That awkward moment: Miss New Zealand named Miss Netherlands

This week’s Miss Universe pageant in Las Vegas brought about an awkward commentary blunder during the national costume section.


MC Nia Sanchez got it all wrong when she effectively announced Miss New Zealand, Harlem-Cruz Atarangi Ihaia, as Miss Netherlands.

“With a strong desire to be The Goddess of Fire, it’s Netherland… New Zealand,” said Sanchez in front of a packed house. Ihaia then cracked a wry smile at the end of the runway.

Miss USA and first runner-up Miss Universe three years ago, Sanchez can be heard giggling as she corrects here mistake.

“I was privileged to attend the Celine Dion concert and also the Donny and Marie Osmond Show,” Ihaia told Hawkes Bay Today of her reign so far.

“It would mean everything to me to win. I have done my best in interviews, modelling the evening gown and bikini at the preliminary competition, so it’s just a waiting game now.

“I’m satisfied with my efforts and how I have represented my country.

“I think all 92 women have a chance as we are all confidently beautiful women who have a passion to make a difference.”

Ihaia did not win. Miss South Africa Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters did. Laura Gonzalez of Colombia and Davina Bennett of Jamaica were named first and second runner-up, respectively.