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Murray Burton Announced New Zealander Of The Year

Press release: December 11, 2008

Murray Burton Announced New Zealander Of The Year

North & South magazine’s New Zealander of the Year 2009 has been awarded to Murray Burton, principal of Elim Christian College in Botany Downs, Auckland.

The compassion, grace and humanity with which Murray Burton faced the terrible loss of seven lives – a teacher and six senior students – in the Mangatepopo Gorge, Turangi, last April reached out not only to those directly affected by the tragedy but to the entire country. In the most challenging and heartbreaking of circumstances, he showed true leadership and, by his example, brought people together without anger or blame.

Murray Burton is profiled in North & South’s January 2009 issue, on sale today (December 11). He was presented with the New Zealander of the Year award, and a donation from North & South to the Elim Christian College Mangatepopo Memorial Fund at an event held at the Elim Christian Centre Chapel. More than 100 people attended including members of Burton’s family, Elim staff and students, and families of those who died.

North & South’s New Zealander of the Year Award is designed to celebrate and reward those people who have made a difference to New Zealand. Now in its 13th year, the award recognises the country’s real achievers: not necessarily the high-profile heroes, but the people who embody those qualities that New Zealanders admire.

Among previous award winners are former Minister of Treaty Negotiations Sir Douglas Graham; Dame Cheryll Sotheran, founding chief executive of Te Papa Tongarewa; man for all sporting and educational seasons John Graham; Auckland University leader, now Oxford University head John Hood; philanthropist, businessman and Hawkes Bay tourism guru Graeme Avery; Auckland scientists and world renown researchers Professor Garth Cooper and Professor Jane Harding; Dunedin paramedic Doug Flett; Christchurch-based international sustainable business doyenne Peri Drysdale; outspoken economist and philanthropist Gareth Morgan; and Dr Philip Bagshaw, founder and champion of Canterbury Charity Hospital.

North & South’s New Zealander of the Year special feature also names 10 category winners and “honourable mentions”, traversing business, sport, science, arts and entertainment, the environment and young achievers.

- ENDS –

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