The search is finally over for one of our most well-known young adventurers, The Milkybar Kid. And filling those famous boots will be Hinetaapora Short, aged 8, from Rotorua.

Hinetaapora Short attends Maori school Te Kura O Tekoutu and is bilingual – Maori is her first language. Her favourite subjects at school are Spanish and singing, and when she grows up she’d like to be famous, or a model.

She says she would like to be the next Milkybar Kid because it sounds fun, she’d like to be famous and she really likes Milkybars.

To top off her success, Hinetaapora will be carrying on the Kiwi tradition of revolutionary women and female-firsts: never before in the world has the MILKYBAR Kid been a girl, making this an extra-special achievement for the Rotorua youngster and an exciting moment for Nestle.

“Hinetaapora was a hit with the judges and New Zealand public alike,” says MILKYBAR spokesman Jeremy Boucher. “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.”

Since 9 August 2010, parents and guardians have been filming audition videos of their children using a script from the MILKYBAR website and uploading the footage for their chance to fill the iconic boots of this much-loved character. Public auditions were also held at branches of The Warehouse, New World and Pak’N’Save stores nationwide. Over 1500 entries were whittled down to a Top Ten that featured six girls and four boys from all over the country.

The public saw all the Finalists on Good Morning, in magazines, and on the MILKYBAR website, and then voted at for the Finalist they thought would be the best New Zealand MILKYBAR Kid. A panel of judges then picked Hinetaapora as the ultimate winner, but as she had the highest percentage of over 11,000 total votes received, it was not a difficult choice to make.

Says Jeremy Boucher: “We extend our thanks to all the MILKY BAR Kids who auditioned and to their families who supported them. We found that there are hundreds of talented kids, which made the judging extremely difficult. Our congratulations go to the Top Ten and of course to our winner who will go on to star as the next MILKYBAR Kid.”

The Top Ten Finalists will each receive a Nestle hamper and a certificate to commemorate their experience, while Hinetaapora will star in the new MILKYBAR television commercial in early 2011 and enter the hearts (and lounges) of Kiwis as part of one of New Zealand’s most iconic television campaigns.

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