Harlem-Cruz Atarangi Ihaia’s admirable efforts towards achieving the title of Miss Universe New Zealand 2017

08 Aug 2017 | Angelopedia

Miss Universe New Zealand 2017 grand finale is scheduled to be held on August 12' 2017 at Skycity Theatre, Auckland. The contestants are taking part in several activities to get ready to compete at the finale with full preparations. One of the finalists of the pageant, Harlem-Cruz Atarangi Ihaia is in the lead to get immunity to the top 10.

She along with other finalists took part in the three-day “Stiletto Camp,” which is an international retreat in Thailand and an entrepreneurial challenge as part of their journey. The challenge involved finalists raising money for Variety, the Children’s Charity, as well as their own Miss Universe journey.

Harlem raised more than $11,000 as part of the challenge, which, so far, puts her in the lead and in the running to get the immunity from the first 20 to 10 elimination during the finale. She is in great hopes to receive the immunity.


Harlem-Cruz Atarangi Ihaia’s admirable efforts towards achieving the title of Miss Universe New Zealand 2017


It's made me realize how much I can achieve, it's brought my whole community and my whole whanau together. I've been blown away by how much people have got behind it,” she said. The stunner raised money through a firewood raffle, a gala, and mufti days at local schools and a sausage sizzle.

With this, the finalist also raised money more than anyone else in the whole competition’s entrepreneurial challenge history with the early top being $ 8000. Miss Ihaia left for Auckland for a week of practices and judges interviews, which count for a large percentage of the overall result.

However, during the journey, she realised that she also wanted to break the typecasts of the pageant girl. “There's a really big stigma of beauty pageants downgrading women but it's nothing like that.”

You don't have to wear makeup everyday and wear high heels . . . you don’t have to change to look like a certain person. I haven't changed, I still wear my gumboots. They've allowed me to be myself and hold on to my Maori heritage throughout the whole campaign. I just hope to win to encourage everybody that they can be themselves,” she ended.

Miss Universe New Zealand 2016, Tania Pauline Dawson, will crown her successor at the conclusion of the finale and the winner will represent New Zealand in Miss Universe 2017.