Miss World NZ's haka slammed on social media

A BEAUTY queen says she is proud of her haka at the Miss World competition in China despite the performance receiving negative reviews.

Miss World New Zealand Deborah Lambie, 24, placed 15th among the 117 contestants at the competition.

The University of Otago graduate finished her doctor studies before leaving to represent the country in the competition in Sanya on Hainan Island, which finished on Saturday.

Miss Lambie performed a haka in the talent category.

A video of the haka on her Facebook page received several negative comments.

One person described it as "disgraceful and offensive" and said a performance involving a waiata and poi would have been more suitable.

READ MORE: OOPS! Announcer reads out wrong Miss Universe winner

Another person told Miss Lambie to "learn the role of our wahine".

She added: "You could of done a karanga [call out] or done a haka women style instead of trying to be a man. Some of us women take mana wahine too far. I don't need to perform like a man to be mana wahine."

Learning this haka has made me appreciate so much more what it means to be a New Zealander. Our culture and our heritage...

Posted by Miss World - New Zealand on Wednesday, December 16, 2015

And someone added that her performance was "more of an insult" and said her "tutors are idiots for letting her do that. Big thumbs down to them."

Other people applauded her haka.

Miss Lambie said the response to the haka in China was fantastic.

"People love New Zealand and love this special part of our culture."

She learned the haka from Kereama Te Ua, a lecturer in Maori Performing Arts at Whitireia Performance Centre in Wellington.

Watch the haka - app users tap here

The response from New Zealanders to the haka was mixed but she was happy she learned to perform the haka properly.

"We have been working on the authentic performance together for months and I feel privileged to have learned this piece from an expert and was proud to perform this to the best of my ability."

Miss Lambie would start her journey home today to celebrate Christmas with her family in Dunedin.

University of Otago student Latafale Auva'a, of Auckland, represented Samoa at the competition.

Miss Auva'a did not win an overall placing but placed fifth in the talent section by singing Disney's Frozen theme song in 25 languages.

Miss Spain, Mireia Lalaguna Royo, was crowned Miss World 2015, Sofia Nikitchuk, of Russia, was the runner-up and Indonesia's Maria Harfanti was third.

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