New Zealander of the Year

It’s getting close to that time of year when ‘best of the year’ claims on a range of things are announced. NZ Herald is getting votes for their New Zealander of the Year: People’s Choice Award

They don’t say how they have selected their list to choose from. Here they are:

Bronia Tindall & Fabrizio Clementi

They gave a homeless man a slice of their wedding cake.

Nathan Spitzer

“The builder, a contractor on farms in the Waikato, become the toast of Ngaruawahia when he jumped into the fast-moving Waikato River in November to rescue an 8-year-old girl who was near-hypothermic and clinging for her life to a pier.”

Lance O’Sullivan

“…admiration and respect for the Kaitaia GP was renewed when he stormed the stage at a local screening of an anti-vaccination documentary.

“Already, O’Sullivan’s impact on local public health has been immeasurable, including setting up a low-cost health clinic at Kaitaia Hospital and the MaiHealth programme, which offers a remote consultation to people without ready access to primary healthcare.

“He has also been instrumental in establishing programmes aimed at improving child health, including the Manawa Ora Korokoro Ora (Moko) foundation and the Kainga Ora (Well Home) initiative.”

He was named New Zealander of the Year in 2014.

Marnie Prickett

“Prickett, 33, a former staffer at Auckland Council programme Wai Care, and fellow advocates launched a charitable trust that became Choose Clean Water, which has proven a powerful and influential voice for our waterways.

“She and others travelled across the country, hearing from people who had watched their cherished rivers turn dry or green, before presenting a 10,000-strong petition to Parliament demanding tougher laws to make all waterways swimmable.”

Sarah Thomson

“…she decided to become the first person in our history to take the Government to the High Court — a bid that ultimately failed legally, yet succeeded in capturing the country’s attention.

“Among other points, Thomson alleged the Government had failed to review its climate targets, and that those New Zealand had pledged — slashing domestic greenhouse gas emissions by 11 per cent below 1990 levels and 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030 — were “unreasonable and irrational” against the seriousness of the issue.”

Andrew Nicolson

“Comeback hero Andrew Nicholson showed supreme courage when he won the prestigious Badminton Horse Trials in May.”

Steve Askin

“Decorated ex-SAS soldier and helicopter pilot Steve Askin died when his Squirrel chopper crashed while fighting the devastating Port Hills wildfire above Christchurch in February.

“In 2014, he received the NZ Gallantry Star for his efforts fighting in Afghanistan.

“While stories of his courage and selfless derring-do in fighting the Taliban — he was wounded in a five-hour shootout on June 29, 2011 after the Taliban stormed the InterContinental Hotel in Kabul — were shared, mum Leslie spoke about true heroes making a difference in people’s lives.”

Sarah Cato

“Detective Sarah Cato is battling incurable cancer — but that hasn’t stopped her battling major crimes. And it hasn’t stopped her raising money for other cancer sufferers.

“She was heavily involved in Operation Nepal — the brutal sexual assault and murder of 69-year-old Cunxiu Tian in her family home in Te Atatu in January last year.

“Cato is also instrumental in the ongoing investigation into the abduction and sexual
assault of an 11-year-old boy in Ranui.”

The people of Kaikoura and Waiau

“Many locals would say the last 12 months have been the toughest of their lives. And the only way they’ve got through it, is by standing together as a community. Looking after each other.”

They are all people who deserve some recognition, to varying degrees.

There’s another on the list who deserves a special mention.

Andrew Little

“On his first day as Minister of Justice Andrew Little said he would look again at the compensation given to Teina Pora for his wrongful conviction and 20 year imprisonment. Within a fortnight he had done just that and signed off on an inflation adjustment for Pora’s compensation — adding almost $1 million to bring it to a total of $3.5m.”

“Just three months earlier, Little had acted on another ‘right thing to do’ by stepping down as Labour leader. Little’s was not the easiest decision to make and may well have been made for him had he not handed over the job himself to Jacinda Ardern. But his decision, and endorsement of Ardern, made it a smooth handover — and gave Labour a chance at the election.”

