The Miss Universe New Zealand crown now officially belongs to runner up Talia Bennett,after Miss Universe New Zealand has lost her crown after failing to gain New Zealand citizenship.
Avianca Bohm was crowned in June but her title was thrown into immediate doubt when it was revealed that she had won despite the head judge knowing that she was ineligible to win, as she was not a citizen of the country.
Auckland resident Avianca Bohm yesterday lost her Miss Universe title when her application for New Zealand citizenship was denied unexpectedly.
This morning, Bennett said being crowned the winner was “a wonderful honour’’.
She added: “It has been sad and unfortunate how events have unfolded and I am truly humbled in accepting my selection.’’
Bennett, a Miss North Shore beauty queen, is a 23-year-old Bachelor of Property graduate and qualified commercial property valuer aiming to "climb the corporate ladder pursuing a career in property development", according to the Miss Universe website.
The competition has been mired in controversy since Ms Bohm was picked by judges who had reportedly been told the South African was not entitled to win because of her nationality.
Pageant director Val Lott last month blamed the judges over the controversy. She said there was an understanding that Ms Bohm could not win.
Miss Universe 2012 will be held in December at a yet-to-be-decided venue.