A 21-year-old Auckland University student, born and bred at Otaua, west of Kaikohe, has won the 2018 Miss Five Crowns New Zealand Legacy Princess title.

The pageant is billed as offering a performance platform on which to build personal skills and a step towards a brighter future and bigger dreams. Patricia Clark intends to take every advantage of the opportunities it gives her.

The former Northland College head girl (Te Matarahurahu, Te Kotahitanga Marae) said the pageant had allowed her to develop new skills associated with public engagement, charity work and self-confidence, and she was looking forward to the coming year and the work she would be doing.

The daughter of Albyn and Leanne Clark (nee Rankin), she said she had not expected to win.

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"Standing at five feet I thought I'd be too short, but I entered for self-development," she said.

"This experience has shown me that even coming from a small town, the world is your oyster. If you set a goal, you can achieve it. It doesn't matter where you come from. What is most important to me is being recognised for my work. The crown doesn't just represent beauty, but who you are and where you come from, and it makes me proud of my ancestry and the values I have as a person, my inner beauty."

Having completed a Bachelor of Science degree majoring in environmental and earth sciences, she is now pursuing a Master's in environmental science.

"I'm not sure what career path I'll follow, but I could run an environmental consultancy," she said.

In the meantime she planned a trip home to Kaikohe after exams, and was looking forward to visiting her old school to share her experiences.

She was also grateful for support from Te Rūnanga-Ā-Iwi o Ngāpuhi. CEO Lorraine Toki said she was a great example of what could be achieved by those who pursued a goal with passion and enthusiasm.