Jess Tyson named Miss Oceania 2018

Māori Television presenter and reporter Jess Tyson not only made it into the top 12 at last night's Miss World grand finale in China, she was also named Miss Oceania 2018.

The 25-year-old uri of Te Atihaunui-a-Pāpārangi says she is ecstatic with the result.

"Having my name called for top 12 was so exciting and unbelievable considering there were around 8 or so representatives from the Asia/Oceania region that the judges could choose from. It was the most competitive region out of them all," she told the Online News Team. 

Tyson is still coming to terms with how last night unraveled. The result means she will get to travel the world next year alongside other continental winners to share her project BRAVE as part of the Beauty with a Purpose tour. 

"Having the opportunity to take my project BRAVE around the world is one of the major highlights of this whole journey. It has been a goal of mine from the start to share my story and project internationally to young people around the world.

"I know that this goal of mine is going to come true! It is the most rewarding feeling knowing that an idea I once had to start this project has now turned into something every bigger nationally in NZ and I know it is going to grow even more internationally in the future with the support of Miss World."

Tyson has spent the past five weeks in China where she has competed against 117 other women in various categories including a head-to-head challenge, a cultural dance challenge and a sports challenge. She placed second overall in the Beauty with a Purpose category.

She says it's always been a dream of hers to take part in Miss World and has spent the past 2-3 years gaining experience on pageants to prepare for last night's event. 

"Being named Miss World Oceania was extra special because it means I now get to represent all of the countries in our region including NZ, Islands in the pacific and Australia. I love our region so much, especially the different cultures that we have, so being the ambassador for Oceania makes me feel so proud as a wahine Māori and excited to share our cultures to the world."

Tyson will remain in China for the next couple of days where she will partake in press conferences before she makes her return home to Aotearoa.