Judges

behind the awards

Ngā Tohu Pou Kōhure o Aotearoa.
Get familiar with the Judges behind the Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year Awards

Meet the 10 independent, respected Executive Judges that select the 2024 finalists and winners.

They offer diversity of industry, social and cultural, entrepreneurship, and innovation backgrounds, ensuring our prestigious Awards honour the extraordinary Kiwis making New Zealand a better place.

  • Caren Rangi ONZM, Chair, Creative New Zealand
  • Claire Addis, Acting General Counsel, TVNZ
  • Dan Te Whenua Walker, Director, Tātaki Auckland Unlimited, Deputy Chair, NZ Māori Tourism, Global Co-Chair Indigenous, Microsoft
  • Geoff Ensor, Former Department of Conservation Director of Commercial Partnerships
  • Kendall Flutey, CEO, Banqer
  • Marisa Fong, Trustee, Simplicity NZ; Director, Masimaya Consulting, Founder, Director, Arné Skincare
  • Steve Jurkovich, CEO, Kiwibank
  • Theresa Gattung CNZM, Chair, Global Women
  • Valerie Adams DNZM, Athlete, Chair, World Athletics Athletes’ Association
  • Robyn Scott Vincent, Founder, Attitude Pictures Ltd & attitudelive.com

Meet the Category Judges behind the machine. Our seven Category Judging Panels are made up of some of the brightest minds from a number of fields, offering expertise within their categories. They’re tasked with the job of whittling down the hundreds of nominees to just 10 Semi-Finalists that are representative of the best of the best within the category to go forward for Executive Judging.

Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year Te Pou Whakarae o Aotearoa
2024 Category Judges
  • Louise Aitken, Head Judge, Sustainability and Climate Consultant
  • David Downs, Consultant, 2020 Semi-Finalist
  • Dr Jason Tuhoe (Hauraki, Ngā Puhi, Ngāti Pikiao) General Practitioner 
  • Joanna Norris, Chief Content Officer, Stuff NZ
University of Canterbury Young New Zealander of the Year Te Mātātahi o te Tau
2024 Category Judges
  • Jamie FentonHead Judge, Young New Zealander of the Year 2011
  • Kauri Tearaura (Waikato) Diversity, Equity &  Inclusion Lead, Ministry for the Environment
  • Shay Wright (Te Rarawa, Ngā Ruahine, Ngāti Ruanui) Co Founder at Te Whare Hukahuka
  • Nina Santos, Advocacy and Communications Manager YWCA
Ryman Healthcare Senior New Zealander of the Year Te Mātāpuputu o te Tau
2024 Category Judges
  • Meng Foon, Head Judge, Race Relations Commissioner of New Zealand
  • Hon Margaret Austin CNZM CRSNZ,
  • Karen Billing-Jensen, CEO, Age Concern
Spark New Zealand Innovator of the Year Te Pou Whakairo o te Tau
2024 Category Judges
  • Rachel Taulelei (Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Rārua) Head Judge, Co-Founder, Oho
  • Alexia Hilbertidou, Founder, CEO, GirlBoss New Zealand
  • Kent Gardner, CEO, Evans Randall Investors
  • Sonya Williams, Co-Founder and CEO, Sharesies
Ministry for the Environment New Zealand Environmental Hero of the Year Te Toa Taiao o te Tau
2024 Category Judges
  • Brent Beaven, Head Judge, Director, Predator Free 2020, DOC
  • Prof Bronwyn Hayward MNZM, Professor, University of Canterbury, Director, The Sustainable Citizenship and Civic Imagination Research group
  • Mark Fenwick (Te Atiawa, Ngāti Te Whiti, Ngāti Tawhirikura, Ngāti Ruanui), Marine Ecologist, NIWA
Mitre 10 New Zealand Community of the Year Ngā Poi Whirinaki o te Tau
2024 Category Judges
  • Sam Johnson, Head Judge, Former CEO and Founder, Student Volunteer Army, 2012 Young New Zealander of the Year
  • Cyril Howard (Ngāpuhi), Regional Manager, The Tindall Foundation
  • Alexis LewGor MNZM, Chairperson of the Rotorua Pacific Islands Development Charitable Trust
Kiwibank New Zealand Local Hero of the Year Te Pou Toko o te Tau
2024 Category Judges
  • Dellwyn Stuart, CEO, YWCA Auckland
  • Nick Loosley, 2020 New Zealand Local Hero of the Year, Founder, Everybody Eats
  • Rachel Māia, NZ ParaClimber, Motivational Speaker
  • Ranjna Patel ONZM QSM, 2021 New Zealand Innovator of the Year, Founder, Gandhi Nivas Family Violence Prevention Programme

