The universe at her feet

by Kent Caddick

In just over a week Rolleston teenager Abigail Curd will step onto the biggest stage of her life, the finals of the Miss Universe New Zealand contest.

The 19-year-old former Lincoln High School student is one of 20 finalists in this year’s Miss Universe New Zealand beauty pageant, with the grand final taking place at Auckland’s Sky City on August 4.

Abigail said it had been the most amazing three months of her life after being selected as a finalist in the competition back in May.

She said the highlight so far had been the finalists’ retreat in Thailand where she and the other contestants were flown.  

“It was an incredible experience. We went to Bangkok and Pattaya and visited a sanctuary, which helps to protect tigers by breeding them and rehabilitating them back into the wild.

“We got to hang out with baby tigers, which was a real highlight for me. They were two-month-old babies and really beautiful.”

She said she found the entrepreneurial challenge one of the toughest moments of the contest so far.

The contestants were charged with organising a fundraising event to raise money for the children’s charity Variety.

“It took me a while to come up with an event, which we finally ran just three weeks ago, and I received some great help from locals to get it organised,” Abigail said.

“While I was pleased with the eventual result — if I had more time I think I could have done it better.”
As part of the contest, she and the other contestants travelled to Auckland to meet some of the Variety children.

“It was incredible to meet these children and gave us the incentive to really try and help them.”

Abigail said she was drawn into modelling after a couple of friends suggested they get involved by doing a modelling course while they were at school.

“It really started from there, and while my friends no longer are involved — I wouldn’t have been able to do it without them being there at the start.”

When the Miss Universe contest came on her radar, she said she wanted to see what she was capable of.

“I wanted to see if I had the ability to be a part of the competition and from that point on, I have learnt a lot about what I am capable of when I put my mind to it and the potential I have.”

No matter where she finishes in the Miss Universe New Zealand contest 
Rolleston’s Abigail Curd will be pursuing a career in modelling

She said winning the contest would mean a lot of doors would open up to her, but if she doesn’t win she isn’t about to give up.

“There is no Plan B at this stage. Sure, if I was to win my life over the next year would be different, and there would be a lot more opportunities for me to explore.

“But if I don’t, there are other avenues for me to look into and maybe enter again in a couple of years.

“Certainly if I get in the top five there are a number of contests around the country, which I would look at entering.

“Whatever happens, I will be looking to continue my career as a model, as the exposure I will get through Miss Universe will hopefully help to make it easier for me to get work.”

Locals will be able to follow Abigail Curd in the final as it will be screened live on Sky TV’s Bravo channel on August 4.