Miss Universe New Zealand 2017 Harlem Cruz Ihaia receives grand Homecoming

25 Aug 2017 | Angelopedia

After her glorious victory at the grand finale of Miss Universe New Zealand 2017, Harlem-Cruz Atarangi Ihaia received a wonderful welcome from the people of her home town Napier. A thunderous powhiri (called a pohiri in eastern dialects) is a Maori welcoming ceremony involving speeches, dancing, singing and finally the hongi) was organized for the new beauty queen by her community members who took a great deal of pride in her victory.

Harlem Cruz, a 19-year-old teacher, was overwhelmed to get such an amazing treatment from her people and felt honoured to be treated like a queen at a parade around the Hawke's Bay City which was specially organized for her.

Harlem feels delighted to be a role model for the younger generation. Joining family and friends on a classic spring-like Napier morning, she posed for numerous photographs amid a formal welcome with congratulations from Mayor Bill Dalton.

Harlem Cruz is a true Maori who has great respect for her culture. She deeply cares about the members of her community and her main motive for participating in the contest was to represent her people on a huge public platform.

Ihaia is the first winner from Napier since the competition was revamped under new management in 2013. Harlem Cruz Ihaia will represent New Zealand in Miss Universe 2017 later this year.

"If I don't win," she said, "I'll still get something out of it."


Miss Universe New Zealand 2017 Harlem Cruz Ihaia receives grand Homecoming