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Attitude Awards Call for New Zealand’s Unsung Heroes

Attitude Awards Call for New Zealand’s Unsung Heroes to Follow in the Footsteps of Last Year’s Supreme Honour Winner

The Attitude Awards begin the search today for this year’s high achievers who are taking on the world and its perception of disability.

Celebrating the excellence and achievements of New Zealanders living with disabilities, recognising artists, athletes, employers, young people and game-changers, nominations are open until Friday 20thJuly.

Last year’s Attitude ACC Supreme Award and Spirit Award winner was Geneva Hakaraia-Tino, a recent AUT Bachelor of communications graduate and Te Reo Māori student. Geneva has cerebral palsy which impacts her verbal capacity and physical movement, and she is on a mission to help other non-verbal Kiwis find their voice.

Mentoring at TalkLink, a local company that helps connect people with communication difficulties to assistive technology, Hakaraia-Tino’s goal is to add a Kiwi accent and Te Reo to the technology. Her drive to change people’s views on disabilities is what made her stand out for the top prize.

Now in its 11th year, the Attitude Awards have eight categories including Youth Spirit, Emerging Athlete, Sporting Spirit and Entrepreneur Award. This year’s awards will take place on Wednesday 28thNovember.

Dan Buckingham, chair of the Attitude Trust and ex-player for the Wheel Blacks, says the awards are not only a unique celebration of success, they’re also a perception shifter:

“Over the past decade, the Attitude Awards have celebrated hundreds of Kiwis with incredible stories of human kindness, drive and courage. Our winners often challenge what people think it means to live with a disability, helping to change perceptions about this diverse sector of society. We’d love for New Zealanders to nominate family members, friends and people from their community who they think deserve recognition at this year’s awards.”

2017 winners also include Robbie Francis, who won the Entrepreneur Award for her work with Lucy Foundation (named after her own prosthetic leg). Teenager Eva McGauley, who has terminal cancer, was the Youth Spirit Award winner for her quest to make New Zealand a safe place, securing the Government’s commitment for a free 24/7 online chat service for sexual abuse counselling. Steff Green, a vision impaired USA Today bestselling author, was the 2017 Artist Achievement Award winner in recognition of her accomplishments as an artist living with a disability.

ACC returns as principal sponsor and ACC Chief Executive, Scott Pickering says he couldn’t be prouder.

“Every year I’m impressed by the stories of New Zealanders with disabilities achieving amazing things,” comments Scott Pickering. “These Awards are a great opportunity to recognise and celebrate just how much Kiwis with disabilities contribute to our society. I encourage people to nominate their friends, family and colleagues for an Attitude Award and be part of this wonderful event.”

Other sponsors and supporters for the awards are The Lion Foundation, Barfoot and Thompson, Datacom, Cigna, Drake Medox, Ministry of Health and HealthCare NZ.

With thanks to NZ on Air, the Attitude Awards will air as an hour-long television special on TVNZ1, packed with entertainment, winners, and highlights from the night.

For nomination information and entry forms go to www.attitudeawards.org. Nominations close on Friday 20th July and finalists will be announced soon after. Winners will be announced at a black-tie gala for more than 600 people on Wednesday 28th November at Auckland’s Sky City.

The eight categories are: Youth Spirit, Spirit of Attitude, Emerging Athlete, Sporting Spirit, Artistic Achievement, Making a Difference, Entrepreneur and Attitude ACC Employer Award.

For all the latest on the Awards, the Attitude TV programme and AttitudeLive web platform:


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To download high res images of last years winners please click HERE:


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