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Mike King named 2019 New Zealander of the Year

13 February 2019

Mike King named 2019 New Zealander of the Year

Mental health advocate Mike King has been named Kiwibank 2019 New Zealander of the Year.

King received the award from the Prime Minister, the Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern. He was also presented the Kiwibank kaitaka huaki cloak, Pouhine, by 2018 New Zealander of the Year Kristine Bartlett and 2014 winner Dr Lance O’Sullivan.

Drawing from his own personal experiences, King has bought the serious issues of depression, alcohol and drug abuse and suicide to public attention.

His leadership and courage has opened channels for those vulnerable to be heard and helped while also shifting the publics perceptions on these important issues.

Working alongside other mental health professionals, King has been the driving force of many initiatives to shift the way we think about mental health including with the Key to Life Charitable Trust and The Nutters Club.

A short film profiling King can be viewed HERE.

King’s fellow finalists for the title of Kiwibank 2019 New Zealander of the Year were tobacco harm reduction advocate Marewa Glover and Eat My Lunch founder Lisa King.

Comment from the Chief Judge, Cameron Bennett

“Mike King is a wonderfully complex and compelling Kiwi. His determination to shine a light on the affects and impacts of mental health, particularly among Maori and young people, is as uncompromising as it is confronting.

“His passion and total commitment challenges us to think again about how we address some of the most serious social issues of our time.

“Mike's in your face, brutally honest and hugely funny. He doesn't back down. It's that courage and resolve that makes him so relatable to at-risk rangitahi that others can't reach. Mike King is a great New Zealander of the Year.”

Category Winners

University of Auckland Young New Zealander of the Year: Kendall Flutey (Christchurch)
Metlifecare Senior New Zealander of the Year: Dr Bill Glass (Wellington)
Mitre 10 Community of the Year: Pillars (national)
Sanitarium Innovator of the Year: Ian Taylor – Animation Research Ltd (Dunedin)
Kiwibank Local Hero of the Year: Pera Barrett (Wellington)

Background
The annual New Zealander of the Year Awards are in their 10th 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.
A total of 448 nominations were received for the title of 2019 Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year.
Previous winners of the New Zealander of the Year Award are: Kristine Bartlett (2018), 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).

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