It was by pure accident Diamond Langi ended up in the beauty pageant scene.
However, hard work, talent and dedication has seen her shine on the stage, to become the first Tongan to be crowned Miss Universe New Zealand.
Of Tongan heritage, born in New Zealand, and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah, the 27-year-old holds a master’s degree in styling, and is studying for a bachelor’s in acting and performing arts. She is also a talented musician.
When a designer she was modelling for asked if she could sponsor Diamond to be in a pageant, she jumped at the opportunity.
"So it was by accident I ended up here," Diamond says.
"Once involved in the scene, it became a goal of mine to be a part of Miss Universe New Zealand as a contestant.
"Now this is a reality I want to use this platform I have to give back and help those who are in need, as well as to touch base on things I am passionate about and share this with the world."
Preparing for the 2019 Miss Universe New Zealand pageant, staged in August, took a lot of dedication and hard work, Diamond says.
"I had to do a lot of fitness training, eating healthy, educating myself more about the organisation, and preparing for each judged section ahead of time.
"Eating healthy was a bit of a challenge for me because I love my fried foods," she quips.
A highlight of the experience, was travelling to Thailand to shoot the Miss Universe New Zealand calendar, and learning first-hand about the issues at Ihumātao, by visiting the site, which was covered by TVNZ and Stuff.
Of course, winning the crown and making her family proud was an even bigger highlight.
"It means everything to us."
This year's contest was close, with Diamond narrowly taking first place ahead of Blenheim police officer Hannah McCabe as runner-up, and Wellington-based administrator Jayda Ormsby-Northcott who placed third.
Miss Universe New Zealand is decided 50 percent by public vote, and 50 percent by the judges.
As part of her initial duties as the titleholder, Diamond will have a photo shoot with photographer Alan Raga and will represent Aotearoa New Zealand at Miss Universe later this year.