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The newly crowned Miss Universe New Zealand may be stripped of her tiara because she is not a New Zealander.
She may be stripped of her tiara – because she is a South African.
Avianca Bohm, 22, who was crowned Miss Universe New Zealand on Saturday, is confident her citizenship will be fast-tracked, saying it is just a matter of paperwork.
However, unless the citizenship is fast-tracked Bohm is unlikely to be able to attend Donald Trump’s Miss Universe pageant later this year.
Representing Howick, she was crowned on Saturday night in Wellington.
But less than 24 hours later, organisers admitted she should never have won.
Yesterday, pageant director, Val Lott, blamed the judges and said they were told Bohm was not eligible to win.
“It’s embarrassing for the (chief) judge, who should have taken on board what I said to him.
“It says that in their entry form. (Bohm) and I both had a clear understanding that she couldn’t win.
“I said, you can enter it because it will still be a lot of confidence-boosting and great for your area to represent Howick.”
Lott has contacted organisers of Miss Universe 2012 to ask if Bohm can represent New Zealand as a permanent resident.
The judging panel was headed by Jack Yan, publisher of fashion magazine Lucire.
Yan said he disputed Lott’s version of events, but said he didn’t want to get into a game of “he said, she said”.
“If I do that, it’s going to drag on with no end. I think we need to look to the future and see what the next right step is.”
Yesterday, Bohm said she was sure her citizenship would be fast-tracked.
“It’s just the paperwork. I mean New Zealand is such a multicultural country... It’s not an issue to me at all, I’m not even worried about that.”
Bohm moved from Pretoria to Auckland aged 16.
– New Zealand Herald