Miss New Zealand Universe 2012 Avianca Bohm, third runner-up Monique Cooley not New Zealand citizens

By on Jun 6, 2012 in Lifestyle, World Comments

Miss New Zealand Universe 2012 winner Avianca Bohm may be dethroned because she was found to be not a New Zealand citizen, and the local organizers knew about it prior the coronation night; with third runner-up Monique Cooley having the same problem.

Miss New Zealand Universe 2012 winner Avianca
Bohm (left) and third runner-up Monique Cooley

Image Credit: Ross Giblin/Fairfax NZ

According to New Zealand Herald on Wednesday, June 6, 2012, Avianca Bohm, who represented Howick and won the Miss New Zealand Universe 2012 title last Saturday night held in Wellington, was born in South Africa and is not a citizen of New Zealand.

As noted in the report, organizers admitted they knew that Bohm, 22, who moved from Pretoria to Auckland when she was still a teen, was not eligible, but noted they thought that she will not win the Miss New Zealand Universe 2012 crown.

Pageant director Val Lott reportedly told Jack Yan, head of judging panel, that Ms. Bohm is not a New Zealand citizen and that she should have not won the crown, noting that she was only allowed to compete to give her a boost in confidence.

“It’s not embarrassing for the competition. 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. [Ms Bohm] and I both had a clear understanding that she couldn’t win.” Ms. Lott was quoted in the report.

Meanwhile, third runner-up Monique Cooley, who was born in Adelaide in 1990 and represented Otago, moved to New Zealand when she was 10 years old. She told reports she thought that she does not need to apply for a New Zealand citizenship.

“I have never applied for it, I assumed it was automatic. I have been living here for 12 years so I consider myself a New Zealand citizen.” Cooley, a beauty therapist, was quoted telling to Otago Daily Times, noting that she only knew about the problem when her friend told her that it was in the news.

Meanwhile, Ms. Lott said that they are still committed to Bohm and that they are confident that she can get the proper documents before the Miss Universe 2012 beauty pageant this coming December, which the location still to be announced.

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