28 Dec 2017
We have put together some short biographies on each of our amazing semi-finalists to provide you a brief insight as to there achievements and contributions to New Zealand.
Dr Philip Bagshaw
General surgeon Dr Philip Bagshaw was instrumental in creating the Canterbury Charity Hospital Trust, which provides free healthcare to the public.
Patients come from throughout Canterbury within the Canterbury District Health Board area. The trust receives no government funding, relying instead on donations, grants, and the generosity of the wider community to help Cantabrians in need.
Hundreds of professional staff are involved with the day-to-day running of the trust, which is co-ordinated and supported by a small clinical management team. Doctors, nurses, dentists, health professionals all volunteer their time and expertise to provide hospital care for free.
Philip recognised the need for a charity hospital in acknowledgment that no government would be able to meet all the needs in healthcare. The resulting Charity Trust Hospital and its dedicated team of medical professionals led by Philip has helped ease the pain and suffering of many Canterbury people.
Philip has actively campaigned for smarter and more accessible health services, with his study on measuring unmet need showing that about 9 per cent of the adult population has a secondary health problem they have not had treated.
He was also among a team of Christchurch surgeons so concerned about a lack of publicly-funded testing for bowel cancer that they provided testing people for free this year. The initiative will save lives considering funding constraints facing the Canterbury District Health Board in provision of screening services.
Under Philip’s leadership, the charity hospital is now providing vital health services for Cantabrians in need, including colonoscopy, general surgery (abdominal and lower colorectal surgery), gynaecology, wom’s health, family planning, ophthalmology, oral surgery, orthopaedics (hands, elbows, minor shoulders), dentistry for WINZ clients and counselling for adults.
Mental health advocate Mike King shines much-needed light on the serious issues of depression, alcohol and drug abuse and suicide in New Zealand.
He is at the forefront of challenging perceptions of mental health to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness. He challenges established thinking to help society deal with the root causes of mental illness and be better equipped to support, and embrace, sufferers.
Through drawing on his own personal experiences, Mike has shown leadership, courage, and empathy to vulnerable people – particularly Maori, children and young people – throughout the country.
The driving force behind the Key to Life Charitable Trust, which has a long-term ambition to achieve a zero-suicide rate in New Zealand, Mike works tirelessly to change the way Kiwis think, act, and feel about mental health and suicide. By working with mental health professionals, service providers, business leaders, schools and community organisations, Mike and the trust are inspiring hope for people in need.
In 2009, King started a Radio Live programme airing on Sunday evenings entitled The Nutters Club. On the programme, King works with mental health professionals David Codyre and Malcolm Falconer, and invites listeners to phone in with comments and to share stories or issues which might be troubling the callers. In 2013, The Nutters Club moved to Newstalk ZB.
The Key to Life Charitable Trust (originally created as The Nutters Club Charitable Trust in 2010 and since renamed) is a community peer support group.
Forthright and passionate, Mike has the absolute courage of his convictions and is prepared to take a stand on the crisis of suicide in New Zealand. Appointed to a government panel on suicide prevention in 2015, Mike later quit the panel, citing serious concerns and flaws about methods he believed would not address the crisis.
At the time, King said the system was underfunded, under-resourced and professionals were over-medicating patients as a stop-gap measure, rather than addressing the root cause.
As well as his work preventing suicide, Mike has also highlighted the poor treatment of farmed animals in New Zealand. Previously a spokesman for New Zealand Pork, Mike had the courage to stand for his convictions in 2009, when he spoke out against the factory farming of pigs.
Kristine Bartlett changed the lives of thousands of New Zealand women and low-paid workers by successfully securing equal pay legislation for caregivers in the aged-care sector.
The rest-home carer of 24 years was the face of the campaign for pay equity on behalf of 55,000 low-paid, mainly female care and support workers. Kristine’s tireless and inspirational advocacy saw her likened to Kate Shepperd, with her courage and self-sacrifice helping achieve a landmark victory for women in New Zealand.
It took incredible bravery for Kristine to put herself forward as the face of the equal pay movement for caregivers. In doing so she has changed the lives of thousands of New Zealand's lowest paid workers who provide vital health and well-being services.
Kristine’s fight has changed the way we determine the economic value of people, highlighting the need for fairness, decency, and equity. She says the true heroes were union workers who toiled tirelessly to pave a path for other female-dominated industries to challenge their wage rates on the basis they would be paid more if men dominated their workforce.
But the truth is that it was the unassuming Lower Hutt 68-year-old who kickstarted an entire movement to get women a fairer pay deal.
It took five years, three court cases and two appeals but Kristine took on a challenge that represented enormous personal and professional sacrifice. It was a challenge she didn’t hesitate to take on and she was unwavering in her commitment to achieve a landmark victory for public good that sets the standard for pay equity in New Zealand.
Grant Dalton oversaw Team New Zealand’s successful campaign to lift the America’s Cup in Bermuda earlier this year.
A confident and accomplished leader, Grant inspired Team New Zealand to one of the world’s greatest sporting feats, uniting a diverse group of people to overcome enormous challenges and achieve a tremendous winning result.
As well as operating the team’s successful campaign on the water in Bermuda, Grant was integral to ensuring Team New Zealand was even able to race for the cup at all. He secured vital funding and partnerships to mount a professional and innovative campaign that united New Zealand behind the team.
Grant overcame incredible odds, the huge disappointment of the 2013 campaign and subsequent financial hardship to succeed while under enormous pressure from an entire country. It is testament to him that he could form great partnerships with people and businesses prepared to back him because of his leadership, vision, and professionalism.
Grant’s achievements in sailing are unrivalled and have inspired new generations of Kiwi sailors. New Zealand owes its success in the America’s Cup to Grant, who was called in to restructure and revitalise Team New Zealand after its loss of the America's Cup in February 2003.
He has raced around the world seven times; the first five as part of the Whitbread Round the World Race later to be called the Volvo Ocean Race. This race has transformed itself during Grant's involvement from a race of adventurers to a grand prix yachting event.
He then skippered and won The Race, a sprint around the world on maxi catamaran Club Med, which broke several records along the way including the distance sailed in 24 hours (656 nautical miles) and the fastest circumnavigation (62 days and 7 hours).
Lesley Elliott drew on tragedy to establish and run the Sophie Elliott Foundation, named after her daughter who was murdered seven years ago. The foundation promotes violence prevention through education, awareness, and empowerment of young women.
The memory of Sophie, and an unwavering desire that no other family go through the pain and loss the Elliott’s experienced, inspires Lesley’s commitment to ensuring young people live their lives free from the harm caused by unhealthy and abusive relationships.
Following Sophie’s murder at the hands of a former boyfriend, it became clear that she had been in a typically abusive relationship. It was also evident that neither Sophie nor her mother, Lesley, had been able to see where things were going wrong. The conclusion was that if these two intelligent adults couldn’t see the signs then many others would be in the same situation.
That insight served as Lesley’s drive to set up the Sophie Elliott Foundation and Loves Me Not. Established in partnership with police, the nationwide Loves-Me-Not school initiative educates and empowers Year 12 students to explore healthy relationships and the difficult subject of relationship abuse and consent.
The Sophie Elliott Foundation has provided a range of resources for Loves-Me-Not, including videos and short vignettes that are used during the workshop, for example, to explore qualities of a good relationship, and the factors that could erode it. Also included is a film designed for parents that explains how Loves-Me-Not works.
Lesley has written a book based around Sophie’s story, which shows how to recognise signs of abuse, and provides strategies to cope. The book is supplied free-of-charge to students undertaking Loves-Me-Not, and can be used in future years to give young people sound advice.
Heather Henare is chief executive of Skylight Trust, an organisation enabling children, young people, family/whānau and friends to navigate through times of trauma, loss, and grief.
The former chief executive of Women’s Refuge for 10 years, Heather’s dedication has been to supporting women, children, and families safe from sexual and domestic violence. She has personally taken many young vulnerable children and youth into her home to provide love, support, and advocacy when they have suffered sexual and physical trauma.
Heather is a qualified senior social worker and has held positions at Child Youth and Family as a senior practice consultant and senior advisory officer. She joined the Women’s Refuge in 2005 as CEO and is currently a member of the Ministerial Taskforce For Action on Family Violence, set up by the Government.
