#1563 Meet Danielle Hayes – New Zealand’s Next Top Maori Model

Photo: TV3

Congratulations to Danielle Hayes, Cycle 2 winner of New Zealand’s Next Top Model. And kudos to the judges for awarding the title to a Maori model – long may that trend continue. I must admit, I’ve been a Danielle naysayer since the beginning of the series. Sure she’s strikingly beautiful, but the combination of her attitude to challenges, man-casual clothing and god-awful attempts at walking in high heels didn’t do anything to sway my opinion. However, watching the finale show on demand yesterday, I’m convinced that she was the right choice. On paper, Michaela was the obvious winner. She aced the finale Covergirl shoot and TV commercial and walked pretty flawlessly in heels. But when push came to shove, she lacked the x factor that is so badly needed in a model – and Danielle had it in spades.

Danielle still needs a good few months’ full time development (like, major high heel boot camp) but I have a feeling that with a bit of work she might just have an international career ahead of her. Could she be New Zealand’s answer to everybody’s favourite androgynous model of the moment Freja Beha Erichsen?

I’ll await developments with keen interest.


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  1. aboylikedave says

    Michaela was OK but you get the feeling she had nowhere left to go – we’d seen her limit already. And no charisma to speak of. I did think the final scene was a classic example of kiwi low keyness. Where was the real hamming up of the drama?!

  2. Andy says

    Michaela might become a decent commercial model in our market, but that’s it. She only has one look and it’s a boring look.

    Danielle? With a bit of luck she could go all the way…

  3. says

    I didn’t really know why Michaela got so far – a pretty girl, but I didn’t see ‘it’. The twins grew on me, esp. Elza but I love Danielle. She does have a bit of the Frejas about her! GREAT to have a Maori NZTM. I actually bumped into her at the wkend and found her to be friendly, sweet and humble in person, not surly or hard-edged as she came across in early eps. An absolutely STUNNING young lady – I hope she goes far!

  4. Benisrood says

    There’s no way that Sara is that dumb. I think they made as much ‘drama’ out of it as they could because otherwise the whole show would come off as disingenuous and it would have hurt the right models chances and been a waste of publicity on the wong girl. This is not ANTM. They actually want a REAL model, and Danielle has the right body, a great look, the IT factor as you have all said, and what’s more she has charisma. She would be really fun to shoot whereas Michaela is a snnnoooorrrrrrrrre. She’s certainly going to get more editorial in NZ and Australia to start her off than Christobel ever did. Photographers will really like her, bit embarrassed by Drayton and whoever the last photog at the glassons set in front of the wall of flowers was “had to work hard on the lighting”???? What a total noob. It’s called your *cough* job *cough* – you can’t just point a big softbox in one place for everybody all the time… although I notice that’s the kiwi norm. Go DANI!

  5. Whitelili74 says

    Talk about Danielle Hayes being NZ top model?….she don’t deserve it.
    Bad atitude, rude word when she talk, ETC. I wonder are the judge blid?…..

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