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Has New Zealand contest winner found a Ukrainian girlfriend?

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May 26, 2011, 10:48 p.m. | About Kyiv — by Nataliya Horban

A kiwi winemaker poses with a Ukrainian woman.
© www.therock.net.nz

“Win a Wife,” a controversial radio contest held in New Zealand in February, made winner Greg Morgan a happy man and once again nourished a stereotype of Ukraine as the world’s bride basket. Winemaker Morgan won round-trip tickets to Ukraine and 12 nights in Zaporizhzhya to meet a woman of his dreams, but after bad publicity surrounding the sexist competition, he reportedly refused to make the trip.

The New Zealand Labour Party was outraged: “It is a reminder that there is still an attitude towards women in New Zealand that is deeply troubling – that they are commodities to buy and to own,” Carol Beaumont wrote in her blog in February.

But just when Ukrainian feminists and New Zealand politicians sighed with relief, photos of Morgan with a playful blonde posing in front of yellow curtains in a radio station’s t-shirt popped up online.

“Greg has met Irina and she plans on coming down to New Zealand when she finishes university, haha, go Greg,” reads the message on the Rock FM’s Facebook page.


Is Greg Morgan seeing a college student named Irina? (www.therock.net.nz)

It looks like Morgan rescheduled the trip to get his prize and tricked Femen, a popular women’s movement who protested topless against Morgan’s visit on March 1.

Young women promised to disrupt the kiwi’s visit to Ukraine by appearing in Donetsk airport on the day of his scheduled arrival.

“We will do everything possible to make sure he takes his suitcase and flies back,” said Anna Hutsol, Femen’s leader.

But Morgan apparently sneaked past the naked customs patrol and met with a student called Irina.

Bypassing vigilant Femen, Morgan proved a persistent fellow.

This wasn’t his first attempt to find a Ukrainian bride. In his radio profile online, he mentioned that he had already tried to meet a woman from Ukraine but two days before his departure she allegedly ditched him.

Kyiv Post staff writer Nataliya Horban can be reached at horban@kyivpost.com
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