Heather was honoured as Zonta’s Woman of the Biennium at the Zonta International, District 16, National Conference held in Queenstown in 2013. This biennial award recognises an outstanding New Zealand woman, whose contribution to the lives of women and girls in the New Zealand community epitomises the values and aspirations of Zonta International.
Considered by those whose lives she has touched as having a “heart of gold”, Heather embodies compassion and caring and has changed the lives of many at-risk young people.
Under her leadership, Women's Refuge was consolidated into one of the few feminist organisations that now operates as a national collective. She has challenged reductions in funding and services for women and children affected by violence and has successfully campaigned for greater support of vulnerable New Zealanders.
Heather also goes beyond to help people avoid further victimisation that often occurs in media. She has supported victims of violent crime and their families, including Simonne Butler (nearly killed by Antonie Dixon), Cheryl Tovizi (whose daughter, Alexsis, was killed by her boyfriend), Louise Nicholas (whom she still supports and advocates for her work), Kristen Dunne-Powell and David White (whose daughter, Helen, was murdered by her husband).
Dr Mike Joy
Environmental scientist Dr Mike Joy is a champion for New Zealand’s rivers and lakes, raising awareness about the poor state of some of the country’s waterways. As a senior lecturer at Massey University, Mike’s work has advanced New Zealanders’ understanding of important environmental issues.
His research into native fish populations has showed how declining fish species and freshwater biodiversity is linked to poor ecological health of waterways due to rising concentrations of nitrates and consequent lowering of oxygen levels caused by farm and city pollutants.
Mike has led debate on the causes of declining water quality and ways to improve it, calling on councils, central government, and businesses to play a greater role in rectifying the situation. He has many supporters – people who care that intensive dairying and other causes are polluting New Zealand’s waterways.
That work has seen him demonised in some quarters, but he has not been cowed, seeing it as his responsibility as a Kiwi and an environmentalist to tackle an uncomfortable truth.
He was the first recipient of an award recognising the role of “critic and conscience” in society. This award, sponsored by the Gama Foundation, acknowledges academic staff who provide independent, expert commentary on issues that affect the New Zealand community and its future generations.
In 2009, Mike received the Ecology in Action award from the New Zealand Ecological Society. In 2011 he was awarded Forest & Bird's Old Blue award for his research into freshwater ecology and his work bringing freshwater conservation issues to public attention.
He received the Royal Society of New Zealand's Charles Fleming Award for Environmental Achievement in 2013, for his contribution to the sustainable management and protection of New Zealand's freshwater ecosystems.
Dr Mahsa Mohaghegh is a lecturer in information technology and software engineering at Auckland University of Technology and is founder and director of She# (She Sharp), a non-profit networking group for high school girls, female tertiary students and industry professionals aimed at addressing the diversity and gender gap issue in science and technology fields.
Mahsa and She# show female high school students how exciting and relevant technology is to their lives. It provides them with the opportunity to see inside tech companies, meet staff and network with female role models within the industry.
Through her work, Mahsa is challenging stereotypes that hold girls back from realising their potential, be it in computer science and technology-related fields or any career they choose.
Mahsa had a passion for computing and IT from a very young age. Her enthusiasm in this area prompted her to study a Bachelor Degree majoring in Computer Engineering after leaving school, and later a Master Degree in Computer Architecture.
In 2013 Mahsa completed a PhD in Computer Engineering and Artificial Intelligence at Massey University. Over the past 15 years, she has taught at several leading tertiary institutes in a range of different areas.
In 2012, Mahsa won Google’s prestigious Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship, which recognises women making a difference in science and technology. In 2013, she won the Emerging Leader category in the Westpac and Fairfax Media Women of Influence awards, and has since been a finalist a following three times, in both Diversity and Innovation in Science categories.
Mahsa’s dedication is to the young women in her community. She feels that today, where so much importance is placed on the importance of diversity and inclusion, there are still strong stereotypes that hold girls back. She has set out to debunk these stereotypes and help young women choose careers they are passionate about regardless of field or societal expectations.
Annah Stretton is a fashion designer, entrepreneur and philanthropist who has established a charitable social venture to work with recidivist female offenders.
Reclaim Another Woman (RAW) assists these women to break the cycle of offending through scholarship education and negotiated work.
Annah’s leadership demonstrates the power of a community-driven initiative to address a serious social problem, benefitting the affected women, their children and whanau, and the wider community. RAW has achieved tremendous success in changing the lives of women who have historically reoffended after leaving prison.
As a high-profile and successful fashion designer and entrepreneur, Annah has mentored students and young fashion designers. She helps women in business and start-up charities with mentoring and guidance to foster success.
Annah began her fashion design wholesale business 25 years ago, eventually vertically retailing her own label NZ wide. She has been successful where many have failed in an industry that has been severely disrupted through amplifying digital platforms.
She served on the board of Fashion Industry New Zealand (2005-2010).
While fashion design and retailing remain her core business, Annah has also branched into publishing to promote the stories of other successful women in Her Business magazine and the issues affecting women with breast cancer in PINK magazine. Annah has also published seven books.
Annah has aligned to many charities speaking for them, assisting with their governance structures, offering her business acumen, and connecting them with her networks, including Breast Cancer, SPCA, SAFE, Canteen, Dress for Success, Heart Foundation, Asthma Foundation and Star Jam.
Thirteen years ago, Annah’s focus turned to contributing her talents to charity start-ups, including Waikato Breast Cancer Trust, which has a strong focus on research, and True Colours, which works with chronic and terminally ill children.
She has also provided support to charities in crisis, such as Waikato SPCA, and assisted to create a governance board for Waikato Women’s Refuge that she agreed to initially chair.
Annah has been instrumental in leading fundraising initiatives, building relationships and connection with corporates and government, growing the refuge brand, enabling it to negotiate and move to new premises, become financially stable and build another million-dollar respite home for women and children.
Dr Siouxsie Wiles
Dr Siouxsie Wiles is a microbiologist and head of the Bioluminescent Superbugs Lab at the University of Auckland, working to increase understanding of infectious diseases.
A passionate and effective science communicator, Siouxsie champions important public health issues, such as raising awareness of the growing threat of antibiotic-resistant superbugs.
A blogger and podcaster, as well as being a regular science commentator for Radio NZ’s Nine to Noon programme, Siouxsie has also teamed up with Australian graphic artist Luke Harris to make short animations describing nature’s amazing glowing creatures and the many uses of bioluminescence in science.
Siouxsie studied at the University of Edinburgh and graduated in 1997 with a BSc(Hons) in Medical Microbiology. While an undergraduate, she received a Nuffield Scholarship and worked in the university's School of Biological Sciences. She completed her PhD at the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, previously known as the Institute of Virology and Environmental Microbiology. She then moved to Imperial College London for a post-doctoral research position on tuberculosis. In 2007 she became a lecturer at Imperial College, and in 2009 was awarded a Sir Charles Hercus Fellowship from the Health Research Council of New Zealand and moved to the University of Auckland.
She was one of eight scientists who fronted the New Zealand government's National Science Challenges in 2012, and co-presented the TV series The Great New Zealand Science Project.
Her book Antibiotic Resistance: The End of Modern Medicine was published in 2017 and examined the growing global problem of antibiotics resistance. Commenting on the book, University of Otago infectious diseases expert Professor Kurt Krause described it as “a clear call to action for New Zealanders on one of the most critical issues we face.”
THE UNIVERSITY OF AUCKLAND YOUNG NEW ZEALANDER OF THE YEAR
Dave is founder and CEO of LearnCOACH, an online service offering video courses, material resources and personal tutoring for high school students.
Since 2012, LearnCOACH helps 135,000 NCEA students with free tutorials online per year. This online approach has meant students watch over 1 million free video tutorials per year – equivalent to filling a 300-seat lecture theatre, ten times every day.
In 2016, Dave was named a Future Maker by TeachNZ. With TeachNZ, Dave aims to engage more students in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths) study.
In June 2017, in partnership with comedian Dean Watson launched the NCEA Comedy Writing Competition. As part of the competition, students win $50 each week for the funniest one-liner about NCEA – written in under 140 characters. The winning one-liner is posted to LearnCoach’s thousands of Facebook and Twitter followers each week. The competition has generated over 1,000 written entries in the first months – a number that is increasing every day.
