Beauty's eyes on the universe
The 20-year-old, who is 1.72m tall, is studying for a bachelor of communications degree, majoring in journalism.
More than 300 people watched the final of the competition in Wellington's Amora Hotel.
The contestants were judged on their presentation on stage, dance, swimwear, modelling, evening gown and how they responded to questions.
First runner-up was Miss North Harbour, Talia Bennett, and second runner-up was Miss Howick, Courtney Ramsdale.
Miss Universe New Zealand choreographer Sarah McIntrye said it was a great night and she was sure Priyani Puketapu "will do a great job representing New Zealand".