I agree with the decision to properly compensate Teina Pora.But one act by a politician deserves a major award?

I agree that Little’s capitulation as Labour leader substantially changed the election campaign, but I’m not sure he deserves a lot of credit for that, some but not a lot. One could claim that Metiria Turei had more influence on the election campaign and outcome than anyone.

And the merits of the Government that Little’s stepping down helped enable are far from clear yet. As are his plans as a Minister.

I think it’s fair for Little to be considered as politician of the year, albeit with question marks over his standing compared to all other politicians – notably his successor, Jacinda Ardern.

But one politician as overall ‘people’s choice’? Seems an odd choice to be on the list.

You can vote here.

 

 

Leave a comment

101 Comments

  1. David

     /  3rd December 2017

    I would go for Nathan who risked his life to save the girl, that is a proper Kiwi.

    Reply
  2. PartisanZ

     /  3rd December 2017

    Toss up between Marnie Prickett and Sarah Thomson …

    Reply
    • Good on both of them for standing up and trying, but neither are likely to have a material effect on outcomes given they have promoted policies that the new Government propose anyway.

      Reply
      • PartisanZ

         /  3rd December 2017

        Is a singular act of heroism “likely to have a material effect on outcomes”?

        Sure, one child’s survival. That’s excellent.

        We have bravery awards reaching all the up to the George Medal, the civilian equivalent of the Victoria Cross, for this sort of thing …

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  3rd December 2017

          If either one also jumped in a fast flowing river to save an unrelated child I’d vote for them. Risking your life to save another, that’s special. That’s bravery. Not a lot of people do that sort of thing. But good point re outcomes criterion – so Lance.

          Reply
          • PartisanZ

             /  3rd December 2017

            Lance has had his recognition, and deservedly so. He’s now approaching a situation where one might almost invert what Pete said about Andrew Little: “But one act by a politician deserves a major award?”

            And I beg to differ. Numerous people risk their lives to save other people every single day in a myriad of ways …

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  3rd December 2017

              Quite likely true. Was talking to someone last night who did, though involuntarily. For a direct comparison though, who were you thinking of? Still Lance for me.

            • PartisanZ

               /  3rd December 2017

              People who take up issues affecting every Aotearoa New Zealander or, in Sarah’s case, the whole of humanity, all our plant and animal relatives and the planet itself …

            • Gezza

               /  3rd December 2017

              No, I meant the directly risking their own lives to save another thing that you mentioned people do every day?

              But if you can’t think of any that would directly compare to Nathan off hand, don’t bother. I shouldn’t be challenging who you’d vote for Parti.

              You’re making a considered & valid judgement & argument, & I tautoko that. 👍🏼

            • PartisanZ

               /  3rd December 2017

              ‘Firemen’ or Fire Personnel and Police Officers come to mind … Ambulance Officers in some places where violence against them is increasing …

              There are probably crisis counselors who do?

              I’m stopping here. I could go on. I’m not going to write a list for you to pick apart one item at a time, its pointless.

              Cheers for the tau toko. Maha whakawhetai.

            • Gezza

               /  3rd December 2017

              I’m stopping here. I could go on. I’m not going to write a list for you to pick apart one item at a time, its pointless.
              Aw, no, sorry – no fear of that. I should’ve said. I let this whole thing go ages ago & moved on as it was getting a bit Blazerly.

    • PDB

       /  3rd December 2017

      I agree PZ – hard to choose between those two for last place.

      Reply
      • PartisanZ

         /  3rd December 2017

        Then you actually don’t agree PDB …? Why say “I agree PZ”. Is that Rightie humour?

        So Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King aren’t heros of the Civil Rights Movement, nor Abraham Lincoln a hero of anti-slavery, nor Jane Roe a heroine of female sovereignty …

        Reply
        • PDB

           /  3rd December 2017

          Those people you mention actually did something of note.

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  3rd December 2017

            Jane Roe would not be celebrated by people who are Pro-life and think that killing babies is wrong.