In September 2017, LearnCoach launched Flipped, New Zealand’s first ever Second-Chance-School. Partnering with education providers and NZQA, Flipped is an instant ‘pop-up’ school, where any room can become a NZQA-qualified classroom (e.g. refugee centre, prison cell or hospital ward) – giving students a second chance at education.
Dave is motivated by his personal experiences. At 14, Dave began failing at school and was placed in a behavioural problems class. After finally working back into the mainstream, Dave wanted to help other students who struggle. So, Dave became a secondary teacher and launched LearnCOACH.
Dave believes, when teens thrive in school, they can thrive in life; which creates a positive and prosperous future for New Zealand.
Entrepreneur and Innovator Logan Williams is currently an MBA candidate at the University of Canterbury and Founder and Director of Biome Innovation Limited.
Biome Innovation converts Didymo into sustainable materials including, Bio paper, Bio plastic and Biofabric. Biome is currently partnering with Untouched World, Innocent Packaging, and Orana Wildlife Park with the first Didymo based product canvas prints of native birds.
Through the University of Canterbury, Logan participated in the NZTA Challenge to create real impact on the economic and social well-being of Kaikōura residents. As part of the Peak Performance Team, Logan and two fellow students created a programme of three events over July and August. The solution aimed to utilise existing spaces available in Kaikōura and fill the gaps in existing events programmes to incentivise locals and domestic visitors to get out and about in Kaikōura to encourage visitors during the quiet, winter season.
This year Logan won the Ministry of Health-sponsored Eureka scholarship for his innovative medical-grade polarised contact lenses that can help prevent epileptic seizures.
‘My passion in life is to create concepts and ideas to solve major issues faced in the modern world,’ Logan says.
Logan is inspired to provide innovative and revolutionary concepts to improve people’s lives.
Grace is a writer, creator and aspiring adventurer who has been using a wheelchair for 17 years. Grace believes that people can follow their dreams and that anything is possible through hard work and adaption.
As well as her own Blog, Grace has written for the Spinoff, The Pantograph Punch and Vice New Zealand (Grace continues to pitch and write for various platforms, printed and otherwise). Grace was featured in MiNDFOOD magazine.
In 2017, Grace spoke at AUT about social media’s role in creating social change, modelled for both Miss Crabb and Trelise Cooper in campaigns Grace facilitated, Grace was the first person in a wheelchair to do this for these brands. (Grace continues to work with these brands, Grace has also worked with Clinique NZ)
Grace is on the Community Action on Youth and Drugs (CAYAD) board for the BUZZED campaign as an advisor for them about ways to use social media to promote educated substance use. CAYAD has been funded by the Ministry of Health since 2001 to reduce the harm young people experience from alcohol and other drugs.
In August of 2017 Grace was finalised for Westpac Women of Influence and was the first Media Delegate in a wheelchair at New Zealand Fashion Week and in October 2017
Grace spoke at Ted X Auckland (Youth).
Grace works to promote positive perceptions about disability.
Alex is committed and passionate about children’s rights. Inspired by his unique personal experience as a Romanian-Kiwi adoptee, his goal is to establish a global consultancy for children’s rights, advising non-profits, foundations, international governments and corporations.
Alex is a Trustee for the not for profit “I’m Adopted” and organisation that supports adoptees by sharing their story, utilizing social media networks.
Having graduated this year from Auckland University with a double major in International Relations and Politics, Psychology and Alex works towards his goals through experiences. He has undertaken a research and international development internship with Tear Fund as well as participated as New Zealand Youth Ambassador to Nepal for the Leprosy Mission. The Nepal experience allowed him to study socio-economic impacts of leprosy in the Himalayas and innovative approaches such as micro-finance loans to re-integrate people into society.
Alex has spoken at a variety of International Forums on Adoption they include:
2017 World Economic Forum, Geneva, Switzerland
2017 International Social Services, UN Peace Palace, Geneva, Switzerland
2017 Romanian Diaspora Forum, Romanian Embassy, New Zealand
2016 Embassy of Romania, Romanian National Day, Canberra, Australia
2016 Conference on Redefining Family, Auckland University of Technology
2015 National TV, Conferences, Universities, High Schools; Bucharest, Romania
2013 Parliament of Romania, Bucharest, Romania
Josiah is a young Samoan changemaker set on inspiring youth advocacy in his community. He sits on a number of boards, and is advocating for Pasifika youth and ensuring young Pasifika people’s ideas and perspectives are considered by decision makers. Josiah is the recipient of the 2016 Prime Minister’s Pacific Youth Award for Leadership and Inspiration.
At 18, he was made the chairperson of the Pacific Youth Leadership And Transformation Council Pacific Youth Leadership And Transformation Council which he helped establish.
He helped develop the University of Canterbury’s Pacific strategy, mentors, is part of the Youth Voice Canterbury Network and co-developed the iSpeak forums & the Christchurch Pasifika STEM (Science Technology, Engineering & Maths) Fono.
The political science and history student has several youth projects in the pipeline once he finishes university, but wants to eventually forge a career as an academic.
Rees started Adduco, a social marketing start-up in November 2012 at age 16 - growing it to a team of 12 within 24 months. Rees also maintains positions in 3 other NZ companies (including Hazwaste, an eco-driven waste disposal start-up) and sits as Partner in Icehouse’s First Cut Ventures Fund, actively investing $500k into NZ start-ups run by founders under 30.
He actively mentors and works with other budding young entrepreneurs, providing connections, advice and pro bono work to encourage young entrepreneurship and alternative career choices.
Rees is an avid supporter of fostering social and commercial entrepreneurship within young people, and will always support causes and initiatives that contribute to the growth and prosperity of New Zealand.
Kristina is the Founder & Director of The Kindness Institute, an organisation that helps improve mental health and leadership capabilities. Kristina is a Coach and Educator, specialising in Mindfulness & Stress Reduction.
Kristina spent 8 years working around the world with communities dealing with stress & trauma. As part of the New Zealander of The Year Awards, Kristina received a Local Hero Award and was nominated for Young New Zealander of the Year 2014 for her work. She founded award winning organisation, NPH New Zealand to support almost 4,000 orphaned and abandoned children throughout Latin America.
Kristina is passionate about wellness & mindfulness coaching and works with individuals, organisations, schools & marginalised communities. Kristina's work with young people has contributed to a decrease in anti-social and often criminal behaviours, and an increase of compassion and empathy.
The people she has worked with report having improved relationships, happiness, sleep, stress levels, focus and motivation to grow, despite their challenges. Based in Central Auckland, Kristina works with clients globally via Skype and in New Zealand.
Peter Burling has been winning sailing races since he was 11 years old. In 2008, 17-year-old Peter Burling became New Zealand’s youngest ever Olympic sailor when he finished 11th in Qingdao, China in the Men’s 470 class. After switching to the 49er skiff and with sailing partner Blair Tuke won silver at the London Olympics in 2012 and then Gold at the Rio Olympics in 2016.
Peter has won four consecutive 49er World Championships, two 420 Class World Championships and the 2015 Moth World Championships.
At 26, for Emirates Team New Zealand’s 2017 Americas Cup Campaign in Bermuda, Peter became the youngest winning helmsman in the history of the Americas Cup.
Peter was a finalist in the 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 ISAP World Sailor of the Year Awards. He won the award in 2015 with Blair Tuke and in 2017 he won again as sole recipient.
22-year-old Rapper, Tom Francis’s album ‘Underestimated’, recorded in his bedroom with cheap equipment, spent a week topping the
New Zealand iTunes charts beating hip hop legend Drake.
“Underestimated” featured many prolific NZ and international Artists. Including names such as Dizzy Wright, Joyner Lucas Sid Diamond, On Cue and the Grammy Nominated Twista. The album has garnered over 4 million worldwide streams.
He spent time at Paramount Studios, the premier recording studio for major Hip Hop Artists and musicians. There he gained traction and influence with some of the biggest names in the business. He joined the recording sessions of Wiz Khalifa, King Los, Joyner Lucas, members of the A$AP Crew and Top Dawg Entertainment.
Tom Francis brings a brand-new sound to Hip-Hop music. He has blended together classical Hip-Hop sounds with hard-hitting dubstep and drum and bass. Hit song “Who’s Real” being a great example of Tom’s versatility.
Tom’s most recent single is the track “What I’m made for”, features Detroit Rapper Royce Da 5’9.
Tom’s new work under development will continue to collaborate with other rappers and bring Tom’s positive messaging to this genre.
