Previous winners


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 Kiwibank Local Hero of the Year 2021 - 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


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 2021 Kiwibank New Zealand Local Hero of the Year – Te Pou Toko o te Tau national award and 10 semi-finalists will be announced 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 2021 Kiwibank New Zealand Local Hero of the Year – Te Pou Toko o te Tau title at the Gala event in March 2021 in Auckland
“In 2009, we helped to set up the New Zealander of the Year Awards. It’s our firm belief that as Kiwis, we should be celebrating ourselves, the amazing things that happen in this country and most importantly, those people who are working hard in their communities to improve the lives of those around them. It’s a privilege to be part of these Awards and recognising great Kiwis.”
Steve Jurkovich
Kiwibank Chief Executive