Auckland: The 22-year-old highly talented nursing student, former Miss Taranaki, Miss Exotic Beauty NZ and Miss Global Beauty Queen NZ 2016 - Valentine Fernandes from the beautiful Taranaki region was crowned Miss IndiaNZ 2017 at the 15th annual Miss India NZ beauty pageant at Town Hall in Auckland City. Apart from the crown, this Dubai born - Mumbai based olive skinned beauty, with roots from Goa and Coastal Karnataka also won the 'Miss Popularity' & 'Miss Talent' awards.
The first runners-up were Pranika Arisht and Shivon Raj and second runners-up were Karishma Ranchhod.
22 Kiwi-Indian beauties from around the country were vying for the Miss India NZ 2017 crown. The 15th annual event attended by more than 800 people saw this event as a celebration of Kiwi Indian culture, with a dusting of Bollywood, glitz, glamour and kiwi Indian culture.
Valentine was crowned by the stunning Sunaina Chand in the midst of the audience, judges and organisers. This pageant was unique in many ways where the contestants were judged on the opening round in sarees, Kiwi-Indian attire and catwalk, and the question and answer round in Desi girl wear, and their overall confidence and public speaking. Talent was an optional round. The show was focused on Kiwi-Indian Elegance, fashion, music and dance.
Valentine was one of the favourites in this pageant and won the People’s choice 'Miss Popular' award. Right from the contestant introductions at the beginning of the evening, Valentine’s captivating smile had eyes glued to her and whispers circulating amongst attendees at her imminent promise for the crown. Building on her momentum as forerunner for the crown Valentine’s stunning dance performance which was a fusion of Bollywood, belly-dance and hip hop, was met with resounding claps and cheers by the audience.
It may be recalled that Valentine had represented NZ in the 'Miss Global Beauty Queen' pageant in Korea and was selected amongst the Top 15 finalists and she won the 'MISS INTERNET POPULARITY' award in that pageant. This being her fourth pageant, she is looking forward for more opportunities within the acting and modelling scenes. This bubbly 22-year old is the only child of Natalie and Oswald Fernandes.
Valentine though born and brought up in Dubai, traces her roots to Goa and Karwar as herparents hail from these cities and says she misses Mumbai where she visits often. She is aNursing student and has modelled for Centre City’s – Winter Fashion Show, Taranaki FashionArt Awards, TSB Bank Awards and has been the Brand ambassador of ‘Ringcraft Moana Jewellers’.
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