An internationally successful artist in the music industry and Journalist, Lizzie launched the smart, no-filter online media platform, Villainesse, in answer to the lack of young female voices in the media. Over the last two years, Villainesse has grown a strong and dedicated readership.
Since January 2016 Lizzie has a regular column in the New Zealand Herald where she comments on social issues.
Lizzie has been an Ambassador for Variety – the children’s charity since 2011 and became a member of the Board in 2016. In 2016 and 2017 Lizzie was a finalist in the Women of Influence awards.
An activist for women and wanting to create social change for the betterment of young women, particularly Māori, is one of Lizzie’s motivations.
Lizzie’s inclusion in this list provides opportunity for some exposure for Villainesse and the social issues Lizzie is passionate about.
MITRE10 NEW ZEALAND COMMUNITY OF THE YEAR
I Have A Dream
Inspiring kiwi kids growing up in material hardship to navigate their own path to academic and life success. Creating positive role models who add value to their communities. IHAD work with everyone in the classroom of a low decile school, not just specific kids based on talents, risk factors, ethnicity or socio-economic status; all inclusive.
Whole classes of children are ‘adopted’ at 8 years old and mentored all the way through school and to graduation with academic and social skills to successfully transition to a career or further study, increasing economic and social outcomes for our country. Result from past 14 years pilot study showed the Mt Roskill project demonstrated that investing for an entire generation can solve the problem of inter-generational poverty. (Good data)
Next goal is demonstrating (in Northland) that the initiative can scale this out cost effectively to an entire community on 10 to 15-year journey per child. Many parents of children in low decile schools are unemployed, working 2 or three jobs just to make ends meet, meaning little time and skills (often limited language and reading abilities) to give attention to the learning and development of their children.
Aiming to prepare children for life at and after school, to integrate them into their communities, to make them more confident, develop skills and to have a dream that they wish to achieve in their lives. The advantage of coaching and mentoring and new-found skills are brought home to share with younger siblings and parents, who also benefit. The Dreamers and their families are integrated into their wider communities through weekend activities, sports and the programme cater for all their learning needs. Opportunity for children in low decile schools with parents lacking education to have a coach/mentor /guide to encourage values and achievement from first years at school to 20 years old.
Started in 2003 with goal to continue into the foreseeable future. Long term commitment - 15 – 20 years from Year 1 through to tertiary and employment…. leading and mentoring children to young adulthood with 80%+ entering tertiary education or employment. Started in Mt Roskill as a successful pilot and now rolled out to Northland schools (4).
Entire community, families, friends, teachers, the economy, people’s attitudes benefit. The Dreamers become positive role models who add value to their communities, increasing economic and social outcomes for our country. The child in the I have a Dream class, the siblings of that child, the parents and extended family and community all benefit from the education ….
Rolling this out to an entire country will need government buy in. Currently funded by donation commitments from a range of individuals and organisations who support ongoing.
Would provide greater awareness of a successful inclusive, long term, aspirational and holistic programme with collective impact. Winning would highlight the success of the programme and that it can be scaled out cost effectively to entire communities. IHAD wants to take the government with them on this journey with the intention that they will roll this out to all high needs communities in NZ and the recognition would be an influencer in achieving that dream.
De Paul House
Emergency housing for homeless families – houses up to 23 families comfortably and securely. Residential programme provides access to social workers, counselling, homework club, early childhood centre and learning centre. Based in Northcote/North Shore but families come from all over Auckland area considered affluent, but daily families struggle living in cars etc.
Building strong resilient families focusing on education and safe affordable housing, providing food, furniture, linen, clothing, household goods…helping people set up their own homes. Goods are donated and managed by 96 volunteers who donate time equivalent to 2 full time staff weekly.
Volunteers and community make it possible to achieve life changing outcomes for families.
Supporting homeless families since 1986 as a response to economic and social challenges. Assisted over 1000 families into housing. 90% of families have sustained housing in the community ending transience and insecurity.
Families who benefit are disadvantaged in NZ society 44% Maori, 25% Pacifica, 15% European, 17% New Zealanders. De Paul House is described as a Community of Hope.
Eat My Lunch
Clever, social business model using innovative buy one, give one model. Not a charity. To ensure no child at school goes hungry, starting with kids in our back yard (Hamilton, Auckland, Wellington). For every lunch or dinner someone buys (delivered to home or workplace) a lunch is given to a kiwi kid in need. This business uses the service of volunteers and is sustainable. (presumably people who order their lunch say for $20 fund a child’s lunch which may be worth $5 - trying to find out how the numbers stack up).
Goal is that no kid goes hungry at school /volunteers make lunches for the kids. During the time they have been up and running they have had almost 4,000 volunteers from all walks of life and social backgrounds coming to make lunches.
Going for just two years and provided 582,000 lunches in that time.
Children in 53 low decile schools who otherwise may not be provided with a lunch to take to school. Auckland, Hamilton and Wellington (list of schools available).
Brain child of founder Jim Lynch and wife Eve – joined Forest and Bird as committee members and a year later Jim proposed strategic plan development re inventory of all-natural assets of Wellington city for management and preservation. A plan to Enhance the Natural Treasures of Wellington City was inspiration for Zealandia. World Class conservation project…fully fenced urban ecosanctuary of 225 hectares, with 500-year vision to restore a Wellington valleys forest and freshwater ecosystems to as closely as possible to their pre-human state.
Restoration of Wellington’s valleys forest and freshwater ecosystems, using volunteer work force because native wild life is unique and so vulnerable. Most work was original and ground-breaking design. 1993 accepted by GWRC and WCC subject to public consultation on proposal. Public wanted it.
Originally the theme was to ‘Bring the Birds back to Wellington’. Sanctuary proposal written by Jim Lynch in 1992, seed funding agreed for feasibility study.
Reintroduced 18 species of native wildlife back into the area, 6 of which were previously absent from mainland NZ for over 100 years. From Maori hunting ground to historic water source. Pest eradication success and further detection/prevention ongoing.
Ecosystem, flora, fauna, pest eradication prevention. Tourists. Education benefit.
Biosecurity is a challenge. Strict bio-security measures enforced, all vehicles, bags and equipment being checked prior to entry to valley. Possibility of mechanical failure, breaches of fence of subsidence (earthquake) allowing re-invasion, so ongoing monitoring of fence, ground and vegetation, strategies to detect and control re-invasions, which is are all elements to the challenge of management of Zealandia.
National volunteer run charity with 18 branches across NZ. Born out of desire to help families being supported by fellow community members. No means test, service based on emotional need for support.
Assists in delivering meals to families with new babies or families with young children who are struggling with illness. Over 400 volunteers who work to prepare, cook, and deliver meals to Mums that may not otherwise have such support. Dedicated team of volunteers gather at local community kitchen and prepare delicious and nutritious Macaroni Cheese, Bolognese Sauce, and Lasagne (food sensitivity options available to order). Meals are packaged and stored in large freezer, waiting to be delivered to families in need.
Key to support is practical support i.e. cooked meals for families who wouldn’t have that support otherwise. Bellyful step in where other support mechanisms (family, friends, church, play centre etc do not exist). As a community it is about looking after each other/ well supported families are less likely to struggle during times of stress.
Charitable Trust, started in 2009 and 18 branches throughout NZ. Families, volunteers, local businesses, and sponsors all make it possible. Around 18,000 meals a year.
Families in stressful situations / new baby / Post Natal depression/ illness benefit.
Kaibosh Food Rescue
Dame Patsy Reddy is official patron of Kaibosh Food Rescue which, for over nine years has provided food to those in need across Wellington with volumes of food rising consistently each year to current level of 250,000 kg per annum.
In 2015 Kaibosh opened lower hut base to service Hutt Valley and Wainuiomata. Despite extra costs have generated financial surplus in last three years due to strict cost control and focus on new area of revenue.
Their goal and challenge are to have enough reserves to maintain existing operations for six months even if no revenue was generated and to date we have been successful. The November 2016 earthquake tested ability to operate in adversity as Wellington premises closed at short notice. Proud that there was minimal disruption to service levels due to sound back up plan.
Canterbury Charity Hospital Trust
Provides surgery for people who were not able to access treatment in the public hospital system, or who had to wait too long and who could not afford medical insurance. Unique in NZ under leadership of Dr Paul Bagshaw has built team of specialists who donate time.
