In 1976 three former Miss New Zealand winners fronted up for Max Cryer talk show Town Cryer — including a winner from the 1920s, who agreed to talk on condition her identity wasn’t revealed. The woman recalls her mother firmly turning down offers of travel to Hollywood. 1949 winner Mary ‘Bobbie’ Woodward agrees stamina was as important to the role as beauty. 1954 winner Moana Whaanga (nee Manley) was also a national swimming rep. After the show aired, Cryer heard from an earlier Māori winner, who in 1923 took away possibly the first Miss NZ title of all.
My mother didn't want me to appear in a bathing suit - I had to have a large cape ... I was offered trips overseas, to Hollywood, Australia, everywhere. They did everything possible to make my mother agree to my doing this sort of thing, but she wouldn't.– Mystery contestant from the 1920s