Miss Universe NZ stripped of crown

Last updated 14:39 31/07/2012
Avianca Bohm Miss Universe
'OVERSIGHT': Miss Universe NZ winner Avianca Bohm is not a New Zealand citizen.
Talia Bennett miss universe
DAVID DUFFY/Emotif.co.nz
SECOND BEST: Runner-up Talia Bennett has been told she is now Miss Universe New Zealand.

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Miss Universe New Zealand has lost her crown after failing to gain New Zealand citizenship.

South African-born Avianca Bohm, 22, was awarded the title in June despite not being a New Zealand citizen.

The Howick resident was later asked to relinquish her title but engaged lawyers to fight it.

A deadline of tomorrow was then set for Bohm to gain citizenship ahead of December's Miss Universe pageant in Las Vegas.

It is understood her application was declined.

Bohm has since been stripped of her crown and this afternoon competition runner-up Talia Bennett from Auckland's North Shore was notified that she was now Miss Universe New Zealand.

New Zealand competition organiser Val Lott confirmed Bennett was notified of the decision today.

"We're not talking about Avianca we're all over her, let's move forward," she said.

 "Talia is excited, everyone is excited."

Lott said it was an easy process to remove the title from Bohm, who is currently residing in South Africa.

This morning international organisers of the Donald Trump run Miss Universe pageant said they hadn't been informed of any changes in respect of Bohm's citizenship or position as New Zealand's representative in the contest.


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