            Reply
            • PartisanZ

               /  3rd December 2017

              PDB – You think challenging the government in our High Court for the very first time isn’t “something of note”? I’ll be watching for some issue you’d like someone to challenge the new government about in Court …

              Well, to be precise I’d be watching if I could be bothered with you …

              And you think seriously and extensively bringing NZ’s water pollution problem into focus is nothing of note? Oh yeah, Right, you don’t believe there is a problem? Well then, go to your local dairy-farmed waterway and drink a glass of water.

              Miss Kitty – Babies? Grrrrrr! Why wouldn’t they celebrate, in America it gives them a self-imagined license to kill abortion doctors and bomb abortion clinics?

            • Most prolifers do nothing like that. One I know will take in babies-I never seem to see her without one in a pram. Not content with raising 10 of her own, she now fosters babies who might otherwise have been aborted. None of the prolifers I know commit violent acts.

  3. George

     /  3rd December 2017

    Steve Askin. A life of service.
    Followed very closely by Lance

    Reply
  4. Gezza

     /  3rd December 2017

    Nathan.

    Reply
  5. PDB

     /  3rd December 2017

    Where’s Winston?

    Reply
  6. PDB

     /  3rd December 2017

    Andrew Little – for being a total failure at being opposition leader, slandering a businessman in public with no evidence of wrongdoing, and not knowing that a large-scale International intern scheme was being run out of his Auckland office.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  3rd December 2017

      Are you perhaps mistakenly thinking of the Gumboot Of The Year Award?

      Reply
    • Blazer

       /  3rd December 2017

      in your world giving a political party’ over $100,000 because you ‘like them’…raises no eyebrows.

      Reply
      • PDB

         /  3rd December 2017

        No point bringing up something that has already been well discredited on this very blog.

        Does remind me of another notable Andrew Little achievement though: insinuating Jacinda Ardern’s dad was corrupt – something you are continuing to do with such unfounded accusations.

        Reply
      • Gezza

         /  3rd December 2017

        Raised & an abject apology from Andrew though.

        Reply
  7. Alan Wilkinson

     /  3rd December 2017

    A bizarre list that satirises itself. I would choose not to vote.

    Reply
  8. PDB

     /  3rd December 2017

    Bronia Tindall & Fabrizio Clementi: For giving a homeless man a piece of their wedding cake whilst a professional photographer took many, many pictures of them doing so.

    Reply
      • Blazer

         /  3rd December 2017

        what a life changing moment for a homeless man….a piece of wedding cake.Hang on…’give a man a piece of wedding cake,and feed him for a day,teach a man how to make wedding cake….’.NZ’er of the year!!enough to make you..throw..up.

        Reply
        • PDB

           /  3rd December 2017

          If they sent him away on their honeymoon that really would have been something!

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  3rd December 2017

            If they took him along with them, that would REALLY be something!
            Could take a camera crew. Be great reality tv stuff. Could make them a lot of $. Couldn’t be worse than the Osbornes & The Kardashians. But I digress, so I suggest nobody even bother reading this one.

            Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  3rd December 2017

          Upticks from me.

          Who hasn’t done something like that ? I helped a disabled woman onto a bus while the driver sat there sneering, and someone else helped her into a seat…but neither of us has nominated the other for NZer of the year.

          Reply
          • PDB

             /  3rd December 2017

            No professional photographer on hand Kitty?

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  3rd December 2017

              Alas, no.

              Nor was there one when a late friend tripped over at a shopping mall and people helped him up. Or when people do that sort of thing every day.

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  3rd December 2017

            How do they know that the man is homeless ?

            Reply
            • Blazer

               /  3rd December 2017

              how do they know he’s not a millionaire?How do they know he isn’t allergic to almond icing…how do we even know the couple are…married?..

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  3rd December 2017

              Well, I’d guess that they are by their clothes.

              I detest any kind of icing, especially the sickly kind on Christmas and wedding cakes, and loathe almond icing, real or imitation, so would not want to eat this offering.

