From Whangarei Heads to Miss Universe NZ Pageant

Publish Date
Wednesday, 28 October 2015, 12:36PM
Hannah Henderson, with proud mum Joanne Henderson, is the surf instructor named runner-up in this year's Miss Universe New Zealand pageant.

Hannah Henderson, with proud mum Joanne Henderson, is the surf instructor named runner-up in this year's Miss Universe New Zealand pageant.

Hannah Henderson, with proud mum Joanne Henderson, is the surf instructor named runner-up in this year's Miss Universe New Zealand pageant.

Hannah Henderson, with proud mum Joanne Henderson, is the surf instructor named runner-up in this year's Miss Universe New Zealand pageant. Hannah Henderson is happy to have her feet back in her jandals after being named the runner-up Miss Universe New Zealand - but says she'll be back next year for another crack at the title.

Ms Henderson, born and raised at Whangarei Heads, was selected from a pool of more than 600 resume entries for the pageant, going on to compete at a regional "Stiletto Camp". Ms Henderson, 19, said she then found herself unexpectedly among the top 20 women, who were taught the ways of a Miss Universe during a 10-day retreat in the Philippines.

This included workshops on makeup, grooming, styling, choreography and dealing with the press. The surf instructor, model and actress attended Parua Bay Primary before moving to the Bay of Plenty where she lives.

Despite the preening, being a good person and working hard to raise money for the pageant's chosen cause is what gives competitors the edge, with this year's contestants raising more than $35,000 for Variety the Children's Charity. "You've got to be a really nice person and someone who is quite open. You get given a bit of a platform, so it's about giving back to people who can't support themselves," Ms Henderson said.

She was stunned when she was named runner-up in front of a packed crowd at Auckland's SkyCity Theatre on Saturday. "People tend to think it's about the night and how beautiful one person is, but it really isn't. It's a long process to get there."

Throughout this year Ms Henderson worked as a body double on a MTV series, The Shannara Chronicles, due to be released in January. Ms Henderson came second to Christchurch makeup artist Samantha McClung, who will represent New Zealand at the international version of the pageant in Las Vegas in December.

Ms Henderson will take her place if for any reason she is unable to go, and will attend some official engagements where the winner is unavailable.

She intends to have another crack at the title next year. "I thought, why not? I'll give it one more shot. I got so much out of it this year. I'm not sure if I'll get runner-up but I'd just be happy to make the top 20 again."