Semi Finalists 2016 Announced

28 Dec 2015

Semi Finalists 2016 Announced
Semi Finalists 2016 Announced

The New Zealander of the Year 2016 Awards Office is pleased to announce the 10 people being considered for the 2016 Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year award.

They are:

  • Dame Margaret Bazley: Public policy and administration (Christchurch)
  • Professor Michael Berridge: Cellular biology and cancer researcher (Wellington)
  • Mai Chen: Lawyer (Auckland)
  • Rob Fenwick: Environmentalist and business leader (Waiheke Island)
  • Dick Frizzell: Artist, art historian and social commentator (Hawke’s Bay)
  • Richie McCaw: Former All Blacks rugby captain (Christchurch)
  • Dame Suzie Moncrieff: Artist and business leader (Golden Bay)
  • Louise Nicholas: Victims’ rights advocate (Rotorua)
  • Dr Jim Salinger: Climate scientist (Auckland)
  • Dr Ranginui Walker: Academic, writer, educator and cultural commentator (Auckland)

Comment from Chief Judge Cameron Bennett

Each nominee has achieved great things, in New Zealand and, indeed, on the world stage. They’ve shown the courage, determination and tenacity – the sheer grit – that defines what it is to be a New Zealander and have achieved extraordinary things in a uniquely Kiwi way.

All are unique and special New Zealanders of whom we can be very proud.


The annual New Zealander of the Year awards are in their seventh year. They celebrate people who use their passion for New Zealand to make our country a better place. They are open to all New Zealanders to honour extraordinary Kiwis whose selflessness, creativity, and vision make us proud to call New Zealand home.

More than 330 nominations were received for the 2016 Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year.

In January, the judging panel – comprising representatives of all the awards patrons, presenters, sponsors, community leaders and independent experts – will announce the final shortlist of the three Kiwis being considered for the 2016 Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year title

The winner will be announced at the New Zealander of the Year Gala Awards evening in Auckland on 17 February, 2016.

Previous winners of the New Zealander of the Year Award are: Sir Stephen Tindall (2015), Dr. Lance O’Sullivan (2014), Dame Anne Salmond (2013), Sir Richard Taylor (2012), Sir Paul Callaghan (2011) and Sir Ray Avery (2010).

Other categories

The New Zealander of the Year Awards 2016 will also honour New Zealanders who have performed with distinction in five award categories. The semifinalists for these categories are:

University of Auckland Young New Zealander of the Year

  • Scott Barrington: Architect, tech engineer and founding CEO of Modlar (Christchurch)
  • Kendall Flutey: Web developer and tech entrepreneur (Wellington)
  • Sean Kelly: Fashion designer (Taranaki)
  • Lydia Ko: Professional golfer and current World No 1 (Auckland)
  • Jade Leung: Social enterprise leader and advocate against poverty (Auckland)
  • Mataoria Lyndon: Doctor and advocate for improving Maori and Pacific Island health(Auckland)
  • Sarah McLean: Campaigner against racism (Auckland)
  • Scottie Reeve: Advocate for youth development and education (Wellington)
  • Malvindar Singh-Bains: Neuroscientist and researcher (Auckland)
  • Lionel Taito-Matamua: Innovator and environmentalist (Lower Hutt)

Metlifecare Senior New Zealander of the Year

  • Kristine Bartlett: Advocate for the rights of caregivers (Lower Hutt)
  • Geoff Whitcher: Educator (Auckland)
  • Iris Cheng: President and founder of the Music Association of Auckland (Auckland)
  • Chris Dessa: Renowned exponent and trainer of Martial Arts (Auckland)
  • Pratima Devi Nand: Community leader and member of Ethnic Peoples Advisory Panel (Auckland)
  • Gavin Faull: Hotelier, farmer and passionate advocate for Taranaki (Taranaki)
  • Avis Leeson: Educator (Hamilton)
  • Joan-Mary Loncroft: Community service (Auckland)
  • Robert McGowan: Leading authority on rongoa Maori (Tauranga)
  • John Russell: Secondary School Principal (Lower Hutt)

Mitre 10 New Zealand Community of the Year

  • Bellyful: A practical help organisation providing simple meals to stressed families with new babies (Pukekohe)
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters NZ: Volunteer based mentoring programme (Wellington)
  • Community Fruit Harvest: Harvesting and distributing unwanted fruit to those in need (Auckland)
  • Greening the Rubble: Creating temporary parks, gardens and art on sites of demolished buildings (Christchurch)
  • Just Zilch: Collecting and redistributing surplus food to those in need (Palmerston North)
  • Project Butterfly: Support group for parents dealing with the death of a child (Nelson)
  • South Alive: Volunteer community group (Invercargill)
  • Supergrans: Providing life skills and mentoring to children living with poverty or hardship (National)
  • Te Whangai Trust: Creating work and life skills (Pokeno)
  • ZEAL: National innovative youth charity (Auckland)

Sanitarium New Zealand Innovator of the Year

  • Paul Cameron, Booktrack: Technology that lets anyone add a synchronized movie-style soundtrack to an e-book or other digital text content, with the audio paced to each individual’s reading speed. (Auckland)
  • Lillian Grace, Figure NZ: Data management (Auckland)
  • KIWA Digital: Development of voice synchronization software (Wellington)
  • John Hyndman and Ivan Batistich, HYVAN Anaesthesia: Developing compact, affordable, reliable Anaesthesia machine (Kaiapoi)
  • Spidertracks: Flight tracking (Auckland)
  • Scott Bradley, VMOB: Technology platform that helps retailers use mobile to drive more sales at their stores (Auckland)
  • Photonic Innovations: Development of gas detection systems (Dunedin)
  • Phil Butler and Anthony Butler, MARS bio-imaging team: Developing colour x-ray technology (Christchurch)
  • Peter Johnson, Water Outlook Ltd: Data management software (Auckland)
  • Mark Finch and Thor Besier, I Measure U: Biotechnology that focuses on measuring and quantifying body movement (Auckland)

Kiwibank New Zealand Local Hero of the Year

  • Peter Coates: Community leader and environmentalist (Whangarei)
  • Selwyn Cook: Advocate for equal opportunities in the work place (Hamilton)
  • Rebecca Culver: Director of Just Zilch (Palmerston North)
  • Lew Findlay: Community leader (Palmerston North)
  • Graeme Gale: Pilot and advocate for best practices in Emergency Recue (Mosgiel)
  • Robin Hape: Educator and environmentalist (Hawke’s Bay)
  • Timothy Marshall: Advocate against family violence and White Ribbon Ambassador (Gisborne)
  • Shirley Sparks: Environmentalist (Bay of Plenty)
  • Derek Tuck: Volunteer (Palmerston North)
  • Karen Watson: Campaigner against addictions (Christchurch)

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