Since doors opened 10 years ago, the Trust has received no government funding as such, but relies on donations, bequests, local business support. Most of every dollar goes to the patient, although there are costs associated with drugs, equipment etc.
Those who are WINZ clients, who don’t qualify for treatment in public system. Large percentage of every dollar spent goes to the patient, although there are the expenses of drugs and equipment etc. People who cannot wait, cannot afford to pay for surgical procedures, or don’t have medical insurance. Up to four times a year polytech nurses come for experience, which is a benefit to their education.
Volunteer anaesthetists and surgeons volunteering on the same day and getting the right mix of patients on the ‘list’ for surgery. Volunteers don’t always have the skills and so a lot of time spent teaching and training them up.
Te Iwi O Te Roroa
A Cultural initiative on Northland’s West Coast providing intergenerational Kaitiakitanga responsibilities and tactical planning for caring for the land and working collaboratively with DOC, NRC and other agencies in fighting Kauri Dieback. Te Roroa is leading with people actively engaged in the many workstreams on the ground. Te Roroa engages with Enviro Schools (Papa) and NZ Correspondence school in providing learning facilities and support. Delivers environmental services for Waipoua Forest and Kai Iwi Lakes.
Active in environment for 15 years but culturally and historically for 600 years.
2016 Te Roroa Environs won NZTA Environmental Award for focus and delivery of contract work in Waipoua.
Many hurdles of e.g. capacity building of its teams and acceptance from agencies and other organisations that Te Roroa is a major influence in the fight against Kauri Dieback. Biodiversity pressures surround the forest and established research and development hub, Te Roroa centre of Excellence to primarily focus on threats.
Pillars is a mentoring programme that supports children with parents in prison. Current statistics show 20,000 children have parents in prison and these children are 9 times more likely to end up there.
Pillars aims to reduce social isolation and deprivation providing these children with support to live positive lives. They are the innocent, often invisible ones who deserve a future.
For over ten years Pillars have been committed to work for generational change through their volunteers who have proven to be the life blood of the organisation making a huge difference in the lives of vulnerable children.
Whangawehi Catchment Management Group
The Whangawehi Catchment Restoration Project is an outstanding example of how an entire community can work together to make a real difference to the quality of their local waterways.
The project group formed by local stakeholders took holistic approach to water management, pest control, education, planting marginal strips of the waterway and retiring land from active use. Approx. 7.5 km of stream is now protected by fences, 42 ha of its margins have been planted with 136,000 native trees, 5 ha of native bush has been retired and debris dams have been built to retain silt and build up stream beds.
KIWIBANK NEW ZEALAND LOCAL HERO OF THE YEAR
David Rule (South Auckland)
For over 23 years, David Rule has been teaching free literacy and numeracy programmes, helping with CV preparation, job seeking skills and delivering driver licence education. He has worked with thousands of young people, adults, and people at risk.
David has worked tirelessly to raise funds for his courses (Driver licence students still must pay for their Learner and Restricted Licence fees) with funding from various Government Agencies, schools, churches and other community funders.
In 2015, David’s wife Rei died suddenly at the age of 48, leaving David to care for his four children as well as run his teaching programmes and his family have managed to help carry on the business.
Courses have been run across central, south, and west Auckland including schools, work and income offices and probation offices, youth facilities and prisons. David is so well known in the South Auckland area that instead of charging people caught driving without a licence, the police now simply take the offender around to David to be enrolled in a driver licence course.
In 2014, over 1200 students were enrolled for Rule Education’s programmes, with a 70-80% pass rate for those in the community who sat their Learners.
David’s vision is to have a completely literate New Zealand. His long term goal is to establish a ‘school’ for all the students who don’t fit the normal school system and/or who don’t succeed in alternative education or training. “I want to make a difference, by improving lives through education. I want others to use our teaching methods.”
Mohamud Mohamed (Mt Roskill)
Mohamud is an inspirational and dynamic young man who is passionate about and committed to issues of social justice, human rights, gender equality, youth development and supporting refugee and migrant communities.
Mohamud came to New Zealand from Somalia as a refugee at the age of eight arriving without any English. After a few years in New Zealand, his father died from cancer. Mohamud and his siblings were raised by their widowed mum who was also supporting family still in Somalia by sending remittances. As his mother cannot speak English, Mohamud had to support his family by working and studying simultaneously.
Mohamud has served on the Puketapapa Mt Roskill Local Board Youth Caucus and is an alumnus of the Office of Ethnic Communities Youth Leadership Programme. He is a current board member of Migrant Action Trust and serves as the chair of ONKOD Somali Youth Development Inc., which runs programmes providing Somali language and culture classes for New Zealand born Somali. It has also helped bridge the language gap between youth and their parents who cannot speak fluent English.
In 2016, he established the Umma Trust youth leadership programme mentoring and supporting young Muslim youth, His contribution to his local community has seen a reduction in the social isolation of vulnerable and marginalised youth especially those of refugee background. Through the mentoring programme, participants who were initially involved with informal gangs have seen increased self-esteem, discipline, and motivation to turn their lives around. This has resulted in youth pursuing further education, training, and employment.
Mohamud has graduated from AUT with a BA majoring in Social Science and Conflict Resolution. He is enrolled in a MA in Policy Studies his thesis examining refugee resettlement policies of different political parties in New Zealand over the past 15 years. A topic inspired by his work as intern with the UNHCR in Malaysia.
Mohamud is described as an inspiration to other former refugee community members and to youth of all backgrounds advocating for refugee resettlement and youth development
Joseph Fa'afiu (Mangere)
Joseph Fa'afiu is a Pastor, author and community leader who has worked in the South Auckland area for over 16 years.
He has been involved in areas from story times in libraries and schools to working with at risk youth, to developing mental health strategies and suicide prevention campaigns with local agencies. Joseph sits on the Counties Manukau Police Pacific Advisory Unit.
He is a role model for Duffy Books In Homes and has written and published two children books "I am me" and "Little Poppy" which help young children deal with bullying, self-esteem, and peer pressure issues.
He created two initiatives to help Inspire Youth Leaders in South Auckland, and is the founder of the first Youth Public Speaking contest called Storytellers. He has also founded a Suicide Prevention Trust called Hopewalk, which has touched the lives of tens of thousands of people nationally and internationally in USA, UK, Canada and the South Pacific.
In 2016, he was awarded Sunpix Pacific Community Leader of the year for his ongoing work in the community. He received the Maori & Pacific Ministry of Health Volunteer of the Year Award; is the 2017 NZ Champion of Public Speaking and has been received a recognition certificate from the Australian Mental Health Awards. In addition, Counties DHB nominated him for LifeKeepers Award for work in Suicide prevention.
Alexandra Nicholas (Mt Eden)
Alexandra is the founder and project manager of youth-led campaign Handle the Jandal. It aims to unleash Polynesian youth leadership to take collective action to enhance wellbeing and create social change. Concerned by a spike in suicides among Pacific youth, Alex developed an idea for the first-ever community-organised campaign initiated by a New Zealand health organisation. In January 2013, she launched ‘Handle the Jandal’, a community-led initiative by-youth, for-youth designed to improve the mental health and build the resilience of Polynesian youth in Counties Manukau.
Alex is an inspirational role model to a team of 12 youth, aged 17-29. Team members meet weekly f to develop and guide the campaign strategy. They then volunteer up to 10 hours weekly for: coaching sessions, which support their personal leadership development; coaching other youth, and; recruiting and building wider youth teams who support specific and targeted campaign actions/events. To date over 120 youth have been trained as community organisers and have mobilised over 1000 youth and community members to attend workshops equipping them with skills in health, education, relationships, employment, creative arts, depression and parent- youth relationships.
Handle the Jandal’s work has been recognised in a range of forums both nationally and internationally. Her phase-one report showed that youths actively engaged in Handle the Jandal teams experienced improvements in their mental health and personal development. From February 2017, Alex has supported a new youth leader to step up as lead organiser in Handle the Jandal while Alex has taken on a strategic advisor/coaching role. This is part of Alex’s goal to eventually make herself redundant, so to speak, by enabling new youth leadership – so that when she moves on the project will be self-sustaining
Caine Warren (Manukau)
Caine is the National Director of ManUp NZ an organisation that strengthens men to become better fathers, husbands, and leaders in their home and the community. Aiming to overcome domestic violence, anger, depression and obesity, the programme is designed and targeted at helping men become better and be positive contributors to society.
