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Global Search For World-Class New Zealanders

Media Release

Attention: News Editors / Chief Reporters / Business Journalists

For Immediate Publication

13 October 2008

Global Search For World-Class New Zealanders

Nominations are now open for entry to the highly prestigious 2009 World Class New Zealand Awards.

Now in their sixth year, the awards recognise and celebrate successful New Zealanders who enhance the reputation of our country on the world stage through being truly `world class’.

``As Kiwis we need to embrace success and encourage our young people to strive for success,’’ says Stephen Tindall, Chairman of Kea New Zealand. ``What better way than showcasing and honouring world class New Zealanders?’’

Presented by Kea New Zealand and supported by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, the awards ceremony will be held at a gala dinner in Auckland on Wednesday 1 April 2009.

Nominees will be evaluated against five criteria, namely how they:

• facilitate the exchange of information, knowledge or skills from and about New Zealand

• foster New Zealand innovation and entrepreneurship

• act as a role model on the world stage

• promote New Zealand internationally

• build global connections with New Zealand.

A winner will be celebrated in each of the following categories, along with an overall Supreme Award winner:

• Information and Communications Technology

• Creative Industries

• Biotechnology

• Manufacturing

• Research, Science, Technology & Academia

• Finance, Investment & Business Services

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``At New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, we believe it’s important to recognise New Zealand's world class talent,’’ says Tim Gibson, NZTE’s chief executive.

The 2008 Awards – held earlier this year – attracted a crowd of almost 600 people and recognised eight truly impressive New Zealanders.

The 2008 Supreme Award winner, Peri Drysdale (CEO/Founder, Snowy Peak & Untouched World; Founder, Untouched World Charitable Foundation), was honoured for her success in positioning Untouched World as no ordinary fashion statement but as an ethical lifestyle brand based on the best New Zealand values, plus Peri's personal creative desire to contribute to a positive, sustainable future for New Zealanders and the world.

Seven other outstanding New Zealanders were also recognised within their industry specialties at the 2008 Awards:

• Maurice Prendergast - Manufacturing

• Rod Drury - Information & Communications Technology

• Phil Keoghan - Creative Industries

• Professor Garth Cooper - Biotechnology

• Professor Margaret Brimble - Research, Science, Technology & Academia

• Craig Norgate - Finance, Investment & Business Services

• Bruce Farr - New Thinking

The 2009 event promises to attract nominations to rival the 2008 winners.

Nominations for the 2009 World Class New Zealand Awards close on 24 October, 2008. These can be made through the Kea website at or by emailing worldclass[at]



Kea New Zealand - - is a global community of people who help each other achieve great things all over the world through the common passion they share for New Zealand.

Kea's mission is to connect New Zealand with its large global talent community, and contribute to the growth, development, and future prosperity of New Zealand by facilitating the sharing of knowledge, contacts and opportunities around the world.

The OECD estimates that 16% of all New Zealanders live overseas – and that 24% of New Zealand's highly skilled workforce now lives offshore, a figure that is higher than for any other developed nation.[1]

Kea turns this phenomenon into a source of national competitive advantage, by tapping this wealth of international knowledge and expertise and making New Zealand the most globally connected nation on earth.

Kea connects about 25,000 Kiwis and other "friends of New Zealand" living in 178 countries across the globe. Kea organises the World Class New Zealand network and the annual World Class New Zealand awards In partnership with New Zealand Trade and Enterprise; employs Regional Managers who lead overseas-based chapters around the world; and helps aspiring New Zealand companies by introducing them to useful overseas contacts via its Kea Global Mentors programme.

Kea was established in 2001, and is a non-profit Incorporated Society based in Auckland. It is non-government and independent.

Kea New Zealand has a proven ability to reach and motivate overseas New Zealanders. There are Kea New Zealand chapters in more than a dozen overseas cities, and full-time Regional Managers in Australia, China, UK and North America.

About New Zealand Trade and Enterprise

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) - - is the government’s national economic development agency. It works to stimulate economic growth by helping boost export earnings, strengthen regional economies and deliver economic development assistance to industries and individual businesses.

As a global organisation, NZTE uses its knowledge and contacts in key overseas markets to provide crucial international connections for New Zealand businesses looking to expand internationally and also to attract direct investment into New Zealand.

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