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New Zealander of the Year - A very proud moment for Aotearoa

New Zealander of the Year - A very proud moment for Aotearoa

Māori Party Co-leader, Tariana Turia, has described last night’s New Zealander of the Year Ceremony as a very proud moment for Aotearoa.

“Dame Anne Salmond is a most appropriate champion of our national spirit.

Her distinguished academic career has been the vehicle by which she has expressed so passionately, the shape of our nationhood. She has immersed herself in the cultural context of the story of our land – demonstrating a commitment to relationships; to cultural competency; to heritage and history.

While an award-winning author; I think the greatest example Dame Anne has provided is of taking the time to respect and relate to tangata whenua as the first peoples. Moreover she is quite simply a gracious and generous woman who has done so much to move us forwards into a Treaty-based future; where Māori and non-Māori live together happily.

Dame Anne’s passion for the whenua is also evident in her environmental activisim along the East Coast.

That dedication for our environment was also honoured through the award of the young New Zealander of the Year; Chief Executive of Sustainable Coastlines, Sam Judd. With no fuss, Sam and his company just get out there, and clean up our waterways and our coastlines.

Other award winners include Ian Grant (Senior New Zealander of the Year); Grandparents Raising Grandchildren (Community of the Year Award) and Jim Morunga, (Local Hero).

“Heemi Morunga (Ngapuhi) has been a stalwart of support for people with disabilities. He has also taken on leadership of suicide prevention approaches through his work as co-ordinator of the Kia Piki te Ora programme (Te Kupenga Hauora-Ahuriri).

“A key factor in his success has been in his belief that we need to revitalise the art of kōrero, because if we can’t communicate then we lose connection with one another.

‘All the nominees in fact make us very proud of what it is to be a New Zealander. Last night was a wonderful night – it gives me much confidence about our pathway to the future, when I looked around at the distinctive talents and competence of so many great New Zealanders. The Kiwi Bank Trust led by Sir James Bolger and the many people who tirelessly worked to select great finalists from a list of more than 700 are also to be congratulated".


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