The aim of ManUp is to restore all men to their natural state through making a commitment to one another and taking responsibility for their decisions and actions. Man Up has spread across New Zealand and now expanded into Australia and Tonga.
Statistics from May 2017, where 300 men registered for the 15-week programme, give an overview of the effectiveness of the programme with a decrease in criminal offences and re-offending, decrease in alcohol use, cannabis use, P use and smoking cigarettes. There has been a decrease in domestic violence issues and improvements in relationships with partners. Employment has increased, and children have returned to care.
Dave Letele (Manurewa)
Dave Letele also known as "Brown Butterbean" has saved lives with his inspiration and has helped others who suffer from obesity. Dave runs free boot camps all over Auckland helping thousands of people change their lives for the better; he promotes a healthy lifestyle and is encouraging to those around him. He even visits BBM members in hospital, advocates for them and helps them with exercise in the home if they cannot get to boot camps.
His boot camps have become so successful and he is consistently at work for the improvement of our community. Dave always emphasises the importance of self-love and hard work. He also knows first-hand how it feels to not be in the best shape mentally and physically. Having been through many hardships himself, he knows why he does what he does and the positive impact it can have.
Having once weighed in at over 200kg's Dave used to be morbidly overweight - so he KNOWS personally what his clients are going through Dave emphasises the importance of self-love and hard work. He has built a community of individuals, of all ages, sizes and ethnicities, who are inspired to work towards improving their health outcomes. He has used his own personal challenges and experiences to help empower and educate others.
Dave has saved lives with his inspiration and help to others who suffer from obesity. He is always positive, helping people on a journey they never thought they could achieve, which is losing weight and maintaining a healthy lifestyle for years to come becoming free from the death sentences of obesity, diabetes, and many other sicknesses.
Pamela Anne O'Keefe (Flaxmere)
Pamela O’Keefe works to help people disadvantaged due to circumstances often beyond their control. Her roles have included being a foster parent, operations manager for Te Aranga marae, a Flaxmere Kai collective foodbank distributor and community garden operator, and well as helping prisoners into community jobs.
Often referred as the “mother of Flaxmere”, Pamela continues to manage initiatives that she and her husband, Henare Ngaera O'Keefe, have begun, all on a voluntary basis.
For close to 30 years and in partnership with her husband, Pam has continued to work passionately to make a difference to the lives of many that are disadvantaged due to circumstances beyond their control. Pam plays an integral part in social justice particularly for the residents in Flaxmere putting her heart and soul into solutions daily.
Pam’s involvements in the community are extensive and include: Foster parenting; foodbank distributor; reintegration of prisoners into the community; placing bikes into home; operating TunuTunu mobile BBQ on the streets to foster goodwill; Co-founder of U-Turn Trusts; housing; clothing; feeding, and; counselling families.
Pam’s humble, giving and kind loving demeanour have endeared her to hundreds. She is one of the most successful advocates of social justice in Flaxmere and indeed the wider Hastings District. Pam’s non-judgemental and quiet disposition is an outstanding quality that continues to add to the success of her and her husband.
Ricky Houghton (Kaitaia)
Ricky has led He Korowai Trust in Kaitaia since its inception in the early 2000's.
Over the past 10 years, Ricky has saved over 550 homes from Mortgagee sale in the Far North, keeping 6400 vulnerable kiwis housed. He has overseen services in justice and whanau development to more than 800 whanau, created business enterprise to the value of $10 million using natural resources (maize and kumara) while taking no personal profit.
Ricky has had a life of challenge and has responded by focusing on ensuring others are freed from adversity and crises and given love, hope and a pathway to a better future. He is the example of a leader making change for the future of New Zealand.
He has created Whare Ora, a unique housing programme providing homes to the homeless and addressing holistic development needs in a Kaupapa Maori way. Nine families who were living in cow sheds, car ports and the streets have now entered a housing programme where they receive food, health care, education for children in a safe, alcohol free, drug free, violence free community.
Ricky is now leading a new project of engaging local youth in trade training and entrepreneurship developing skills through renovating and building homes for those most in need (including themselves). Foundation North has invested into the seed of this academy called Sweet As (Students without education, employment, or training achieving and succeeding.
Ricky is a living legend in the Far North because of his self-less never tiring endeavours to make a system change for those most at risk.
Farida Sultana (Wellington)
Farida has been working in violence against women for over 17 years. She first became associated with Shakti AID UK as a survivor of violence and then as a volunteer. She has written about her own experience of abuse in her autobiography "Purple Dandelion".
In 1995, she started Shakti in New Zealand. The organisation has grown from a lone office in Mt Roskill to offices across the country.
Shakti sets out to challenge the cultural acceptance of domestic violence within the ethnic communities; promote gender equity; and bring about social change. Shakti is committed to the cause of women’s empowerment and contributes effectively through its series of educational and like skills programmes.
Farida and Shakti have good working relationships with the police and Child youth and Family Services.
Farida is also an advocate for various migrant and refugee issues in New Zealand and overseas. In 2016, after 6 years of hard work, Shakti was successful in having a law passed which makes forced underage marriage a crime in New Zealand
Farida has dedicated her life to supporting those women who are among the most vulnerable in our society. In many cases, she has literally saved their live.
Janice Lee (Invercargill)
Janice Lee is a wife and grandmother who began working in the disability sector. Through this work, she realized that what she was doing was not answering the real need. Her dream was to change society's attitude to disability by highlighting what people can do, instead of focusing on their limitations.
So, in 2014, she created Koha Kai to bring hungry kids and people with disabilities together. For a gold coin, schoolchildren receive a hot, healthy lunch, while the people with disabilities receive important life skills and training.
People with a disability constantly struggle with the prospect of competing in an increasingly demanding working environment where limited opportunities present themselves. Koha Kai seeks to address this imbalance by providing the opportunity to train in an environment where people with disabilities are supported to be successful in their future workplace.
Through Koha Kai, people with disabilities learn to cook improving their lives, giving them a pathway to employment, and ultimately, independence. Koha Kai gardeners grow produce in many gardens around Invercargill. From there they cook hot, nourishing wholesome meals for children in primary schools. Learning new skills, making new friends, caring for their own needs, has enabled them to change them from being the highest users of social and medical services, to become social service providers.
Janice has a generosity of spirit which enabled her to give up her paid employment to allow her to follow her passion of creating a pathway to employment for people living with the challenges of disability, and in doing so, not only changing perception of disability but providing people with hope for their future. She is a real Hero in the community
SANITARIUM NEW ZEALAND INNOVATOR OF THE YEAR
Team New Zealand Design Team
There are many remarkable elements of Team New Zealand's stunning win in Bermuda: the unflappable performances of helmsman Peter Burling in his first America's Cup; their recovery from the dramatic capsize during the challenger semi-finals and the great redemption story after the crushing despair of San Francisco four years ago are just some of these elements.
But perhaps most remarkable of all, is how a team that was on the brink of financial ruin, and only launched their first proper test platform 18 months after their key rivals, came to be so far ahead of the development curve.
The Design Team knew that they could not out-spend the bigger teams, and would never catch-up in sailing time. The only chance for success would be a bold, innovative design that drew the very best from this talented team.
The Designers took a fresh look at where the America’s Cup could be won or lost and put together a revolutionary design concept that stepped away from their competitors in many areas. Whilst the most visible innovation was the use of ‘cyclors’ rather than grinders, this was just one piece of the complex design puzzle which all had to work together to make the Kiwi boat fly.
And fly they did - the brilliant success achieved in the face of seemingly overwhelming odds was simply outstanding.
Chris Heaslip - Pushpay
Chris Heaslip is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and co-founder of Pushpay.
Pushpay is one of New Zealand’s most innovative companies, providing a donor-management system through engagement solutions that enable meaningful connections and mobile commerce tools that facilitate fast, secure and easy non- point of sale payments.
With Chris Heaslip’s innovation focused vision, Pushpay’s clients are able to offer convenient, personalised and intuitive engagement and payment solutions to their consumers.
Globally, Pushpay is now featuring in transactional values in excess of $2 Billion and generating revenues of over $60 million.
Ian Taylor – Animation Research Limited
Ian Taylor originally started Animation Research Limited to provide meaningful spectator coverage of the America's Cup and continues innovation in all the major sports arenas especially golf enabling VR technology to thrust the spectator right into the middle of the action.
