Shortlists for 2017 New Zealander of the Year Awards!

17 Jan 2017

Shortlist for 2017 New Zealander of the Year

The New Zealander of the Year Awards Office is pleased to announce the 10 people being considered for the 2017 Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year Award.

They are:

• Graeme Dingle ONZM, MBE (Gisborne)

• Major Campbell Roberts (Auckland)

• Mike King (Papatoetoe)

• Taika Waititi (Piha)

• Karen Walker CNZM (Auckland Central)

• Phillip Mills (Herne Bay, Auckland)

• Mere Berryman ONZM (Tauranga)

• Dr. Malcolm Legget (Meadowbank, Auckland)

• Minnie Baragwanath MNZM (Auckland Central)

• Sam Hunt CNZM, QSM (Kaipara)

Comment from Chief Judge Cameron Bennett: 

Courage is the word that perfectly defines why these 10 Kiwis are so exceptional. It’s the courage they’ve shown to advocate for their fellow Kiwis living on the margins, the courage to take our story to the world, the courage to lead. They’ve done this in typical Kiwi fashion – with humility, decency and fairness.

While one of these 10 people will ultimately be named Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year for 2017, each is already a very special Kiwi in their own right.


The annual New Zealander of the Year awards are in their eighth 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.

375 nominations were received for the title of 2017 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 2017 Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year title and the other category finalists.

The winner will be announced at the New Zealander of the Year Awards Gala in Auckland on 22nd February, 2017.

Previous winners of the New Zealander of the Year Award are: Richie McCaw (2016), 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 2017 New Zealander of the Year Awards also honour New Zealanders who have performed with distinction in five other award categories.

The semi-finalists for these categories are:

University of Auckland Young New Zealander of the Year: 

• Angela Lim (Auckland Central)

• Kendall Flutey (Christchurch)

• Rez Gardi (Auckland Central)

• Natalie Thorburn (Auckland Central)

• Hayden Paddon (Wanaka)

• Jamie Beaton (Newmarket, Auckland)

• Laura O'Connell Rapira (Point Chevalier, Auckland)

• Chelsea Millar (Feilding)

• Ben Dowdle (Half Moon Bay, Auckland)

• Mark Berryman (North Shore, Auckland)

Metlifecare Senior New Zealander of the Year: 

• Sonia Faulkner (Meadowbank, Auckland)

• Grace Annie Hight Benson (Manukau)

• Sue Paterson ONZM (Wellington)

• Bob Francis QSO, MBE (Masterton)

• Ivan Pivac (Glendene, Auckland)

• Hine Grindlay (Forrest Hill, Auckland)

• Evan (Lox) Kellas QSM (Portobello, Dunedin)

• Elaine Gill ONZM (Frankleigh Park, New Plymouth)

• Garth McVicar (Blenheim)

• Haare Williams (Papakura)

Mitre 10 New Zealand Community of the Year: 

• Randwick Park (Manurewa, Auckland)

• Springboard Community Works (Warkworth)

• Empowered Learning Trust (Reporoa)

• 0800 Hungry Ministries Trust (Christchurch)

• Redcliffs (Christchurch)

• Atawhai Charitable Trust (Gisborne)

• Lawrence Community (Lawrence, Otago)

• Nelson Tasman Cycle Trail Trust (Nelson)

• Good Neighbour (Hamilton)

• Junk Run (Newmarket, Auckland)

Sanitarium New Zealand Innovator of the Year: 

• Dr. Ed Gane (Auckland Central)

• Avertana (Parnell, Auckland)

• Ligar (Ruakura, Hamilton)

• New Zealand SKA Alliance (NZA) (Auckland Central)

• Sunfed (Avondale, Auckland)

• Encounter Solutions – Celium (Mount Albert, Auckland)

• Jamie Beaton/ Crimson Education (Newmarket, Auckland)

• Ed Lodge – CSx (Auckland Central)

• Frances Valintine/ The Mind Lab (Newmarket, Auckland)

• Youth Hub/ Senthil Perumal (Eden Terrace, Auckland)

Kiwibank New Zealand Local Hero of the Year: 

• Graeme Gale (Otago)

• Alan Breslau (Manukau)

• Hayden Smith (Auckland)

• Robert Martin MNZM (Whanganui)

• Pauline Tangiora (Mahia)

• Phillip (Levi) Faamau QSO (Porirua)

• Scott Weatherall (Dunedin)

• Nikki Denholm (Freeman’s Bay, Auckland)

• Julie Lee (Titirangi, Auckland)

• Mr. Lindsay Wright (Wendonside, Southland)

STAY TUNED - Top 3 announcements will be made on the 24th of January! 

Related news