Harlem-Cruz Atarangi Ihaia / Miss Universe 2017
New Zealand beauty queen Harlem-Cruz Atarangi Ihaia is giving it her all as she competes to be crowned Miss Universe 2017.
And now the Ngāti Kahungunu beauty is about to have reinforcements arrive, as her whānau left the Hawkes Bay for Las Vegas today.
“I really miss my family,” said Ihaia.
“My first day here I wanted to come home. It's nice here but I'm actually a home girl at heart. I'd rather be in Napier than travelling all over the world. I can't wait for my family to arrive.”
Although it has been a challenge, Ihaia is staying focussed with her eyes firmly on the prize – or in her case, the crown.
“I’ve just had to get used to the make-up, the hair, always smiling, always acting like you’re having fun even when you’re tired and you want to give up,” said Ihaia.
“I'd like to acknowledge my whole tribe because I wouldn't be able to go through with this, if my people were not behind me all the way. It's a huge honour for me to represent my people and be a role model too.”
With only two days left in the competition, Ihaia is encouraging people to log into the Miss Universe website to vote for her.
The world will find out exactly who will be crowned Miss Universe 2017 at the official pageant show at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas this Sunday.