Harlem Cruz Ihaia from Napier crowned Miss Universe New Zealand 2017

12 Aug 2017 | Angelopedia

Miss Universe New Zealand 2017 Winner Harlem-Cruz Atarangi Ihaia


The grand finale of Miss Universe New Zealand 2017 held tonight at Skycity Theatre concluded with the crowning of Harlem-Cruz Atarangi Ihaia as the new Miss Universe New Zealand. She takes over the crown and the reign from the outgoing queen Tania Pauline Dawson and is now New Zealand's bet for Miss Universe 2017. The event was streamed live via YouTube for and was telecast live on Bravo TV, New Zealand.

Harlem is just 19 years of age and hails from Napier. She also won the Entrepreneurial Challenge, where she raised more funds for Variety, the Children’s Charity, than any other contestant. This year’s finalists raised funds for Variety, the Children's Charity, as part of their Entrepreneurial Challenge, helping deserving Kiwi kids; as well as SCOT Foundation, helping disadvantaged children in the Philippines.

Harlem said after winning the crown that she was overwhelmed, saying her victory was unexpected. She had entered to break stereotypes of both Maori and of beauty pageants. Her motto is, ‘Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.’ Harlem wins a limited edition Honda Jazz RS Sport and will do four overseas trips, including to the grand finale of Miss Universe 2017.

Her court included -

Brooke Rachel Houia (Auckland) - First Runner-up

Shekinah Delos Santos (Hamilton) - Second Runner-up

Sarah Hensby-Bennett (Hamilton) - Third Runner-up

Holly Waghorn - Fourth Runner-up

Twenty contestants from across the country competed in the final event and were selected after they attended workshops and seminars held in May. The remaining finalists were Sophia Le Grice, Rebecca Parkinson, Danielle Booth, Jenna Bellve, Irene Yeonjoo Rew, Sophie Dalmuir, Tuljai Parkar, Hannah Henderson, Renee Clayton, Johandi Jordan, Kate Langston, Chloe Manga, Acacia Walker, Zeta Fraser, Brooke Rachel Houia, and Bailey Elise Anderson

The finale included a Pacific Fusion fashion parade, which saw finalists wearing clothes designed by Sewtec students. It also featured an evening wear parade with gowns designs by international couturier Sidney Eculla, who flew in especially for the event. The jury for the grand finale comprised of actress Teuila Blakely, music legend Frankie Stevens, makeup guru and cosmetics brand owner Samala Robinson, former Miss Universe New Zealand director Evana Patterson, boutique PR agency boss Anna Jobsz, and motivational speaker Areena Deshpande.