Queenstown beauty in Miss Universe NZ row

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Queenstown’s Miss Otago is caught up in the citizenship controversy that’s rocked the Miss Universe New Zealand contest on its high heels.

It’s been revealed the winner of Sunday’s Miss Universe NZ title, South African-born Avianca Bohm, may be stripped of her tiara because she doesn’t have Kiwi citizenship.

But now it’s also come to light that third runner-up – Queenstown entrant Monique Cooley who represented Otago – was also ineligible for the crown.

Miss Universe NZ contestants are required to have both Kiwi residency and citizenship.

However the Otago Daily Times website reports that Adelaide-born Cooley – who moved to NZ 12 years ago – isn’t a Kiwi citizen.

“I have never applied for it, I assumed it was automatic,” she told the website.

Ironically, Cooley, a Body Sanctum beauty therapist, roomed with Bohm during the lead-up to the pageant final in Wellington.

Cooley, 22, told the website that she’d be applying for citizenship as soon as possible – maybe even during her upcoming holiday in Hawaii.