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Kea New Zealand celebrates World Class Kiwis

Kea New Zealand celebrates World Class Kiwis with announcement of 2017 Award winners

Auckland, New Zealand: Tuesday, 30th May 2017

Kea New Zealand has today announced the names of a number of its 2017 Kea World Class New Zealand (WCNZ) Award recipients, ahead of the Gala Dinner taking place in Auckland on the 22nd June.

Among this year’s winners are businessman Sir Rob Fenwick; scientist and entrepreneur Dr. Privahini Bradoo; award-winning choreographer Parris Goebel; leading scientist Dr. Phil Rolston; founder of Wrightspeed Inc. Ian Wright; and chef Robert Oliver.

The two biggest awards of the ceremony; The Supreme Award (won last year by Sir Ralph Norris), and Friend of New Zealand Award (won last year by Matteo De Nora), will be announced on the night.

Kea Global CEO Craig Donaldson says the 2017 Awards are a reflection of the rapid growth of Kiwi talent and ingenuity we continue to see shine on the global stage.

“We’re delighted with the calibre of award winners for 2017 - the lineup this year is arguably the best we’ve ever had. Each of our award recipients have achieved remarkable levels of global success, and made a massive contribution to New Zealand’s social, cultural and economic development.”

Sir Rob Fenwick, currently Director of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, is being recognised for his extensive contribution in the fields of environmental sustainability and natural heritage.

Dr Bradoo, co-founder and CEO of BlueOak, and a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, is being recognised for her leadership in the discovery of how to convert e-waste into a sustainable source of critical metals for the technologies of tomorrow.

Parris Goebel, champion dancer and choreographer, is being recognised for her international success, coupled with her efforts to inspire Kiwi youth.

Dr. Phil Rolston, a Scientist in Herbage and Vegetable Seed Research, has been selected for his work in addressing the issue of world poverty, through his scientific discovery of method for growing crops in arid areas.

Ian Wright, founder and CEO of Wrightspeed Inc., and co-founder of Tesla, is being acknowledged for his influence and contribution to the electric transportation industry.

And finally, Robert Oliver, chef, author and founder of Robert Oliver Enterprises LLC, has been included due to his contribution to the culinary industry, through the promotion of Pacific culture, and his international humanitarian work.

Established in 2003, the Awards provide a platform that recognises global success, celebrating Kiwis who are helping define New Zealand’s reputation internationally.

Each World Class New Zealand Award winner will receive a Tall Poppy statuette, designed by Weta Workshop co-founder and 2009 Supreme Award winner Sir Richard Taylor.

The awards ceremony will be taking place at Auckland’s Viaduct Events Centre, on Thursday 22nd June. Tickets can be purchased here.

For more information about the recipients, see below:


Dr. Privahini Bradoo
Winner of the Fulbright Platinum Entrepreneurship Fellow scholarship
World Economic Forum Young Global Leader
Distinguished Young Alumni Award from the University of Auckland
Co-founder and CEO, BlueOak

Parris Goebel
Founder of ReQuest and Royal Family dance crews, Gold at the World Hip Hop Dance Championships 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 & 2013, and Silver 2011 & 2015
Female Choreographer of the Year, World of Dance Awards, 2014 & 2016
Young Leader Award, New Zealand Women of Influence Awards, 2015
Young New Zealander of the Year, Coca Cola Amatil New Zealander of the Year, 2014
Co-founder of Sisters United

Dr. Phil Rolston
42 years with DSIR Grasslands / AgResearch in forages and forage seed research
Recipient of China’s highest awards to foreigners – a Friendship Medla, 1996
The NZ Institute of Agriculture and Horticulture Technology Transfer Award, 2005
Researcher of the Year from the Foundation for Arable Research, 2008
China International Science and Technology Cooperation Award, 2015

Ian Wright
Co-founded Tesla Motors in 2003
Creator of the fastest street-legal car in the world – the X1
Bronze Power Generation Award, Edison Awards, 2015
Silicon Valley Innovation & Entrepreneurship Forum Award, 2015
Technology Pioneer, World Economic Forum, June 2016

Robert Oliver
Chef Ambassador of Le Cordon Bleu, New Zealand / the Pacific Islands
Co-host of Marae Kai Masters Māori cuisine show
Best Cookbook in the World, Gourmand World Cookbook Awards, Paris, 2010 – for Me’a Kai: The Food and Flavours of the South Pacific
Best TV Chef Cookbook in the World, Gourmand World Cookbook Awards, Beijing, 2013 for Mea’ai Samoa: Recipes and Stories from the Heart of Polynesia

Sir Rob Fenwick
Founding Director, Living Earth Ltd, 1993 – Present
Advisory Board Members, Westpac New Zealand Limited, 2013 – Present
Special Advisor to the Director General, Department of Conservation, 2010 – Present
Sustainability Advisory Group Panel Member, Air New Zealand, 2008 – Present
Chairman, Antarctica New Zealand, 2007 – Present
Deputy Chairman, TVNZ, 2004 – 2010
Inducted into New Zealand Business Hall of Fame, 2016
Knighted Justice of the Order of St John, 2006
Knighted for services to business and the environment, 2016

ENDS -

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