Statement making . . . Reigning Gore Coun try Music Queen Melissa Wishart has chosen a new crown for her successors and will keep the old one when she passes on her title next month. PHOTO: FIONA ELLIS

This year’s Gore Country Music Queen will don a brand-new crown to match her new title.

The sparkling headpiece was chosen by current queen Melissa Wishart, who will pass it to a successor on May 30.

The new queen will represent Gore at the Tussock Country Music Festival.

“We wanted a big, beautiful crown, one that looks magnificent,” Mrs Wishart said.

“We wanted something that made a statement.

“You want to feel special wearing it.”

The new crown was handmade in Australia and was worth more than $NZ 1000.

She picked the design because the swirling koru and fern fronds gave it a very New Zealand feel, she said.

The crown arrived earlier this month.

Although she enjoyed looking at it, it was not the sort of thing to wear around the house.

“It’s very new and very heavy.”

She would keep the smaller tiara she was crowned with as a memento, she said.

The upgrade was inspired by the more elaborate crown worn by her Australian counterpart, Tamworth’s Queen of Country Music.

Although going by various names, it was also the 40th year the Gore Country Music Queen event would be held.

This was a good time to have a special crown made, which she hoped would see the event through the next 40 years.

“It’s my legacy.”

Her time as queen had been unusual because she had kept the title for two years rather than one due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

She enjoyed the community connections the role gave her.

”I really enjoyed how it developed me as a person. It gave me confidence in myself,” Mrs Wishart said.

The highlight of her reign was her visit to Australia last January to represent Gore at the Tamworth Golden Guitar Awards.

“I felt a real sense of community — it was like home.”

She was still in contact with the people she met there, she said.

This year she was helping to organise the Country Music Queen event, she said.

Five women had entered.

All former winners were invited to the gala evening next month and the public was welcome to attend.