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Fulbright New Zealand delighted with award recognition

Fulbright New Zealand delighted with award recognition

Fulbright New Zealand is delighted to have been recognised with the inaugural Eric & Kathy Hertz Award for Citizen Diplomacy presented at last night’s 2014 AmCham-DHL Express Success & Innovation Awards in Auckland. Fulbright New Zealand’s executive director Mele Wendt was present at a black tie gala dinner at the Pullman Hotel to receive the award, along with a number of Fulbright New Zealand sponsors, alumni and board members. Ms Wendt says it is a welcome recognition of Fulbright New Zealand’s longstanding and significant contribution to strengthening the bonds between the people of Aotearoa and the United States.

“Last year we celebrated the 65th anniversary of the Fulbright programme in New Zealand, in which time we have given more than 3,000 New Zealanders and Americans the chance to undertake life-changing educational and cultural exchanges to each other’s countries,” says Ms Wendt. “There is a wonderful multiplier effect in the goodwill and understanding generated by our exchanges. Many grantees are accompanied by partners or whole families on their award. Each of those individuals touches the lives of so many people they meet during their exchange, and returns home to help spread a deeper understanding of their host country. Our alumni live the Fulbright mission of promoting mutual understanding for the rest of their lives.”

The new award was named in honour of American 2degrees chief executive Eric Hertz and his wife Kathy, who died tragically in an airplane crash last year. The award recognises contributions in any field that complements the deep political and economic ties between New Zealand and the US, including education, science, research, culture, arts and sports. It was one of six awards presented by the American Chamber of Commerce this year, with other focussed on business exports, imports and investment. A full list of award winners can be found at


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