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Otago medical student crowned Miss New Zealand

Three months of hard slog in high heels and fancy gowns culminated in a glamorous event in Auckland last night to crown the 2015 Miss World New Zealand.

Deborah Lambie Source: 1 NEWS

Otago Medical Student, Deborah Lambie beat 18 other contestants to win the coveted award.

She said she can't believe her success, as there was some "seriously tough competition".

The crown was judged over the three months, and included a sports day, which Miss Lambie won, speeches, interviews, and a talent event.

Miss World NZ, also includes 'Beauty with a Purpose', where contestants volunteer and fundraise for a chosen charity. This year, the women raised $17,000 for Oaklynn Special School in New Lynn.

Organiser, Desmond Foulger, said the competition was very close, with the final decision hinging on answers to a question about Islamic State's highly publicised recruitment of young people.

He said Deborah Lambie's brain and mouth are directly connected - she received a standing ovation for her response.

First runner up is Hayley Robinson, with Te Rua Wallace taking out the second runner up prize.

For the first time, a candidate in a wheelchair competed. Swati Shresta Rae received the Esther Jordan Muriwai Legacy Award. Mr Foulger said she is truly an inspiration.

Life now gets even busier for Deborah Lambie. She still has a final year of study before graduating as a doctor on December 5th. Within that time, she also must prepare for Miss World, the biggest international beauty pageant in the world.

That will be held over the month of November, although actual dates and the host country are yet to be confirmed.