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, 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 Bohm was not eligible to win.
Bohm was allowed to enter because it would boost her confidence and be good for the Auckland suburb of Howick that she represented.
Judging panel head Jack Yan disputed Ms Lott’s version of events, but said he didn’t want to get into a public debate.
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, Talia Bennett, 23, referred all questions to Ms Lott.
Ms Lott has contacted organisers of Miss Universe 2012 to ask if 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.