The capital has taken the Miss Universe New Zealand crown for 2011, with Miss Wellington, Priyani Puketapu (Te Atiawa), winning top honours in front of a packed ballroom at the Amora Hotel Wellington on Sunday.
Miss North Harbour, Talia Bennett, and Miss Howick, Courtney Ramsdale, were ﬁrst and second runners-up.Miss Tend-a-Foot, Nancy Yan, and Miss Great South Vets, Isabelle Pearson, rounded off the top ﬁve.
Miss Puketapu is studying toward a bachelor of communication, majoring in journalism. ‘We are conﬁdent that Priyani Puketapu will do New Zealand proud at the Miss Universe ﬁnal in São Paulo, Brazil, to take place on September 12,’ says pageant director Val Lott.
In attendance were members of the diplomatic corps from Thailand and the People’s Republic of China, including the Thai ambassador and his wife. The charity auction at the pageant beneﬁted the New Zealand Red Cross’s Christchurch earthquake appeal.