            • PDB

               /  3rd December 2017

              The groom did give him a cigarette and some cake that was probably loaded with lots of sugar – shouldn’t the left be outraged?

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  3rd December 2017

              Probably ? Would be. ughhhhh…

            • PDB

               /  3rd December 2017

              Kitty: “How do they know that the man is homeless ?”

              The photographer asked him before staging the photo shoot…also told him to take his new shoes off and hide them behind the tree.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  3rd December 2017

              Paaa-aants !!! Ooh, you are awful.

              If there was an opposite to NZer of the Year, I’d nominate the bus driver who sat there with a sneer on her face as the disabled woman tried to get on before the rest of us noticed and came to the rescue-I happened to be behind her in the queue, but anyone else would have helped had it been them. The heartless cow didn’t lower the bus or put the ramp down and when B——– was (I admit, stupidly) trying to get into one of the front seats with the help of another passenger, she abused her for holding the bus up and ordered her to use one of the other middle seats.

              New Zealander of No Year ?

              How about the toerag who stole an injured woman’s wallet when she was being tended to after a car crash ?

            • Gezza

               /  3rd December 2017

              YNZ POSTER SURVEY

              Sounds like there’s a niche for a New Zealand Arsehole Of The Year award.

              Any other nominees than Kitty’s above, please state in comments below.

              (And thank you being a willing, unpaid participant in a Community Project. Have a plastic medal. 🏅)

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  3rd December 2017

              There’s an organisation here that helps street people and down and outs. They urge people not to give money to beggars who claim to be homeless, as most of them are not but are druggies and the contribution just goes to feed their habit. The organisation asks that people give the money to organisations that work with these people instead-and who are doing something about the homeless.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  3rd December 2017

              How about a collective one for dairy robbers ?

              I was told that the reason that there are no bank robberies now-and I can’t remember the last one-is that it’s a mug’s game as banks keep so little cash now with everyone using eftpos and ATMs.

            • Gezza

               /  3rd December 2017

              I’ll nominate Patrick Gower for that disgusting, disgraceful fake news item where he deliberately misrepresented that video footage to convey the false impression there were rescue workers up in the Pike River access tunnel with the robot.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  3rd December 2017

              Oh lud, I had forgotten that. Just nominate him anyway. He is a creep and I can’t think how he keeps his job. NB he is as bad in the flesh, thinking he’s cleverer than everyone else and showing it.

            • PDB

               /  3rd December 2017

              Kitty: “How do they know that the man is homeless ?”

              You’re right Kitty, looking at the photos again he could well be a council worker.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  3rd December 2017

              Well, I don’t know about that, but he doesn’t look as if he needs to be given a piece of wedding cake with about 20,000 calories in it.

              Are these people seriously being considered for new Zealander of the Year ? That is an insult to the people like the man who jumped into the river to save a drowning child.

            • PartisanZ

               /  3rd December 2017

              Think of the insult to those people who do something for the entire mass of fellow humans in their own society, or the whole mass of humanity? People like Marnie and Sarah …

              My vote went to Sarah in the end.

  9. Blazer

     /  3rd December 2017

    NZ’er of the year,a one horse race…Jacinda Adern.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  3rd December 2017

      Jesus. You’re the last person I expected to make a horse reference. I’ve heard a few of those from her nastiest detractors. Suggest have another go?

      Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  3rd December 2017

      For a horrid moment I read that as horse face, B.

      Reply
    • Maggy Wassilieff

       /  3rd December 2017

      It’s a bit of a one-horse race, and we shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth, though I am concerned about swapping horses mid-stream.

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  3rd December 2017

        don’t look skywards for the ‘Big Dipper’…just wander down to the Oreti river,and you will see him…doing back stroke.

        Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  3rd December 2017

        Hold your horses, Maggy. 😀

        Reply
  10. Alan Wilkinson

     /  3rd December 2017

    A mare marriage of convenience, Maggy. The old chap is topling out of the saddle.

