Of the 18 beauties who entered the Miss Waimarama 2018 beauty competition Aimee Pitcher of Havelock North stood out from the rest.
The 18-year-old said a pair of close friends had convinced her to enter the competition and her surprise at the announcement was evident as she walked to the stage with her hands to her mouth, covering a beaming smile.
One of said friends was teary-eyed at the front of the stage as she watched her friend take to the stage as the beauty competition winner.
"I'm quite shocked to be perfectly honest. I've never been confident with my body but I thought 'what have I got to lose?' and entered," Ms Pitcher said.
Having just finished high school at Iona College, Ms Pitcher would soon be heading to Otago University to undertake her first year of health science with a particular interest in dentistry.
Her boyfriend Monty Wood, aged 18, from Otane said he was incredibly proud of his crowned beauty.
"I can't believe it, well of course I can believe it. I'm so happy for her. I actually tanned her back this morning."
Ms Pitcher took to the stage with flair during the competition, answering a question about which celebrity would play her in a movie with American actor Jack Black.
She said he hadn't even told her mum, Natalie, she was entering the competition but wanted to pay special thanks to her for her win.
"She was there for me through everything and always told me I was beautiful no matter what. She gave me the confidence I have today and she's like my best friend."
Ms Pitcher, wearing a red sash and holding a bouquet of bright flowers, was joined by Alexee McCarthy, second place, and Karmel Ward, third place, as the beach day's winning female trio.
Among a number of prizes she won were a pair of tickets to Katy Perry's Witness The Tour happening August at Auckland this year.