His technology is used in a diverse range of fields including education in schools and prisons.
The 35th America’s Cup not only displayed New Zealand’s prowess on the water but off it, too.
The technology in the event included virtual eye footage, a mobile application used by teams including New Zealand for post-race analysis, and a simulator which enabled people at the cup village to try "sailing" a yacht.
The mobile application was the latest version of real-time yachting graphics technology and another giant leap forward.
In Bermuda, the technology included using special camera rigs made from carbon fibre produced by a 3-D printer in Dunedin to capture the action with 360-degree virtual reality and taking the spectator right into the thick of it.
Robert Bell - KlickEx
Robert Bell, an economist striving to improve financial inclusion for the Pacific Region through digital innovation, has managed to substantially reduce the cost of sending money across the South Pacific. His digital products have helped stabilise foreign exchanges, particularly in economies that have little liquidity, and has modernised the way money is sent home to the Pacific from families based in New Zealand, shifting to a mobile-based model.
The challenge of keeping money remittance affordable for New Zealand’s most at-risk and vulnerable communities has seen his company KlickEx become the leading money remitter across the entire Pacific region.
IBM, a world leader in Blockchain technology, recently sought out Robert Bell to partner and be the first in the world to deploy in the Pacific Enterprise scale blockchain technology for banking.
Blockchain is one of the most exciting new computer science technologies in the world now - and Rob Bell has led the way in ensuring the Pacific has been the first region in the world to have a region-wide deployment of distributed ledger technology, a technology so promising, that IBM is fully backing it.
The UN has estimated that Rob's efforts in computer science have stabilised very volatile exchange rates, and saved Pacific Island families more than $900 each per year, or nearly 20% of GDP per capita. These efforts have lifted GDP and caused the market to change, and the Pacific to be cited as a global leader in financial services for the unbanked, a traditionally elusive market segment.
Kevin Halsal & Marcus Thompson - OGO
Kevin Halsall’s machine, that will change millions of lives worldwide, is set to start production in September.
Kevin, an inventor and product designer from Otaki in Kapiti, has built a revolutionary personal mobility device not just for his friend, paraplegic Marcus Thompson, but for 11,000 New Zealand users and 70 million worldwide who rely on a wheelchair for mobility.
Kevin’s unique patented invention, called the Ogo, blends active moving seat control with self-balancing technology which frees the user’s hands to do anything they want.
This hands-free electric personal all-terrain transport device that enables a person with a walking disability such as paraplegia, spina bifida, or amputation, to use the intuitive movement functions of this unique mobility aid.
The Ogo has a patented active seat control system that uses core muscle strength to engage electronic and mechanical action to move the device. The Ogo is practical, robust and stylish. Ogo gives mobility-impaired people greater freedom, independence and options.
Kevin and The Ogo won the 2016 New Zealand Innovators’ Award for design and engineering and, in 2015, the first model received the BCC (Building Clever Companies) Innovative grand prize of $10,000.
Fraser Smith & Matt Yallop - FlashMate
FlashMate is a touch-sensitive disposable detector which indicates when a cow is in heat and ready for breeding.
The accuracy of FlashMate ensures increased success rates with cow pregnancy, thereby increasing herds and milking yields very efficiently.
It takes the guesswork out of animal husbandry as FlashMate is easily applied in wet or dry weather with one hand, and stays on for weeks. When the red light comes on, the cow is in heat and ready to get in calf. A green light indicates possible pregnancy if the cow has not come into heat again within 25 days.
FlashMate is a low-cost product that increases efficiency without altering farming work practices. The FlashMate starts working the minute the packaging is opened and is waterproof, adhesive and recyclable.
Brianne West - Ethique
Brianne West founded ‘Ethique’, a business creating concentrated beauty bars (shampoo, conditioner, cleanser etc. without the water or plastic packaging).
She set out to make products that were vegan, cruelty-free, sustainably sourced and in completely biodegradable packaging so people had the power of choice to rid the world of excessive plastic.
Ethique has grown from strength to strength in a very short amount of time.
It has had huge growth of over 452% in the last year and is continuing to gather momentum. This year, Ethique will be distributed in the United States on Amazon, this is a very exciting opportunity for the Christchurch based business.
Brianne is an inspiration to young women and entrepreneurs in general – she is an example of how one person can make a massive difference, how a business can be both profitable and ethical and how consumers will make positive choices when given the option to.
Nick Hammond – The Spring Sheep Milk Co.
Nick Hammond is an ambitious innovator and the strategist behind The Spring Sheep Milk Co; an exciting agribusiness start-up intent on building a $200m New Zealand sheep dairying industry.
The vision and innovation include specialist breeding to improve the milk yield from sheep by 300%
Nick co-founded Spring Sheep Milk Co. and secured a Primary Growth Partnership ($32.5m joint investment between MPI and Spring Sheep Milk Co.)
It is a boutique marketing company that specialises in taking the very best New Zealand sheep milk products to consumers all over the world.
Small and agile, the company has big plans and has a track record in providing specialist skills, experience and resources to ensure that only the best products leave New Zealand shores and that they are tailored and refined to meet the needs of their global customers and consumers.
Professor Jane Harding ONZM, DPhil, FRACP, FRSNZ
Research led by Distinguished Professor Jane Harding at the Liggins Institute has transformed the treatment for a common, potentially serious newborn condition in less than three years.
Neonatal hypoglycaemia, a common condition, can be associated with brain injury. It is frequently managed by providing infants with an alternative source of glucose, given enterally with formula or intravenously with dextrose solution. This often requires that mother and baby are cared for in separate environments and may inhibit breast feeding. Dextrose gel is simple and inexpensive and can be administered directly to the buccal mucosa for rapid correction of hypoglycaemia, in association with continued breast feeding and maternal care.
Professor Harding and her team’s Sugar Babies Study involving 400 babies born at Waikato Hospital at risk of low blood sugar showed that dextrose gel massaged into the inside of a baby’s cheek is more effective for treating low blood sugar.
Seventy-five per cent of all birthing units in New Zealand are now using this oral dextrose gel treatment, and they are reporting reductions in the number of babies admitted to neonatal intensive care units for low blood sugar. Similar reports are appearing around the world, including in the UK, Australia, and the US.
Rick Fright & Bruce McCallum – ARANZ Medical
Rick Fright and Bruce McCallum co-founded ARANZ Medical in 1995.
ARANZ has created a suite of diagnostic and data management tools designed to improve patient wound care management as well as clinical and financial efficiencies.
ARANZ Medical’s Silhouette scanner is an advanced non-contact wound surveillance system that shows the rate of healing and wound change over a period, allowing for better monitoring and patient care. FastSCAN , a 3D system that helps custom-fit orthotics and prosthetics more comfortably, and accurately, for patients.
These patented technologies are already helping patients in thirty-five countries and have been acknowledged by the United Nations.
METLIFECARE SENIOR NEW ZEALANDER OF THE YEAR
Dr John Peebles
Dr John Peebles has demonstrably used his experience and talents over the last 30 years to help people and communities and carried out work for youth, those with disabilities and not-for–profit organisations in challenging circumstances while running his own business and achieving international recognition and acclaim as a top executive search consultant.
He mentors school students with a vocational testing programme to help young people define their best career options and worked tirelessly as an influencer, author, and leader in corporate governance.
As chair of the Mobility Assistant Dogs Trust he helped transform the organisation to be effective to assist disabled people as well as a Puppies in Prison programme where mobility dogs receive training from prisoners at Spring Hill and Auckland Women’s Correctional Facility supporting prisoner rehabilitation.
Author of Parsley on Fish – How corporate directors can be more than decorative, he has worked to raise the standard of governance at Board level to provide strategic thinking and direction, risk assessment and performance management.
Dr Peebles’s work has undoubtedly helped to make a better life for New Zealanders across all sectors of society, young and old, including the physically impaired and long-term prisoners in correctional facilities.
A founding chair of the Auckland Opera Studio and involved with the Philharmonic Orchestra and Auckland Museum he has been positively involved with the community.
Mark came to New Zealand in the 1950’s and ran a successful tool making business.
As a businessman developed properties in Wellington and during the past 40 years been a substantial benefactor in education, health, and sport.
