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Arthritis Awards recognise special New Zealanders

Media Release

7 November 2012

Arthritis Awards recognise special New Zealanders

Five people’s incredible efforts with and for arthritis were acknowledged by the Governor-General of New Zealand, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, who hosted the Arthritis New Zealand biennial awards at Government House on Saturday. A pharmaceutical company and a charitable gaming trust were also acknowledged for their corporate support at the awards.

Chief Executive Sandra Kirby says the awards recognise major contributions that have been made to the lives of more than 530,000 New Zealanders who are living with arthritis.

The Young Achiever’s Award, which identifies the achievements and potential of a young person affected by arthritis, was awarded to aspiring professional racing driver Matt Lockwood, who recently won the inaugural V8 Challenge Cup at Pukekohe. Matt, who is now 24, was first diagnosed with arthritis at the age of 8, and has been an extraordinary ambassador for Arthritis New Zealand for the last two years.

The Premier Award, which recognises those who have been diagnosed as having arthritis and have been able to achieve goals and act as a role model for others, was awarded to Clare Richards of Christchurch. Since being diagnosed with arthritis in 1980, Clare has demonstrated considerable courage and determination to manage her home, family and run a variety of support groups.

The Distinguished Service Award, which acknowledges volunteers who have made outstanding contributions to the work of Arthritis New Zealand, was awarded to Professor Colin Green, who has been a valuable member of the Arthritis New Zealand Research Grants Committee for over six years providing expert advice on research grant proposals.

The Business Development Awards, which recognise significant financial/resource contributions that have had a major impact on the growth of the organisation at a national level, were awarded to Abbott Laboratories NZ Ltd (Abbott), which has supported Arthritis New Zealand in a variety of different ways over a number of years, primarily supporting its awareness campaigns and ensuring its inclusion at conference events; and Pub Charity Inc, which has supported Arthritis New Zealand’s osteoarthritis awareness campaign, in the knowledge this would make a ‘real difference to the lives of many New Zealanders’.

Honorary Life Membership was awarded to Els Dutton at the Arthritis New Zealand AGM earlier in the day. Her certificate was also presented at the ceremony. Honorary Life Memberships identify individuals who have rendered outstanding service to Arthritis New Zealand.

“Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in New Zealand and the awardees have contributed in a major way to raise awareness of this chronic condition”, says Ms Kirby.


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