An Australian-based Niuean wins Miss Niue Aotearoa 2017.
Valencia Lama, an 18 year old living in Sydney, has become the first Australian-based Niuean to win the crown of Miss Niue Aotearoa.
The year 12 student who is completing her final year of high school, says she’s ready for the challenge.
“I’m so excited for the journey and the impact I’m going to have on the young people,” she says through her tears.
“I’ve had so much support from my family in Aotearoa New Zealand and those who have come from all over Auckland to support me, and today I’m taking home the crown, that was the ultimate goal.”
Valencia, who’s father is Tibetan, told the crowd during her interview that her living in Australia should not deter the judges from selecting her for the title.
The judges unanimously agreed and despite being the youngest on the stage, Valencia won the interview section with her conviction, and picked up the talent and sarong sections also.
1st runner up went to Shawn Lomu who is quarter Niuean, quarter Tongan and half Papua New Guinean, and won the crowd over with her endearing encouragement of other young Niuean girls to “just do it!”
2nd runner up is Esa-Jayne Peika, an Auckland University music major who played the saxophone, keyboard and sang during her talent.
3rd runner up Haylee Osikai Esela’s love for heritage through art is reflected in her cultural wear, made by a team of women using traditional Niuean materials.
4th runner up went to Katherine Haletama Fatamaka and her cultural wear was a tribute to her grandfather who was among the islands best fishermen.
5th runner up day care reliever Leilah Tohovaka Fa’amausili wore a cultural garment that reflected both her Niuean and and Maori heritage such as hiapo and flax.
6th runner up was Addison Ioane who showed the crowd how to make one of the island’s most revered dishes, the takihi.
OTHER CATEGORY PLACINGS:
Miss Photogenic: Haylee Osikai Esela
Miss Congeniality: Katherine Haletama Fatamaka
Miss Fitness: Addison Ioane
Miss Personality: Shawn Lomu
Miss Social Media: Haylee Osikai Esela
Miss Dance: Katherine Haletama Fatamaka
Miss Vagahau Niue: Haylee Osikai Esela
Miss Vagahau Niue in media: Esa-Jayne Peika
Best Sarong: Valencia Lama
Best Talent: Valencia Lama
Best Evening Wear: Shawn Lomu
Best Cultural Wear: Shawn Lomu
Best interview: Valencia Lama
6th Runner up: Addison Ioane
5th Runner up: Leilah Tohovaka Fa’amausili
4th Runner up: Katherine Haletama Fatamaka
3rd Runner up: Haylee Osikai Esela
2nd Runner up: Esa-Jayne Peika
1st Runner up: Shawn Lomu
Miss Niue Aotearoa 2017: Valencia Lama