Paraparaumu-born Samantha Powell, 20, representing Horowhenua, is the newly crowned Miss Universe New Zealand 2008 in a ceremony at the Novotel Ellerslie, near Auckland City. Hannah Matthews of Auckland, Miss Masport, is runner-up, followed by Rhonda Grant, Miss TR Designs of Palmerston North.
Miss Powell says, ‘It’s a real privilege and I’ll do this country proud.’ She is a team leader at ASB Bank Wellington and returns to the capital for work “as normal” right after the pageant.
An auction to benefit Look Good Feel Better, the charity which helps women with cancer, raised $3,000 at the function.
Jack Yan, publisher of Lucire, who judged alongside Look Good Feel Better general manager Yvonne Brownlie, interior designer May Davis, and fashion designers Minh Ta and Patrick Steel, says this year’s judging was far tougher than 2007’s.
‘We spent six hours on interviews in 2007. We spent the same amount of time this year with fewer contestants,’ he says.
‘We really had to get in to what makes these young women tick.’ The judges found it was harder to pick a winner as the majority were ‘cosmopolitan and globally minded,’ says Mr Yan.
Sylvia Laurenson (Miss Bettjemans) and Rebecca Connor (Miss Establishment Bar Wellington) rounded off the top five. Miss Powell represents New Zealand at Miss Universe at Nha Trang, Vietnam, on June 17.
About Lucire Lucire, the global fashion magazine (www.lucire.com), started on the web in 1997. In October 2004, it became the first magazine in its sector to extend its brand into a print magazine. By May 2005, it became the first web magazine to spawn international print editions. Lucire became the first fashion industry partner of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP, www.unep.org). It is headquartered in Wellington, New Zealand and published by Lucire LLC. For print edition information, see .
Notes to editors Lucire is a registered trade mark of Jack Yan & Associates and subject to protection in certain jurisdictions. The Miss Universe logo is a registered trade mark of Miss Universe LP, LLLP. All other trade marks are the properties of their respective owners and are only used in a descriptive fashion without any intention to infringe.