The small number of entries has prompted organisers to review the event.

While Gore District Council events and promotions co-ordinator Emma Carle was disappointed the third entrant, Jade Tuapola, did not appear for the gala event, she was pleased with the calibre of the other two.

Miss Tuapola did not return The Ensign’s calls.

“It was a shame Jade did not turn up,” Ms Carle said, but in spite of the hiccup it was an enjoyable night.

“Obviously it would have been more interesting to have more entrants,” Ms Carle said.

She believed the winner, Tyler Dowling, was an excellent choice for the role.

Mr Dowling and Jessica O’Neill were both high-quality entrants who would both make excellent ambassadors for the district, Ms Carle said.

“Congratulations to Tyler and I’m looking forward to working with him,” she said.

Ms Carle said a review of the event would be carried out.

Organisers had tried several measures to attract entries from shoulder-tapping to working with the Gore Young Professionals group.

“I don’t know what the answer is.”

The Mataura Licensing Trust sponsored the event.

MLT board member Alan Byrne said the board was disappointed. If the low number continued then the MLT would have to take a serious look at its sponsorship of the event, Mr Byrne said.

“It’s something that needs looked at. That was just ridiculous,” he said.

MLT general manager Mark Paterson said while he was disappointed with the low turnout the two contestants worked for the trust and he was very proud of them.

Gore Mayor Tracy Hicks said it was important to continually review events to gauge aspects such as relevance.

Over the years there had been several different models used for the competition. But it was now timely to carry out a review, Mr Hicks said.

It was disappointing Miss Tuapola did not turn up but there could have been a good reason why that happened, he said.