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NZ beauty preps for Miss Universe 2017

21 November, 2017








Harlem-Cruz Atarangi Ihaia is preparing to slay the stage amongst the most beautiful women in the world at Miss Universe 2017.

Pageant fans may remember last year’s event after celebrity host, Steve Harvey, announced Colombia's Ariadna Gutiérrez as the winner when it was actually Philippines' Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach.

Ihaia, of Ngāti Kahungunu, will compete against 92 other contestants in Las Vegas after she won Miss Universe New Zealand in August.

The Napier beauty spoke to Kawekōrero Reporters via Skype from her hotel room.

“I have a lot on my mind at the moment heading into this beauty pageant,” said Ihaia.

“I just finished my judge’s interview. I was freaking myself out. And then I got in there. And all they asked me about was my culture and who I am. So I’m like blah blah blah. I can talk so much about my culture. And then they ring the bell and I was like ‘No I’m not finished’. So it was really good and I’m loving mixing with other girls and learning new languages every day.”

The pageant is in its 66th year and will be held at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas this Sunday (NZT).