New Zealand’s Next Top Model Bullied At School, But At Least She’s Not Pregnant / In Prison

Recently crowned New Zealand’s next top model Danielle Hayes had, it would seem, a fairly typical Kiwi upbringing in small town NZ – including being bullied badly at school.

Winning the title is probably going to change in her life very much for the better, we wish her the very best of luck for a bright future.

She had said in an interview

“”It’s going to change my life so much. Like so much. I’m going to go from doing nothing at home, sleeping on mum and dad’s couch, to actually doing stuff every day,” she told the Sunday Star-Times.

The model said she had made one of the biggest journeys of all the girls on the show. She was bullied badly at school, but it made her determined to succeed.

“I used to get punched a lot by the other Maori kids. It was constant name-calling, like `you’re ugly, you’re never going to do anything in your entire life’.”

Hayes seems to have mixed feelings about her home town. On the first episode of Top Model she said that coming from Kawerau, her greatest achievements were not getting pregnant and avoiding jail.

Growing up in Kawerau you’ve practically got those two options. I was speaking the truth where nobody else would. Growing up there, I wanted to be different. I wanted to get out,” she said.

“Kawerau’s my home. I can diss it because I’m from there, but anybody else diss it, no way.”…

…Hayes didn’t watch the show regularly because she didn’t want to see herself on television, but she said that, based on the finale, she thought she was portrayed accurately. She also refuses to read any comments on the internet about herself. “I’m sick of being bullied, so why read the negatives?” read more

What a pity other young Kiwi women like her don’t have the same future ahead of them, it’s a pity that their opportunities are limited, it’s a pity her words kicked up a storm in her hometown of Kawerau, in the eastern Bay of Plenty – but perhaps they needed to be said?

Perhaps New Zealand isn’t as Great a place for raising kids as it would like to believe? Perhaps speaking about these things may help to change them?

Some of our readers may remember the furore that  ‘Ode to Whangarei‘  caused. It earned Peter Larson, the poet who conceived it, a bashing. In it was the phrase:

Whangarei your teenagers are pregnant with the next generation of criminals…read the full poem here

Are we seeing a theme emerging here?

It’s a sad that the youth of a once proud country need to win modelling contracts to get up and out, that towns like Wairoa go into lockdown because of inter gang warfare, that fast food restaurants go into deals with its government to create low paid jobs and movie studios call the shots on employment law.

To read other blog posts about New Zealand,  a great place to raise kids? click here, including:

NZ Scores Second Worst in the World For Bullying in Schools

Rotorua stabbing “indicative” of youth issues in the city

NZ A Great Place to Raise Kids? Porirua’s Midnight Express

Kids in New Zealand – The Village Lets Them Down

NZ Teachers Need More Power to Protect Themselves

Two More Teachers Assaulted In Tauranga

Bullying to Blame For Te Puke Teacher Stabbing

“Poor” NZ Among Lowest In OECD For Education Spending


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One thought on “New Zealand’s Next Top Model Bullied At School, But At Least She’s Not Pregnant / In Prison

  1. Good to see a former bully victim who is not just a survivor but also shows that her greatest achievements of not falling pregnant or landing in prison is one thing kids need to look up to. Perhaps Danielle should be a spokesperson for an anti-bullying campaign in NZ.

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