About the

Awards Programme

The Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year Awards Ngā Tohu Pou Kōhure o Aotearoa honour those who use their passion to make our country a better place. The awards recognise a diverse range of Kiwis making a difference. Whether they’re aged 15 or 100, they’re contributing to grassroots communities or putting New Zealand on the world stage, they inspire us all.

Any member of the public can nominate an individual or community organisation in the Awards programme. Nominations for the 2023 Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year Awards Ngā Tohu Pou Kōhure o Aotearoa open on 27 July and close on 31 August. Kiwibank Local Hero Medal recipients are awarded throughout the month of December. All other category semi-finalists are announced January 2024, with finalists announced March 2024. The winners will be announced on 30 March at the New Zealander of the Year Awards Gala.

Nominations can be made in one or more of the seven award categories:

Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year
Te Pou Whakarae o Aotearoa

University of Canterbury Young New Zealander of the Year
Te Mātātahi o te Tau

Ryman Healthcare Senior New Zealander of the Year
Te Mātapuputu o te Tau

Spark New Zealand Innovator of the Year
Te Pou Whakairo o te Tau

Ministry for the Environment New Zealand Environmental Hero of the Year
Te Toa Taiai o te Tau

Mitre 10 New Zealand Community of the Year
Ngā Pou Whirinaki o te Tau

Kiwibank New Zealand Local Hero of the Year
Te Pou Toko o te Tau

Each category will have one award winner selected from three finalists. All New Zealand citizens 15 years of age and over are eligible to be nominated for the Awards.

The regional and national judging panel includes representatives comprising of the awards sponsors, community leaders and independent experts.

An official Awards Gala Presentation Dinner will be held in March 2024 (date to be confirmed) in Auckland where nominees, semi-finalists and finalists will be formally recognised. Tickets and advance bookings for this public event will be available from mid-December 2023.

Our broadcasting partner is TVNZ and our media partners are Augusto and GoMedia. Together with their support, all New Zealanders have the opportunity to nominate someone in their local region.

Te Koruru Patron

Miriama Kamo

“I’m honoured to take on the role of Te Koruru Patron of the Awards. The Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year Awards Ngā Tohu Pou Kōhure o Aotearoa allow us all to acknowledge and celebrate those who act as ‘pou,’ as support and strength for whānau, for communities, for our country and beyond.


These are people we know and those we discover; those special Kiwi whose passion and determination have seen them inspire, innovate, and work for the betterment of Aotearoa and its people. As an awards judge, I’ve been lucky to help acknowledge the achievements of our nominees and winners, and I’m humbled by the opportunity to continue doing this as Te Koruru Patron.”

Award

Criteria

To be eligible for this award, the nominee must have, through their achievements, made an outstanding contribution to the wellbeing of Aotearoa, particularly across the last 12-months.

Nominators should consider talking about the following areas in their nomination:

  • THE NOMINEE: Describe the person you are nominating and what they’ve done to inspire you to nominate them as 2024 Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year Te Pou Whakarae o Aotearoa.|

     

  • PURPOSE: Who benefits from the work, contribution, or influence of this person – and how?

  • LEADERSHIP: How does this person set a positive example for other fellow New Zealanders and showing them the potential for change.

  • COMMITMENT: Describe the commitment of time, risks, and challenges overcome to create an impact to this point (this may still be ongoing). What have they done that has gone above and beyond to show leadership, create change, and give back?

  • THOUGHT LEADERSHIP & INNOVATIVE THINKING: How thoughtful, creative, and unique is this person’s approach to their challenge, opportunity, or situation?

  • PROVEN IMPACT: How has this person clearly demonstrated a positive impact in their area of influence? How is has this been measured?

  • LONG-TERM IMPACT: If known, how does this person plan to grow and/or adapt their work, contribution, or influence in the future? How would winning this award impact this person and the work that they are doing?

Conditions of Entry

To be eligible for this award, the nominee must be aged between 15-30 years.

 

Nominators should consider talking about the following areas in their nomination:

 

  • THE NOMINEE: Describe the person you are nominating and what they’ve done to inspire you over the past year to nominate them as 2024 University of Canterbury Young New Zealander of the Year Te Mātātahi o te Tau.

