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New Zealand Festival congratulates former Executive Director

New Zealand Festival congratulates former Executive Director on New Zealander of Year (Senior) Award

New Zealand’s largest international arts festival, the New Zealand Festival, congratulates its former Executive Director Sue Paterson ONZM on winning the Metlifecare Senior New Zealander of the Year Award, announced at a ceremony in Auckland last night.

With winners in five categories, the annual Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year Awards celebrate those who have made New Zealand a better place; with the senior category recognising those aged 60 and over who have made a sustained positive contribution to Aotearoa.

The New Zealand Festival’s new Executive Director, Meg Williams, who has worked with Sue for six years and began her appointment this month, says she is delighted that Sue’s commitment to growing the arts and supporting artists in New Zealand has been acknowledged with this prestigious award.

“On behalf of the Festival team and Board, I’d like to congratulate Sue on this well-deserved award. Her New Zealander of the Year award speaks not only to Sue’s outstanding work at the New Zealand Festival over the past eight years, but to four decades of service to the arts and to artists, which included leadership roles at the Royal New Zealand Ballet and Limbs Dance Company,” Meg Williams said.

Sue is well known for her support of young artists in New Zealand, and is widely credited with turning around the fortunes of New Zealand’s national ballet. Sue’s term as Executive Director at the New Zealand Festival included four biennial Festivals, five Wellington Jazz Festivals and other special events such as the hugely popular Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

Sue, who is to take up governance roles on boards at Wellington Zoo Trust and Wellington Free Ambulance, says she is delighted with the Awards’ recognition of contributions to the arts.

“I feel privileged to have worked with some of New Zealand’s greatest artists, and proud to have been able to secure investment to give those artists the financial freedom they need to create. I’m thrilled with this award, and congratulate Taika Waititi on taking out the top spot as overall New Zealander of the Year. The 2017 New Zealanders of the Year Awards suggest creativity and artistic talent continues to be truly valued in Aoteaora,” Sue said.


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