Miss World Oceania Tajiya Sahay isn’t your typical beauty queen: she walks her walk and leads by example.
She isn’t afraid of hard work or getting dirty either, especially when it comes to protecting her island home and the ocean that surrounds it.
As Cook Islanders, Sahay believes we need to take pride in our beautiful paradise, by keeping it spotless.
“Visitors often comment on how clean we keep our island,” she said.
In fact, she’s so passionate about keeping Rarotonga beautiful, that she hit the beaches in the weekend to clean up other people’s rubbish.
Down at the Social Centre, she was in utter disbelief as she nearly filled the tray of a ute, with plastic, cardboard boxes, household rubbish and glass beer bottles.
She was disappointed to see so much rubbish, she says will eventually end up in our oceans which will affect wild life.
There are bins all around the island: “If you don't see a bin, take your rubbish home with you and dispose of it properly. It is absolutely no one else's responsibility to clean up your mess, your actions affect others,” she said.
“It's not hard to keep our Paradise beautiful and spotless.”