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Shortlist for 2020 New Zealander of the Year

16 December 2019

The New Zealander of the Year Awards Office is pleased to announce the 10 semi-finalists for the 2020 Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year award.
They are:
• Anjum Rahman (Hamilton)
• Anne Gaze (Auckland)
• Dame Margaret Sparrow (Wellington)
• David Downs (Auckland)
• Dr Helen Petousis-Harris (Auckland)
• Jennifer Ward-Lealand Te Atamira (Auckland)
• Peter Beck (Auckland)
• Professor Jane Harding (Auckland)
• Stacey Shortall (Wellington)
• Tapu Misa (Auckland)

Comment from Chief Judge Cameron Bennett
"The short list of candidates for New Zealander of the Year represents the very best of us.

"With courage, humility, empathy and determination, they've taken real actions to help solve some of the big challenges this country faces. Their remarkable contributions help make New Zealand that much better of a place to live.

"These are Kiwis of whom we can all be proud."

The annual New Zealander of the Year awards are in their 11th year. The awards are a celebration of Kiwis that are passionate and committed to making New Zealand a better place to live for everyone. The awards encourage all New Zealanders to honour extraordinary Kiwis whose selflessness, creativity, and vision make us proud to call New Zealand home.
A total of 969 nominations were received for the 2020 Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year Award.
In January, the judging panel – comprising of the Award’s patron, presenters, community leaders and independent experts – will announce the three finalists to be considered for the 2020 Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year title, as well as other category finalists.
The winner will be announced at the New Zealander of the Year Awards Gala in Auckland on Thursday, 20 February 2020.
Previous winners of the New Zealander of the Year award are: Mike King (2019), 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).

Other categories
The 2020 New Zealander of the Year Awards also honour New Zealanders who have achieved distinction in five other award categories.
The semi-finalists for these categories are:

University of Auckland Young New Zealander of the Year
• Bilal Nasier (Auckland)
• Edward Uini (Auckland)
• Eliette Roslin (Auckland)
• Ezekiel Raui (Auckland)
• Fraser McConnell (Wellington)
• Georgia Hale (Auckland)
• Pania Newtown (Auckland)
• Shay Wright (Auckland)
• Sophie Handford (Paekakariki)
• Tabitha Besley (Wellington)

Ryman Healthcare Senior New Zealander of the Year
• Billy Apple ONZM (Auckland)
• Dame Margaret Sparrow (Wellington)
• Dr Rosamund Vallings (Auckland)
• Lexie Matheson (Auckland)
• Miriam Saphira (Auckland)
• Pratima Nand (Auckland)
• Professor Bob Elliot (Auckland)
• Professor John Ormiston (Auckland)
• Professor Michael Corballis (Auckland)
• Sue Kedgley (Wellington)

Trade Me New Zealand Innovator of the Year
• Aliesha Staples – StaplesVR (Auckland)
• Bill Buckley - Buckley Systems Ltd (Auckland)
• Dr Mark Sagar - Soul Machines (Auckland)
• Dr Philip Elmer - Plant Food Research (Auckland)
• Fady Mishriki (Auckland)
• Hivemind (Christchurch)
• Peter Barrow - Enviroplaz – Plazrock (Auckland)
• Professor Jane Harding (Auckland)
• Sean Molloy - Avertana (Auckland)
• Steven Saunders and Dr Alistair Scarfe - Robotics Plus (Whakamarama)

Mitre 10 New Zealand Community of the Year
• Asian Events Trust (Wellington)
• Baby Loss (national)
• Communicare (Auckland)
• Foster Hope (national)
• Good Bitches Baking (national)
• Menzshed (national)
• Merge Community (Auckland)
• The Common Unity Project (Lower Hutt)
• Voices of Hope (national)
• Zealandia (Wellington)

Kiwibank New Zealand Local Hero of the Year
• Diane Stretton Yalden (Taneatua)
• Dr John Sumich (Auckland)
• Hannah Noble (Chatham Islands)
• Helen Jackson (Auckland)
• Hilary Price (Katikati)
• Irene Rama (Auckland)
• Jazz Thornton (Auckland)
• Karla Sanders (Alexandra)
• Ken Clearwater (Kaiapoi)
• Nick Loosley (Auckland)

For more information on the 2020 Kiwibank New Zealander of the Awards, its judges and semi-finalists, please visit


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