Professor Rangi Mātāmua

New Zealander of the Year



New Zealander of the Year

Te Pou Whakarae o Aotearoa

The most prestigious national award honouring people for their contribution to the wellbeing of our country. Proven, inspirational and passionate, these are the people that New Zealand is proud to call their own.

To be eligible for this award, the nominee must have, through their achievements, made an outstanding contribution to the wellbeing of Aotearoa, particularly across the last 12-months.

Nominators should consider talking about the following areas in their nomination:

  • THE NOMINEE: Describe the person you are nominating and what they’ve done to inspire you to nominate them as 2024 Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year Te Pou Whakarae o Aotearoa.
  • PURPOSE: Who benefits from the work, contribution, or influence of this person – and how?
  • LEADERSHIP: How does this person set a positive example for other fellow New Zealanders and showing them the potential for change.
  • COMMITMENT: Describe the commitment of time, risks, and challenges overcome to create an impact to this point (this may still be ongoing). What have they done that has gone above and beyond to show leadership, create change, and give back?
  • THOUGHT LEADERSHIP & INNOVATIVE THINKING: How thoughtful, creative, and unique is this person’s approach to their challenge, opportunity, or situation?
  • PROVEN IMPACT: How has this person clearly demonstrated a positive impact in their area of influence? How is has this been measured?
  • LONG-TERM IMPACT: If known, how does this person plan to grow and/or adapt their work, contribution, or influence in the future? How would winning this award impact this person and the work that they are doing?

Conditions of Entry

Professor Rangi Mātāmua

Not many people can say they′ve led the formation of a national public holiday; but renowned Māori scholar, Professor Rangi Mātāmua (Tūhoe) is one of them. Shortly after joining Te Pūtahi-a-Toi, School of Māori Knowledge as Professor of Mātauranga Māori in September 2021, he was shoulder tapped by the Prime Minister to be Chief Advisor Matariki and Mātauranga Māori, as the Government explored the creation of a new public holiday. For Mātāmua, this was more than a once in a lifetime opportunity − it was a chance to connect New Zealanders with te ao Māori, and in particular our shared environmental responsibility (each of the stars in Matariki are associated with different parts of the environment). Our first Matariki holiday was a landmark moment for Aotearoa, but also for Mātāmua; who has dedicated his career to sharing traditional Māori astronomy knowledge.



Dr Jim Salinger


Professor Rangi Mātāmua


Tā Tipene O′Regan


Dr Siouxsie Wiles MNZM


Jennifer Te Atamira Ward-Lealand


Mike King


Kristine Bartlett


Taika Waititi


Richie McCaw


Sir Stephen Tindall


Dr Lance O′Sullivan


Dame Anne Salmond


Sir Richard Taylor


Sir Paul Callaghan


Sir Ray Avery



New Zealander of the Year

Steve Jurkovich

Kiwibank Chief Executive

“We’re proud to champion a modern, progressive, diverse Aotearoa and the Kiwi recognised through the Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year Awards epitomise this. This is an important platform to recognise the mahi, grit and vision of the game-changing, innovative leaders who are working to make Aotearoa a better place for all of us.”