1 Mar 2023
These Finalists are showing us a new way of doing things. In their own communities and across the nation, they're inspiring change. They're leading the way. And they're doing the mahi.
Join us for New Zealand’s biggest night of celebration on Thursday 30 March in Tāmaki Makaurau! We're down to our very last tickets, so don't wait - secure your spot now before it’s too late.
If you don’t already know these names, you’re about to…
Sir John Kirwan MBE OBE KNZM (Tāmaki Makaurau, Auckland)
In 2022, Sir John Kirwan embarked on a 2100km journey across the country, changing the lives of Kiwi kids by giving them tools to improve their mental health.
Dame Jools and Dame Lynda Topp – The Topp Twins (Kaipara and Methven)
For over 25 years, Jools and Lynda Topp have made us laugh, made us think, advocated for good and ultimately made a deep and lasting impact on Aotearoa and the world.
Professor Rangi Mātāmua (Kirikiriroa, Hamilton)
In 2022, Professor Rangi Mātāmua became known as “the man behind Matariki” – appointed as chief advisor to the government on the Māori New Year.
Ruby Tui (Tauranga)
Athlete, author and advocate for mental health, Women’s Rugby star Ruby Tui has ignited the nation with her natural charisma, talent and passion for the games.
Click on the links below or scroll down for each category.
The Winners in each category will be announced at the Awards dinner on Thursday 30 March 2023.
Elliot Jones (Whanganui) Elliot Jones is on a mission to transform the way people across New Zealand think about dyslexia.
Georgia Latu (Ōtepoti, Dunedin) 16 year old Georgia Latu is the co-founder and CEO of the largest poi manufacturer in the world – taking over the 2022 Women's Rugby World Cup Final with 30,000 poi.
Shaneel Lal (Tāmaki Makaurau, Auckland) (they/ them) As New Zealand celebrated 50 years of Pride in Aotearoa, Shaneel Lal was on the frontlines – igniting the country in a successful battle to end Conversion Therapy
Marie Jujnovich (Tāmaki Makaurau, Auckland) Dedicated, selfless and deeply compassionate, Marie Jujnovich has dedicated her life to supporting children and whānau impacted by childhood heart conditions.
Sir Mark Dunajtschik KNZM (Te Whanganui-a-Tara, Wellington) A concentration camp survivor turned remarkable philanthropist, Sir Mark Dunajtschik has overcome devastating adversity to ultimately change lives across Aotearoa.
Professor Sir Pou Temara KNZM (Hamilton, Kirikiriroa) Professor Sir Pou Temara (Ngāi Tūhoe) is an internationally renowned professor of Māori language, knowledge and culture.
Emily Blythe (Ōtautahi Christchurch) Emily Blythe is making airport fog delays a thing of the past with her ground-breaking technology, Pyper Vision.
Robbie van Dam (Te Whanganui-a-Tara, Wellington) In the face of biodiversity decline, Robbie van Dam, co-founder and Innovation Director of Goodnature, is rewilding the world with a revolutionary approach to eradicating invasive species.
Vaughan Fergusson (Tāmaki Makaurau, Auckland) Vaughan Fergusson is the innovative mind behind Vend – a high-growth tech success story – who is now channelling his energy into the next generation.
Camden Howitt (Tāmaki Makaurau, Auckland) As an inspiring leader and determined problem solver, Camden Howitt is devoted to protecting and regenerating te taiao, and has spent over a decade driving collaborative solutions around Aotearoa and the Pacific.
Jessi Morgan (Te Whanganui-a-Tara, Wellington) As the Chief Executive of Predator Free New Zealand Trust, Jessi Morgan is empowering and connecting people across Aotearoa to protect our precious wildlife.
Simon Hall (Tāmaki Makaurau, Auckland) As well as being the Executive Chairman of Tasti Food Ltd, Simon Hall is a record-breaking conservationist – channelling business success into a force for good.
Achieving @ Waitakere Charitable Trust (Tāmaki Makaurau, Auckland) An embodiment of community in action, Achieving @ Waitakere (A@W) is a charitable trust on a mission to ensure young people in West Auckland succeed in education.
Pathway Charitable Group (National) Pathway Charitable Group’s ground breaking Navigate Initiative supports prisoners before, during and after their release, inspiring them to live positive, meaningful lives in our communities.
Kindness Collective (National) Kindness Collective (KC) is a charity that spreads kindness by connecting children and families with the things they need – from everyday essentials to moments of joy.
Ali Muhammad (Manawatū-Whanganui) Founder of the Thrive Foundation, Ali Muhammad is creating inclusive opportunities for rangatahi from refugee communities to participate in sporting, social and educational programmes.
Dr Ellen Nelson (Manawatū-Whanganui) Working day and night to bring 563 Afghanis to the safety of New Zealand, Dr Ellen Nelson rallied a small team from her rural Manawatū home to save the lives of colleagues that had supported the New Zealand Army.
Maia Mariner (Te Whanganui-a-Tara, Wellington) LazySneakers founder, Maia Mariner started an international movement that sees good quality footwear reach the feet of rangatahi and tamariki for free, so they can play, participate in sport, and reach their full potential.
12 Dec 2022
Our most trailblazing innovators, visionaries and change-makers are announced. These 70 New Zealanders are the ones making inspirational change in our country. Selected from thousands of nominations, across seven Award categories, their commitment, selflessness, and determination make us proud to call Aotearoa home.
So, without further ado let’s hear it for our 2023 Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year Awards Ngā Tohu Pou Kōhure o Aotearoa Semi-Finalists!