Meet our Local Hero Regional Judges. Each region is made up of at least three Regional Judges from a variety of backgrounds – media, corporate and local government. We seek those community-minded people with their fingers on the pulse of who is creating real, tangible impact within their region. They’re entrusted with determining our Top 100 Local Hero Medallists’ who will go forward for Category Judging.

NORTHLAND TE TAI TOKERAU REGIONAL JUDGES

  • Carol Peters, Councillor, Whangārei District Council
  • Rachel Ward, Editor, NZME 
  • Tui Shortland. Councillor & Chair, Northland Regional Council

AUCKLAND TĀMAKI MAKAURAU JUDGES

  • Alf Filipaina, Manukau Ward Councillor, Auckland Council
  • Aroha Mane, News manager, Māori Television
  • Carol McGrath, Head of Technology and Data Governance
  • Darren Keane, Lead Engineer, Kiwibank
  • Ingrid Papau, Board member, Henderson-Massey Local Board
  • Melanie Earley, Auckland Reporter, Stuff
  • Shane Henderson, Councillor, Auckland Council
  • Tori Tokalau, Senior Reporter, Stuff
  • Tresa Berla Correya, Banking Specialist, Kiwibank

WAIKATO JUDGES

 
  • Anna Park, Councillor, Taupō District Council
  • Deaan Marchioni,  SME Business Join Consultant, Kiwibank
  • Roy Pilott, Te Awamutu Editorial Director

BAY OF PLENTY TE MOANA-A-TOI JUDGES

  • Amy Yang, Banking assistant, Kiwibank
  • Jodie Snooks, Group sales manager, Stuff
  • Ken Shirley, Councillor, Bay of Plenty Regional Council

GISBORNE TAIRĀWHITI AND HAWKE’S BAY TE MATAU-A-MĀUI JUDGES

  • Heather Bosselman, Napier Senior Policy Analyst, Napier Council
  • Islay Stewart, Office Coordinator, Kiwibank
  • Matai Smith, Station Manager, Tūranga FM
  • Rehette Stoltz, Mayor, Gisborne
 

TARANAKI, MANAWATŪ AND WHANGANUI JUDGES

  • Anna Richardson, Breakfast Radio Host
  • Ken Swan, More FM Breakfast Host, Taranaki
  • Peter Tennet, QSO, JP, Taranaki
  • Pippa Kohlhase, Bank Manager, Hastings

WELLINGTON TE WHANGANUI-A-TARA JUDGES

  • Georgina Campbell, Senior Journalist, Stuff
  • Jonathan Howarth, Retail Credit Manager, Kiwibank
  • Nureddin Abdurahman, Councilor, Paekawakawa/Southern Ward

TASMAN TE TAI-O-AORERE, NELSON WHAKATŪ AND MARLBOROUGH TE TAUIHU-O-TE-WAKA JUDGES

  • Jo Vavasour, Banking Specialist, Kiwibank
  • Pete Rainey, Councilor, Nelson
  • Sarah Board, Media Editor, Top South

WEST COAST TAI-O-POUTINI JUDGES

  • Debra Norton, Hub Manager, West Coast, Kiwibank
  • Paul Madgwick, Editor, The Greymouth Star
  • Sarah Brown, Community Development Advisor, Westland District Council

CANTERBURY WAITAHA JUDGES

  • Camille Hughes, Relationship Customer Onboarding Specialist, Kiwibank
  • Hilary Muir, Host, The Breeze
  • Kerry Khokhar, Bank Manager, Kiwibank
  • Rachel Parkin, Reporter, Sevensharp
  • Sarah Templeton, Councillor, Christchurch
  • Scott Shannon, Councilor, Christchurch

OTAGO ŌTĀKOU AND SOUTHLAND MURIHIKU JUDGES

  • Damian Newell, Host, The Breeze
  • Helen Rietveld, Bank Specialist, Kiwibank
  • Neil Gillespie, Deputy Mayor, Central Otago District 
  • Tim Cadogan, Mayor, Central Otago District
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