     

  • PURPOSE: Who benefits from this person’s work, contribution, or influence – and how?

 

  • LEADERSHIP: How does this person set a positive example for other young people and showing them the potential for change.

 

  • COMMITMENT: Describe the commitment of time, risks, and challenges overcome to create an impact to this point (this may still be ongoing). What have they done that has gone above and beyond to show leadership, create change, and give back?

 

  • PROVEN IMPACT: How has this person clearly demonstrated a positive impact in their area of influence? How has this been measured?

 

  • LONG-TERM IMPACT: If known, how does the nominee plan to grow and/or adapt their work, contribution, or influence in the future? How would winning this award impact this person and the work that they are doing?

 

Conditions of Entry

To be eligible for this award, the nominee must be aged over 70 years and continue to make a positive contribution in Aotearoa, following their career in any service, sector or field. The nominee must be a role model to the wider community, particularly over the past 12-months.

 

Nominators should consider talking about the following areas in their nomination:

 

  • THE NOMINEE: Describe the person you are nominating and what they’ve done later in life to inspire you to nominate them as 2024 Ryman Healthcare Senior New Zealander of the Year Te Mātāpuputu o te Tau.

     

 

  • PURPOSE: Who benefits from the work, contribution, or influence of this person – and how?

 

  • LEADERSHIP & SERVICE: How does this person set a positive example of being a senior member of the community – showing potential for making change at any age.

 

  • COMMITMENT: Describe the commitment of time, risks, and challenges overcome to create an impact to this point (this may still be ongoing). What have they done that has gone above and beyond following their career, achievements, or service to create change and give back?

 

  • PROVEN IMPACT: How has this person clearly demonstrated a positive impact in their area of influence? How has this been measured?

 

  • LONG-TERM IMPACT: If known, how does the nominee plan to continue, grow, and/or adapt their work, contribution, or influence going forward? How would winning this award impact this person and the work that they are doing?

 

Conditions of Entry

To be eligible for this award, the nominee must have conceptualised and developed an innovation involving a product, service, technology, idea/theory or process across any industry sector including (but not limited to) health, science, technology, robotics, business, education, environmental, sustainability, agriculture, disadvantaged communities, and non-profits.

Nominators should consider talking about the following areas in their nomination:

  • INNOVATION: Describe the innovation of your nominee and the thoughtful, creative, and innovative approach it takes to resolve a challenge.

  • NEED: What problem does the innovation solve? And how is it unique to the market?

  • COMMITMENT: Describe the commitment of time, risks, and challenges overcome to develop the innovation to this point (this may still be ongoing).

  • PROVEN IMPACT: How has the innovation clearly demonstrated a positive impact on the targeted community (particularly over the last 12-months)? How has this been measured?

  • POTENTIAL: Describe the opportunity the innovation has to generate economic, social, and/or environmental benefits for a local industry sector, the nation, and or globally.

  • LONG-TERM IMPACT: How is the nominee planning to enhance, grow, and/or adapt the innovation in the future to best meet the changing needs of the targeted population? How would winning this award impact this person and the work that they are doing?

Conditions of Entry

To be eligible for this award, the nominee must be a regional or national community group, iwi, geographical region or collective of people – in any sector including (but not limited to) business, leadership, culture, voluntary work, disaster relief, environmental work, health, education, sporting clubs, or working with the disadvantaged.

 

Nominators should consider talking about the following areas in their nomination:

 

  • THE COMMUNITY: Describe the community, group or duo you are nominating and the work that they do (particularly over the past 12-months) that has inspired you to nominate them as 2024 Mitre 10  New Zealand Community of the Year Ngā Pou Whirinaki o te Tau.

 

  • PURPOSE: Who benefits from the work of this community, and how?

 

  • COMMITMENT: Describe the commitment of time, risks, and challenges overcome to create an impact to this point (this may still be ongoing).

 

  • PROVEN IMPACT: How has this community clearly demonstrated a positive impact in their area of influence? How has this been measured?

