On 12th August coronation night, Harlem-Cruz Atarangi Ihaia was crowned as Miss Universe New Zealand 2017 at the Sky City Theatre in downtown Auckland! The 19-year-old beauty queen hails from Napier, New Zealand. All the hard work and dedication was worth it when she succeeded Tania Dawson as the new Miss Universe New Zealand.
Ihaia competed with 19 other finalists to win the coveted title. The contestants together raised funds for Variety, the Children’s Charity and SCOT Foundation as a part of their entrepreneurial challenge to help children. The pageant showcased a Pacific Fusion fashion parade where the finalists were seen in clothes designed by Sewtec students. The evening gown round featured gowns designs by a talented Filipino designer Sidney Eculla. The elite judging panel included Areena Deshpande, Samala Robinson, Evana Patterson, Teuila Blakely, Anna Jobsz and Frankie Stevens.
Miss Universe New Zealand 2017 – Harlem-Cruz Atarangi Ihaia
1st Runner Up – Brooke Houia
2nd Runner Up – Shekinah Delos Santos
3rd Runner Up – Sarah Hensby-Bennett
4th Runner Up – Holly Waghorn
“To break the image of every young teenager wanting to be the next Kylie Jenner, I just want to prove that we can all be ourselves and to inspire, hopefully, the world.”
– Harlem-Cruz Atarangi Ihaia, Miss Universe NZ 2017
Harlem-Cruz Atarangi Ihaia participated in the pageant to inspire and become a role model to young Maori women. She is 5’9 in height and is a kōhanga reo teacher and a fluent speaker of te reo Māori. She is also a child supervisor at K.A.S. Care. It is an organization that helps build up the self-esteem of young children through a nurturing and caring programme in Havelock North and Hastings. Ihaia also enjoy her traditional dance. She is a fun loving person who loves to spend quality time with children.
New Zealand has won the Miss Universe crown only once when Lorraine Downes was crowed as Miss Universe 1983. However, in the recent years they have been unplaced. This year Ihaia will try her best to grab the second crown of Miss Universe for New Zealand. Do you think it’s possible? Do share your views in the comment section.
Picture Credits – Facebook page: Harlem-Cruz Atarangi Ihaia