In a rare and extraordinary generous act Mark has offered to pay for, build and donate a new Children’s Hospital to Wellington which will design future child services and dictate how care can be delivered to many thousands of children from the Wellington Region as well as those from other areas of New Zealand
He believes people blessed with good health in mind and body can look after themselves, but those born with or suffering ill health need help.
Professor Bob Elliott
A translational Scientist trained as a Paediatrician and Co-founder of Cure Kids in 1971 now the Child Health Research Council an organisation that has helped save and improve the lives of children and through a huge portfolio leading in Child Health research has benefited society around the world.
Developed an 100% effective blood test to diagnose cystic fibrosis, now the International standard, for safe levels of amino acid and made great progress in other disorders- type one diabetics and actively investigating clotting factors in Haemophilia.
Most New Zealanders are not aware, that under his guidance and his extensive and pioneering work he’s helped the nation’s most health challenged children by shaping the way those who live with serious diseases and health conditions are diagnosed and treated.
He has seen $40 million invested into research for Child cancer, inherited heart conditions, SUDI (sudden unexpected death), still births, burns, child and adolescent mental health.
His early work was discovery of prostaglandins and psychological effects on foetal circulation leading to revolutionary treatment for congenital heart disease. A significant achievement has been working around A2 milk and its potential for addressing health issues.
Throughout his life his ability to connect with people has meant he has been able to encourage and recruit younger people into research and still at the age of 84 years is searching for new innovations and new ways of enquiry.
Honoured with a CNZM in 1999 he is on the Board of Cure Kids, Patron of NZ Cystic Fibrosis Foundation he maintains Living Cell Technologies where cells from pigs are used to regenerate neurons in people with Parkinson’s disease as well as other Research Companies.
Christine has been deeply involved as a volunteer participating in organising and administration of most forms of Equestrian Sport including Pony Club, and Dressage, Nationally and Internationally as a leader giving her time and finance.
Organising eventing regionally since the early 1980’s, from grass roots to International Equestrian Sport in New Zealand.
Engaged and incredibly experienced well organised professional, inclusive, and positive in high pressure environments.
She has been instrumental in providing a nurturing environment for people of all ages particularly children mentoring and encouraging them.
Secretary for International horse trials and involved with dressage in Waikato for over 30 years a full-time occupation giving her time and service selflessly donating most resources, stationary printing and hardware.
The work needed to successfully run a large competition with hundreds of competitors and horses is huge and Christine’s vast amount of behind the scenes organising is inestimable and devotion and longevity to the sport is remarkable.
Bryan supported The World Masters Games (WMG) by becoming one of the 21 Ambassadors helping establish and build the games brand being the key face of the 3.000 volunteers sharing his sheer passion for sport and love of involvement with an empathy for people.
All of his contribution was on a voluntary basis including a mix of activities, milestones and events and hours of informal activity promoting the WMG through his personal networks over a three-year period April 2014-April 2017.
Humble and modest he reflected the ethos of master’s sport by participating in lawn bowls attracting an audience and raising the profile of the sport.
He played rugby in the amateur era then as a sport administrator coached clubs particularly Ponsonby and Mount Albert Grammar School Rugby Academy then held an important role as the national coach for Samoa. Working tirelessly for advancement of Manu Samoa Rugby.
Our greatest living artist who has worked tirelessly to progress contemporary art, how it is thought about, practiced, exhibited, and collected.
Internationally at the forefront of emerging pop and conceptual art movements in London, and New York. His works are in International Museums in New York, London, Tate, Te Papa, and Guggenheim.
Maintains a full art practice where his ideas are from the world around us making us think differently about our surroundings.
He has donated $700.000 to various organisations his Women’s Refuge project raised $55,232 and so far, has produced 327 works to benefit Aids Foundation, Women’s Refuge, TYLA, and Youthline. Grouped together the works represent a socio-political landscape of New Zealand and document the focus of need within the community.
Regularly supports aspiring artists and new contemporary art spaces and is currently working on a collaborative art-science project with GNS and Liggins Institute Scientists.
Now 81 years he has been honoured as a member of the Order Of New Zealand.
Active in areas of Criminal Justice and reintegration of prisoners and restorative justice.
Of Ngāti Kahungunu and Rangiitaane descent whose career spans roles in the Police the Office of the Ombudsman, State services Commission, Department of Maori Affairs and Ministry of Health. As head of the Prison Service he established a mentoring programme for released prisoners.
He joined with Major Campbell Roberts of the Salvation Army in 2006 for the Rethinking Crime and Punishment Strategy and established “Justspeak” a network of young people who wanted change in our criminal Justice System.
Kim has received awards of Honorary Doctorates from Massey and Victoria University as well as various other appointments with The Families Commission, Chair of the Mental Health Foundation and a Winston Churchill Fellowship.
At present is working on a book on the development of the criminal justice system in New Zealand, Criminal Justice, the State and Maori, and examines the relationship between punitiveness and neoliberalism.
His focus since 2007 has been justice reform, public advocacy, policy, and research.
Margaret has contributed significantly to the development and leadership of Girl Guiding New Zealand giving 40 years at local, regional and national level and is now Alumnae Coordinator.
As a national trainer she has developed, adapted, written, and edited all the material used for leadership training and lead forums and retains the desire to constantly improve the organisation and to instil firm values in all those who are within Guides or associated.
She is valued for her sterling personal qualities wise counsel, and as a loyal clear thinker with an ability to find solutions to problems, give advice and be a great people manager and the ability to thrive on challenges.
As a member of Zonta Club of South Auckland has held board roles and continues to work as a tutor with ethnically diverse groups for adult learners retaining her involvement having had a background in education as a deputy principal.
Margaret has touched the lives of thousands of girls and leaders in her selfless and dedicated approach to her many involvements never seeking reward or recognition.
She was awarded the WAGGGS Asia Pacific award in 2007
As a counselor, teacher, director, Peter has contributed to the community and New Zealand his entire life in many and various ways for more than 35 years by helping countless individuals in addiction recovery.
He and his wife set up the Nikau Training Centre, a residential recovery programme that operated 24/7 and 365 days a year. It was the first residential programme (minimum of six months) available to people struggling with addictions, alcohol and drug as well as other life controlling behaviours, gambling, shopping, pornography, food eating disorders, obsessive compulsive behaviours, cleaning, co-dependency etc and it was smoke free.
Peter worked with people with addictions /compulsive behaviours within the Salvation Army Bridge programme in Wellington, Auckland, and Rotoroa Island as counsellor and then Director spending his out of work hours with sport and leisure activities including addicts inviting them to supper ever Sunday night. Then developed a support group “emotionally free.”
In 1991 he organised and facilitated an 8 week in house programme at Arohata prison.
He became the International Substance Abuse and Addiction Coalition (ISAAC) representative in New Zealand and remains a Director of the Cross Roads Christian Community Trust that he established in 1993.
Peter mainly self-funded subsidised counselling for those with addictions, sexual abuse and general compulsive issues and the help he gave rippled out through families, work places and communities.
Prior to all of his counselling work he was 12 years as a radio operator handling communication along with distress calls for the NZ Post Office as a Marine Radio operator in Wellington, the Chatham Islands and Scott Base as well as a volunteer Civil Defence Emergency Officer.
Peter has been a selfless individual supporting many hundreds of people, to meet their challenges and overcome addictions, recovering to be contributing citizens within their communities.
Throughout Peter’s career spanning 40 years he has been in high level Human Recourse and Management positions with Multi- National and New Zealand Companies and held many Chair and Board positions with Not-For Profit and Welfare organisations particularly Mental Health, Family and Animal Welfare sectors, serving the Wellington Community for over 40 years giving thousands of voluntary hours and knowledge to many organisations and causes.
As a White Ribbon Ambassador he has played a significant part in reducing violence within the family environment as well as advocating for equal rights for Women.
Peter has been able to raise many thousands of dollars for the local theatre, Variety Club, Mary Potter Hospice, and promoted the Arts in Wellington.
His many commitments to various Not –For- Profit organisations include the Wellington After-Care Association, as a Trustee of the Wet Hostel for Wellington Homeless People and Chronic Alcohol and Drug Addicts, a Board member of SPCA and as a Board Member of Rotary Club of Wellington.
Peter is known for his integrity and genuine care for people and his gregarious larger than life personality.
17 Jan 2018
Join us as we Honour the Best of Us