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New Zealander of the Year Finalists Announced

Embargoed – 8am, Friday 18th January 2013

New Zealander of the Year Finalists Announced

Finalists have been announced today for the Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year Awards 2013. From Hawea to Gisborne, they reflect a strong cultural and global diversity that is contemporary New Zealand and recognise the significant contribution community volunteers make to the nation. The top three finalists in each category include global entrepreneurs, environmental activists, revolutionary medical practitioners, extraordinary young people, charity workers and volunteers.

This is the fourth year that the New Zealander of the Year Awards have been presented as a result of hundreds of New Zealanders nominating individuals, organisations and community groups who deserve to be rewarded and recognised for their inspirational contributions.

Following the nomination period last year during which members of the public nominated over 700 individuals and community organisations, extensive judging took place regionally and at national level.
The panel of judges included Awards Patron Jim Bolger, 2010 New Zealander of the Year, Sir Ray Avery, former Olympian, Beatrice Faumuina and business leaders Sir Roderick Deane, Jenny Morell, broadcasters Cameron Bennett, Mark Jennings and Bill Francis, community leaders Dame Rosie Horton & Bill Kerridge amongst others.

Of these only three finalists making significant contributions to New Zealand in each category have been selected, with the winners being announced at the New Zealander of the Year Gala dinner on the 28th February in Auckland.

The shortlist for the 2013 Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year includes Professor Swee Tan of Wellington, a plastic surgeon whose research into the origin of strawberry birthmarks and their treatment, has some exciting implications for the treatment of cancer and regenerative medicine.
Finalists also include Dame Anne Salmond, a writer, historian and the Distinguished Professor of Maori Studies and Anthropology at the University of Auckland. Dame Anne has a vision of and is dedicated to improving the environment, in particular our waterways for the benefit of our health. She is also the author of seven award-winning books and many articles on Maori life and early contacts between Europeans and islanders in Polynesia.

Finalist Bill Buckley, without this bloke in the faded overalls, who runs a nondescript factory in an Auckland industrial estate, you wouldn't have an iPhone, iPod, LCD television or DVD player. Most people wouldn't know Buckley Systems Ltd existed but in Silicon Valley, they know that Buckley machines work, and they are used to prepare 90 per cent of the world's silicon chips, the key component of almost every piece of modern technology on the planet.
Bill is also an avid Speedway fan and is a key figure at Western Springs Speedway.

The New Zealander of the Year Awards received nominations from fields including the arts, sport, community and voluntary sectors, health, public service, the environment, tourism, business, rural, education, entertainment, science, technology and culture.

The 2012 Awards saw Sir Richard Taylor named as New Zealander of the Year. Sir Richard continues to make a significant impact on the country at a global level and still decidedly choosing to base himself in New Zealand. Richard is a passionate and articulate New Zealander, committed to this country, and committed to showing New Zealanders that we can do it here.


Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year
Awarded for major contribution to the nation, outstanding service to the country and inspiration through achievement.
• Professor Swee T Tan, revolutionary plastic surgeon, Wellington
• Bill Buckley, global entrepreneur, Auckland
• Dame Anne Salmond, writer, historian & environmentalist, Auckland

Countdown Senior New Zealander of the Year
Celebrating ongoing achievement, this category is for those aged 60 and over who have made a major difference to New Zealand.
• Marcia Read, devoted over 35 years of her life to helping sufferers of Anxiety Disorders and their families. Founder of the Phobic Trust, Auckland

• Ian Grant, established the Parenting Place helping to set parents up with tools to enable them to better raise and relate to their children, promoting the roles of fathers and encouraging positive male role-models for children to have in their lives, Auckland

• Dorothy Hopkins is legendary in New Zealand musical circles and for well over 60 years she has contributed in areas of the arts and community. She has entertained thousands of Kiwis and through her teaching and training continues to entertain generations of New Zealanders by way of her amazing pupils, Auckland

Coca-Cola Amatil Young New Zealander of the Year
15 to 30 year olds who are making a positive impact on the nation.
• Assil Russell, a 23 year old dentist of Hamilton. She established and runs "Revive a Smile" programme, aimed at providing Hamilton's Homeless and disadvantaged people with free dental care. Assil established ICARE, New Zealand’s first and only registered medical and dental charity for Iraqi orphans.
• Sophie Pascoe of Christchurch is an amazing role model for all young aspiring athletes, regardless of disability. She recently won 3 gold and 3 silver medals at the London Paralympics and provides inspiration and leadership for young athletes.
• Sam Judd of Auckland is passionate about educating the public about environmental, health, social and economic consequences of marine debris and is co-founder of Sustainable Coastlines.

Mitre 10 Community of the Year
Acknowledges groups working together up and down the country to build stronger communities.
• The Hawea Community, a small community of 3000 in the lakes area of Central Otago who has worked tirelessly together to improve infrastructure in response to growth. Hawea has maintained a strong community spirit and worked proactively to preserve the unique beauty of the area.

• Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Trust, a nationwide group that has over 5,200 members and provides information, support, advice and advocacy for grandparents raising their grandchildren/kin on a full-time basis.
• The community of Uawa - Tolaga Bay population 800 today have completed some very important, ambitious and inspiring projects, including the Transit of Venus and raising $5.5m for the wharf restoration

Kiwibank Local Heroes Awards
Recognises everyday people doing extraordinary things in their local communities.
• Jade Temepara of Ashburton, established Hand Over a Hundy, an initiative giving famililies the funds, tools and education to grow their own vegetable gardens

• Jim Morunga of Napier, an inspiration for kapo Maori and disabled Maori an advocate for guide dogs in the Maori & Pacific Island communities and a local community leader. As a coordinator of the Kia Piki te Ora Suicide Prevention programme, he has had a huge impact on many lives.

• Scott Gilmour of Auckland, pioneered and developed New Zealand's very first I Have a Dream programme in the low socio-economic community of Wesley, Mt Roskill, Auckland in 2003.
Scott not only underwrites all the funding for his "I Have a Dream" charity but he dedicates his life to them.

The Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year Award winners will be announced at a public gala awards dinner at the Langham Auckland on 28th February 2013. The winner of each of the five categories will receive a handcrafted, New Zealand made trophy and $5,000 towards their work from sponsor Kiwibank.

All nominees will receive a certificate of appreciation for the contributions they are making to New Zealand.


Embargoed – 8am, Friday 18 January 2013

Gary Browne, Mitre 10 Community of the Year
Cameron Bennett, Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year
Bob Kerridge, Countdown Senior New Zealander of the Year
Liane Clarke, Coca Cola New Zealander of the Year
Alison Marshall, Kiwibank Local Heroes

Paul Brock, CEO, Kiwibank
Nicola Igusa, Communications & Marketing Manager, Fairfax Media
Bill Francis, CEO, Radio Broadcasters Association
Mark Jennings, Director of News & Current Affairs, TV3
Sir Ray Avery, 2010 Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year
Vanisa Dhiru, CEO Volunteering New Zealand
Sir Roderick Deane, Business Leader
Sam Knowles, Business Leader
Jenny Morel, Managing Partner No 8 Ventures
Joanne McRae, Advisory Board member of NZ Global Women and NZBCF, Partner – Deloitte
Michelle Hippolite, Chief Executive Te Puni Kōkiri
Dame Rosie Horton
Jim Bolger, Patron New Zealander of the Year Awards

For more information about the Awards, please refer to our website, or our Facebook Page (newzealanderoftheyearawards) or contact the Awards Office:

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