From Kapiti to Queen of the World
A Kapiti woman has made her way to Thailand to compete in the Miss Tourism World beauty pagent, after winning the national title earlier this year.
Sophie Needham, 22, won the New Zealand Miss Queen of the World pageant in Auckland in October, after having considered pulling out at the last minute.
"I was so busy with exams and things for Uni, I was thinking of pulling out of it actually," she said.
"It was a last minute decision to actually go through with it, but I was only doing it for the experience. I didn't expect to win it."
The sections of the pageant included national costume, swim suit and evening gown, and will also be held at the international event.
She said she only took part in the event after a friend nominated her to an organiser.
"I got a call asking if I'd take part.
"I wasn't sure at first, but thought I'd give it a go, but then of course I had so much study."
Living in Auckland, Miss Needham is completing a communications degree majoring in public relations.
In the build up to the Miss Tourism World pageant she has had a number of dresses made for her, for a series of events the contestants will attend in Thailand.
One is her costume of origin, which is a champagne pink colour with black ferns up the sides, and a green trail to symbolise New Zealand's clean green image.
"If I win in Thailand the prize is something like $30,000, and you spend a year in London doing promotional stuff for the pageant, not that that will happen," she said.
The winner will be announced at a final ceremony on December 16 in Bangkok, Thailand.