The controversial crowning of a blonde, blue-eyed Miss India New Zealand last year has been a blessing in disguise for this year Miss India Wellington, according to the organisers.
The event, which is a celebration of Kiwi-Indian beauty, fashion, dance and music, will be held on September 10.
Jacinta Lal, whose father is Indian-Fijian and mother is a New Zealander, was accused of not looking Indian enough when she was crowned Miss India Wellington last year, and later Miss India New Zealand.
But her success helped to inspire a diverse range of contestants to take part in this year's Miss India Wellington, many of whom may not have entered otherwise, organiser Dharmesh Parikh said.
The pageant is open to any New Zealand resident or citizen with Indian heritage.