By Ruci Farrell and Mabel Muller - firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Miss Niue Aotearoa. Photo/ Niue Ogo Motu.
Sydney student Valencia Lama has taken out the Miss Niue Aotearoa crown for this year.
The 18-year-old won three out of five main categories at Auckland's Waipuna Conference Centre on Saturday night including best sarong, talent and interview.
Miss Niue Aotearoa 2017: Valencia Lama. Photo/ Niue Ogo Motu.
Hailing from Hakupu Atua and Alofi, Lama says she's always wanted to represent Niue in a pageant, but there aren't any in Australia.
"I'm really passionate about my culture and my heritage and I definitely wanted to show that Australia has a wide community of Niueans and I wanted to be the first Niuean girl from here to enter the pageant."
Lama says the pageant journey was a wonderful and overwhelming experience.
"Not only did I get to indulge in my culture but I got to meet six other women who are as passionate as me about their Niuean heritage."
Unlike Western pageants, Lama says Miss Niue Aotearoa went against her stereotypical expectations of a pageant and she loved every minute of it.
"I'm the biggest contestant out of all of them, body-image wise, but the Niuean perspective isn't discriminating against the bigger or the smaller girls... be who you are!"
Miss Niue Aotearoa 2017 contestants: Shawn Lomu, Leilah Tohovaka Faamausili, Esa-Jayne Peika, Haylee Osikai Esela, Katherine Haletama Fatamaka, Addison Ioane and Valencia Lama. Photo/ Facebook - Miss Niue Aotearoa.
Lama hopes to travel New Zealand during her reign as Miss Niue Aotearoa and work with Niuean youth to reconnect with their cultural roots.
Shawn Lomu from Vaiea was first runner up and Esa-Jayne Peika from Tamakautonga and Mutalau was second runner up.
MISS NIUE NEW ZEALAND 2017
|Miss Niue Aotearoa 2017 Winner||Miss Valencia Lama||Hakupu Atua, Alofi, Sydney||Sarong Wear, Talent, Interview|
|First Runner Up||Miss Shawn Lomu||Vaiea||Evening Wear, Culture Wear, Miss Personality|
|Second Runner Up||Miss Esa-Jayne Peika||Tamakautonga, Mutalau||Miss Vagahau/ Media|
|Third Runner Up||Miss Haylee Osikai Esela||Alofi, Tuapa, Makefu, Hakupu||Miss Photogenic, Miss Social Media, Miss Vagahau Niue|
|Fourth Runner Up||Miss Katherine Haletama Fatamaka||Lakepa, Alofi, Liku||Miss Congeniality, Miss Dance|
|Fifth Runner Up||Miss Leilah Tohovaka Faamausili||Makefu|
|Sixth Runner Up||Miss Addison Ioane||Makefu, Mutalau||Miss Fitness|