MAYOR Meng Foon has challenged Gisborne-East Coast residents to make the 2016 New Zealander of the Year a local person.
Nominations for the prestigious award, and supporting categories, opened last month and will close on September 30.
The Mayor has urged locals to start thinking about who in the community would be a deserving New Zealander of the Year.
"As Mayor I get to see ordinary people doing exceptional things for our community every day".
"Whether it's the volunteer, highachiever, or someone who went the extra mile to help others these are real people displaying real acts of kindness," Mr Foon said.
"These people are the pillars of our community. They represent the best of us and make Gisborne/East Coast a much better place to live in."
The Mayor said there were plenty of fine individuals in this community who would be deserving recipients of the New Zealander of the Year Award.
"It's time we honoured their deeds by showing the rest of New Zealand just how proud we are of them."
Now in their seventh year the New Zealander of the Year Awards are the ultimate recognition of people's service to New Zealand, nominated by New Zealanders.
Any member of the public can nominate an individual or community organisation for an award.
In addition to the Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year, awards will also be presented to New Zealanders who have performed with distinction in five additional award categories the University of Auckland Young New Zealander of the Year, Metlifecare Senior New Zealander of the Year, Mitre 10 New Zealand Community of the Year, Sanitarium New Zealand Innovator of the Year and Kiwibank Local Hero of the Year.
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).
NOMINATIONS for the 2016 New Zealander of the Year Awards can be made until Wednesday, September 30, by completing the online nomination form or requesting an information brochure from the Awards Office at email@example.com or by free-phoning 0508-692-927.