Doubts over Miss NZ's eligibility
Tue, 05 Jun 2012 9:10a.m.
The newly-crowned Miss Universe New Zealand may have to wait for her chance to travel and meet people - including Donald Trump at his Miss Universe competition - because she does not have a New Zealand passport yet.
South African-born Avianca Bohm, 22, representing the Auckland suburb of Howick, was crowned in a ceremony on Sunday night.
However, it has been revealed she was not eligible to win because she is not a New Zealand citizen, the New Zealand Herald reports.
Pageant director Val Lott blamed the judges, who she said were told Ms Bohm was not eligible to win.
Ms Bohm was allowed to enter because it would boost her confidence and be good for Howick.
Judging panel head Jack Yan disputed Ms Lott's version of events, but said he didn't want to get into public debate.
Ms Bohm was confident her citizenship would be fast-tracked.
"Everyone's got contacts, and it's one of the first things that we're going to do and sort out.
"It's just the paperwork ... It's not an issue to me at all, I'm not even worried about that."
Runner-up, Miss North Harbour Talia Bennett, 23, referred all questions to Ms Lott.
Ms Lott has contacted organisers of Miss Universe 2012 to ask if Ms Bohm, who moved here when she was 16, can represent New Zealand as a permanent resident.
Miss Universe 2012 will be held in December at a yet-to-be-decided venue.
Last month Miss World Fiji, Torika Watters, 16, was stripped of her crown because she reportedly did not look Fijian enough.
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5/06/2012 9:24:22 p.m.
Seems to me the judges are being thrown under a bus by organisers of the event, Ms Lott needs to get her story straight for starters! Doesn't sound like poor Ms Bohm had any idea she wasn't eligible to win. What a joke, allowing people to enter a competition they aren't even allowed to win! It's laughable, entry form noting both citizens and residents can enter, when it's impossible for them to win, and the reason it's allowed being "for experience", ridiculous!
5/06/2012 8:22:44 p.m.
Rod Lofthouse wrote:
I see yet another "shortcut" citizenship application is being put forward, this time for the South African girl who was wrongly awarded the Miss Universe title as a New Zealander. The others were Mr Dot Com and the Chinese millionaire who was given citizenship in just ONE day. Gina Campbell QSO is being denied. She is financially independent and has relatives in NZ and has had residency previously which expired. How can these people mentioned above get in when this lady, awarded for her services to NZ water safety, is refused?
5/06/2012 7:15:19 p.m.
Fastracking citizenship? Isn't that something done in third world countries for money? How low can NZ go?
5/06/2012 5:42:44 p.m.
Good! If your not from that country you shouldn't represent them. Its like a white lady representing asia. Dout that would ever happen.
5/06/2012 3:39:52 p.m.
Miss NZ 2011- Mianette Broekman wrote:
THe Miss Universe Pageant directors were negligent in letting this slip past them- The contestant should not have to take the fall for their mistakes. The same thing happened to me when I was crowned. Avianca is proud of her coutry and a piece of paper wont make a difference to how she feels in her heart. Lets give her a chance NZ
5/06/2012 12:53:14 p.m.
I don't think her citizenship will be fast tracked. I'm in the process of getting mine, and believe me the DIA are VERY strict about their rules, and fast tracking is against their rules.
5/06/2012 11:01:05 a.m.
I suppose if you aren't a millionaire, then being beautiful is the next best thing to ensure your citizenship is fasttracked. It is a formula that has worked for centuries.
5/06/2012 9:41:57 a.m.
Fast track a citizenship! How can you justify the entering of a beauty pageant to boost one's confidence and be good for a suburb to then win and have citizenship fast tracked. There will be an outcry from a lot of legitimate people waiting for their papers to come through if this fast tracking is done.
I believe if you win legitimately great, but to do so under a cloud, does no one any good, least of all the winner.
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