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Youngest ever winner of New Zealand’s most illustrious award

29th May 2014

Youngest ever winner of New Zealand’s most illustrious award

US-based serial digital entrepreneur Claudia Batten reigned supreme at the 2014 World Class New Zealand Awards tonight, becoming the youngest ever Supreme Award recipient at 39 years old.

Ms Batten was awarded the top honour at a black tie VIP awards ceremony held at Auckland’s Langham Hotel.

Ms Batten says a focus on building strong networks has been critical to her success.

“I made a choice early in my career to deviate from the linear and safe to instead follow a what I call the ‘squiggly path’ to an uncertain future. Great networks are what have allowed me to take that path with great success.

“It is through the connectedness and influence of networks such as World Class New Zealand and Kea that I can help influence other New Zealanders and make a contribution from anywhere in the world.”

Craig Donaldson, Global CEO of Kea New Zealand – organisers of the World Class New Zealand Awards – says Ms Batten and the five other award recipients amplify goodwill towards NZ Inc.

“Tonight we salute five Kiwis and one friend of New Zealand who, against all odds, took flight and created global success.

“Their success has been earned in workplaces far less glamorous than the world-famous sports fields and concert stages but their contribution to our country is immense and should be widely promoted to inspire others to dream big.

“These awards play a vital role in recognising their outstanding individual contributions to New Zealand’s reputation on the world stage.”

Kiwi director of the animated box office hit Shrek, Andrew Adamson, flew from Russia to receive his award for services to the creative sector. Multi-millionaire Wellingtonian businessman turned investor, Neville Jordan humbly accepted his award for services to business and investment. Surgical robotics technologist Dr Catherine Mohr was recognised for her global impact on life sciences and renowned surgical oncologist Dr Murray Brennan was recognised for his contributions to research.

World Class New Zealand also acknowledged the substantial impact American tech entrepreneur and Kiwi Landing Pad director Craig Elliott has had on New Zealand’s standing in America’s tech world, announcing him this year’s Friend of New Zealand.

The 2014 World Class New Zealand Awards were judged by an elite group of New Zealand high achievers including: Sir Tipene O’Regan, Professor Margaret Brimble, Dr Craig Nevill-Manning, Peri Drysdale, Dame Judith Mayhew Jonas, Jon Mayson and Phil Veal.

Each World Class New Zealand Award winner receives a Tall Poppy statuette designed by Weta Workshop co-founder and 2009 Supreme Award winner Sir Richard Taylor.

The awards attracted many of New Zealand’s most influential people, including Prime Minister Rt. Hon. John Key, who spoke about the critical role Kea will play in the coming months and years in creating the global connections necessary to support the country’s business growth agenda.

2014 World Class New Zealand Award winners

Supreme Award: Claudia Batten
Friend of New Zealand: Craig Elliott
For services to Life Science: Dr Catherine Mohr
For services to Research and Scholarship: Dr Murray Brennan
For services to Investment and Business: Neville Jordan
For services to Film and Creative: Andrew Adamson


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