Talia Bennett is the new Miss Universe New Zealand 2012 after Avianca Böhm failed to prove her New Zealand citizenship and had been instructed to “step down”. Talia Bennett, Miss North Harbour, was the first runner-up in the Miss Universe New Zealand 2012 pageant held in June.
Bennett is 23 years old and stands 5 ft 8 inches. She will represent New Zealand in the upcoming Miss Universe 2012 Pageant.
Talia Bennett is the new Miss Universe New Zealand 2012
Talia Bennett’s new title as Miss Universe New Zealand, follows months of disaster stories surrounding Avianca Böhm’s bid to fast-track her New Zealand citizenship. “To be asked by the Miss Universe New Zealand organiser’s to represent New Zealand at Miss Universe 2012 is a wonderful honor. It has been sad and unfortunate how events have unfolded and I am truly humbled in accepting my selection. I am looking forward with excitement to the once in a lifetime opportunity I have been given to represent my country on the world stage. I’m mindful of the very high standards set by past representatives and respectfully accept the challenge and responsibility I now have to my family, friends, supporters and the public to justify this significant honor.”
Bennett is over the moon and stands by beauty pageant director Val Lott who she says herself and the other contestants have “grown to love”. When asked by media, Val Lott said it would be “confidence-boosting” for both Böhm and her local area of New Zealand [to enter the pageant] but she was told that she could not win. The judges were aware of Ms Böhm’s non-citizenship contrary to head judge Jack Yan’s version of events but still proceeded with their choice of winner.
“It’s not embarrassing for the competition. It’s embarrassing for the [head] judge, who should have taken on board what I said to him, It says that in their entry form. [Ms Böhm] and I both had a clear understanding that she couldn’t win.”
Courtesy of Miss Universe New Zealand.