 

  • LONG-TERM IMPACT: If applicable, how would the nominee/s enhance, grow, and/or adapt their approach in the future to best meet the changing needs of their community? How would winning this award impact this group and the work that they are doing?

 

  • THOUGHT LEADERSHIP & INNOVATIVE THINKING: How thoughtful, creative, and unique is this community’s approach to their challenge, opportunity, or situation?

 

Conditions of Entry

To be eligible for this award, the nominee must be an individual who has made (or is making) a significant contribution to their region, town, suburb, community, iwi, or local group. The impact can be across any field or have displayed courage in overcoming personal adversity.

 

Nominators should consider talking about the following areas in their nomination:

 

  • THE NOMINEE: Describe the person you are nominating and what they’ve done to inspire you over the past year to nominate them as 2024 Kiwibank Local Hero of the Year Te Pou Toko o te Tau.

 

  • PURPOSE: Who benefits from the work, contribution, or influence of this person – and how?

 

  • LEADERSHIP: How does this person set a positive example for other members of their local community?

 

  • COMMITMENT: Describe the commitment of time, risks, and challenges overcome to create an impact to this point (this may still be ongoing). What have they done that has gone above and beyond to show leadership, create change, and give back?

 

  • PROVEN IMPACT: How has this person clearly demonstrated a positive impact in their local community

 

Conditions of Entry

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How do the Kiwibank Local Hero Awards work?

 

 

  1. All Local Hero nominations are divided up into regions across Aotearoa
  2. Nominations for each region are then sent on to the three Local Hero Judges for that region, for their consideration.
  3. Nominations are scored by regional Local Hero Judges based on the criteria above
  4. The top 100 (highest scoring) Local Hero nominees across New Zealand will be honoured in December. While we won’t be having official medal ceremonies this year, we’re making sure we recognise these inspiring New Zealanders by sending each of them their medals — and even hand-delivering a few throughout Aotearoa
  5. The 100 Local Hero Medallists go forward to Category Judging Day in November for the 2023 Kiwibank New Zealand Local Hero of the Year Te Pou Toko o te Tau national award and 10 semi-finalists will be announced in mid-January
  6. The 10 semi-finalists will be considered at the Executive Judging Day in late January. Three will be announced as the finalists in the New Zealand Local Hero award in February, and of those three, one will be awarded the 2024 Kiwibank New Zealand Local Hero of the Year Te Pou Toko o te Tau title at the Awards night in March 2024 in Auckland

To be eligible for this award, the nominee must have taken tangible action with proven impact towards protecting and restoring nature and the natural environment in Aotearoa.

 

Nominators should consider talking about the following areas in their nomination:

 

 

  • THE NOMINEE: Describe the person you are nominating and what they’ve done to inspire you over the past year to nominate them as the 2024 Ministry for the Environment New Zealand Environmental Hero of the Year Te Toa Taiao o te Tau.

 

  • PURPOSE: How does the environment benefit from the mahi, contribution, or influence of this person – and how?

 

  • COMMITMENT: Describe the commitment of time, risks, and challenges overcome to create an impact to this point (this may still be ongoing). What have they done that has gone above and beyond to show leadership, creativity/innovation, and create change?

 

  • PROVEN IMPACT: How has this person clearly demonstrated a positive impact to the environment* (particularly over the last 12-months)? How has this been measured?

 

  • LONG-TERM IMPACT: If known, how does the nominee plan to grow and/or adapt their work, contribution, or influence in the future? How would winning this award impact this person/group and the work that they are doing?

 

* What do we mean by positive impact to the environment? A nominee may be working towards reducing the impacts of: Climate change, air and water pollution, water scarcity, food insecurity, deforestation, rising sea levels, loss of species and habitat biodiversity, or loss of indigenous environmental knowledge and traditions. Or working in protection and restoration such as driving social change for the benefit of the environment, restoring lands and waterways or pest management.

 

 

Conditions of Entry

2023/24

Key Dates

25 July

Nominations Open

31 August

Nominations
Closed

16 November

Local Heroes Announced

13 December

Semi-Finalists
Announced

21 February 2024

Finalists
Announced

27 March 2024

Awards Gala

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