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Finalists for 2018 New Zealander of the Year

30 January 2018

Finalists for 2018 New Zealander of the Year

The New Zealander of the Year Awards Office is pleased to announce the three finalists being considered for the title of 2018 Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year.

They are:

Kristine Bartlett: Pay equity campaigner (Lower Hutt)
Mike King: Mental health advocate (Auckland)
Dr Siouxsie Wiles: Microbiologist and researcher (Auckland)
Short films profiling each of the candidates can be accessed online at

Comment from Chief Judge Cameron Bennett

“These three Kiwis may come from very different backgrounds and work in very different fields, but they share admirable attributes of conscience, courage and commitment. These are attributes we aspire to as New Zealanders. These three remarkable people have embraced that aspiration and taken action, making a truly positive difference for all New Zealanders.

“At enormous personal sacrifice, Kristine Bartlett put herself forward as the face of the equal pay movement for caregivers in the aged-care sector. In doing so she has changed the lives of thousands of New Zealand's lowest paid workers who provide vital health and well-being services to many vulnerable Kiwis. She embodies the universal values of fairness, decency and equity.

“Mike King knows first-hand the devastating impacts of depression, alcohol and drug abuse – particularly for Maori, children and young people. His courage and conviction in advocating on behalf of Kiwis dealing with these issues inspires hope and optimism for those who need it most.

“Dr. Siouxsie Wiles is tackling one the biggest health issues facing New Zealand and the world, the growing threats of antibiotic-resistant superbugs and infectious diseases. Her innovative and pioneering work in bioluminescence is redefining modern medicine.

“These three Kiwis have put ideas into action. Rather than talk about what needs to be done, they’ve done it. That’s why they are all such worthy contenders for the title of New Zealander of the Year.”


The annual New Zealander of the Year Awards are in their ninth year. They celebrate people who use their passion for New Zealand to make our country a better place. They are open to all New Zealanders to honour extraordinary Kiwis whose selflessness, creativity, and vision make us proud to call New Zealand home.

1118 nominations were received for the title of 2018 Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year.

The winner will be announced at the New Zealander of the Year Awards Gala in Auckland on 22nd February 2018.

Previous winners of the New Zealander of the Year Award are: Taika Waititi (2017), Richie McCaw (2016), Sir Stephen Tindall (2015), Dr. Lance O’Sullivan (2014), Dame Anne Salmond (2013), Sir Richard Taylor (2012), Sir Paul Callaghan (2011) and Sir Ray Avery (2010).

Other categories

The 2018 New Zealander of the Year Awards also honour New Zealanders who have performed with distinction in five other award categories. The finalists for these categories are:

University of Auckland Young New Zealander of the Year

David Cameron (Auckland)
Kristina Cavit (Auckland)
Grace Stratton (Auckland)
Metlifecare Senior New Zealander of the Year

Billy Apple (Auckland)
Professor Bob Elliott (Auckland)
Kim Workman (Lower Hutt)
Mitre 10 New Zealand Community of the Year

Canterbury Charity Hospital Trust (Christchurch)
Pillars (Auckland)
Whangawehi Catchment Management Group (Hawke’s Bay)
Sanitarium New Zealand Innovator of the Year

Fraser Smith and Matt Yallop, Flashmate (Hamilton)
Professor Jane Harding (Auckland)
Team New Zealand Design Team (Auckland)
Kiwibank New Zealand Local Hero of the Year

Ricky Houghton (Kaitaia)
Dave Letele (Auckland)
Mohamud Mohamed (Auckland)
More information on the 2018 Kiwibank New Zealander of the Awards is at


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