    Reply
  11. I was still putting ‘my money’ on Metiria.. but cest la vie :/

    Reply
  12. phantom snowflake

     /  3rd December 2017

    And the “Special Snowflake Award” goes to: Don Brash and William Gallagher for their brilliant portrayal of “The Offended Pale/Male/Stale.”

    Reply
    • phantom snowflake

       /  3rd December 2017

      Sorry, that should read: “brilliant portrayal of “The Offended Pale/Male Stale Archetype.

      Reply
      • PartisanZ

         /  3rd December 2017

        Yep, no big story in Sir Gallagher’s apology … “I fired my salvo of ignorance and racism … Let that sit for a while …. Oh … Its affecting my business! … Oh … So sorry if anyone was offended … but you know … We’re all sorts of philanthropic …”

        Nice idea p_s … The PartisanZ award …..

        ….. I’ll have to have a good think about this …

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  3rd December 2017

          I will always think of him as Sir Gallagher now, thanks to you.

          The annoying thing is that the Gs do go in for philanthropy, even if they do insist upon their name being on everything they support. I suspect that Lady G (oh, dew call meh Lady Judi (even though I am no more entitled to it than you are)’ likes being the proverbial big fish. They support Hospice in a big way, and their name is well displayed. I don’t know if this was a condition or not (coff, coff)

          Reply
          • PartisanZ

             /  3rd December 2017

            Well Miss Kitty, private philanthropy, or what I call the Charitocracy [new word # 107] or Trustocracy, trying to take up the ever-lengthening slack left by successive governments’ infrastructure and welfare austerity in a kind of social popularity contest … that is a whole ‘nother story …

            How do the mentally-ill with criminal records fare in this contest, do you think?

            Because make no mistake, when I say “the slack” I mean whole people, families and in some cases communities falling into the void between deserving of ‘social investment’ and being a pretty, popular cause for charity …

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  3rd December 2017

              I haven’t seen the Gallagher name on anything like that, and I think that I would have-they have their name writ large on everything else that they support.

              I hope that if I supported Hospice I would NOT want my name on it. My mother left a very large legacy to them-five figures-but there were no strings attached. I am sure that this was a fraction of the Gallagher donation, but it was a large amount of the estate. I didn’t grudge it then and don’t now-my husband died a few years later in a Hospice and the loving care was indescribable. But to have one’s name in big letters somehow detracts from the gesture.

            • PartisanZ

               /  3rd December 2017

              Here’s an example of how far the Charitocracy has gone in Aotearoa-NZ.

              Just applying for charity, ie to do charity work! Or community work, arts and sport, has become ‘privatrusted’ [new word # 108] … ‘social enterprise’ user pays …

              Like the poor beggar pays money to ask the rich benefactor to please donate …

              The NGO given the monopoly to charge for ‘access to funding information’ by the government has the audacity to call itself *Generosity NZ* … where online search tools have become ‘products’ at the ‘GivSTORE’ … GivME ME ME …. and GivUS …

              http://generosity.org.nz/givstore/

              … we’ve become so accustomed to this F#CKING SHITE that no-one makes a fuss any more … no-one even bats an eyelid …

              I wonder how many people *Generosity NZ* keeps off the dole queue?

              This is Inverted Totalitarianism in FULL FLIGHT!

            • PartisanZ

               /  3rd December 2017

              That’s why Aotearoa New Zealander of the Year should definitely be someone who is subversive towards the status quo … the cultural insanity.

              The more incendiary the better.

              Righties show me someone you’d call seditious, a virtual traitor, and I’ll show you Aotearoa New Zealander of the Year!

            • PartisanZ

               /  3rd December 2017

              @Miss Kitty – “I haven’t seen the Gallagher name on anything like that” … Oh no … they wouldn’t go near mentally-ill personages with criminal recordings …”

              Well, I did ask the question: How do you think those people do in this Charitocracy ‘social beauty pageant’?

              And … I rest my case …

  13. duperez

     /  3rd December 2017

    Has the Herald any more right now than in any of the previous 25 years to deign who the New Zealander of the year is? By dint of their reach the mythical title becomes accepted as if it were for real, genuine, true.

    They repeatedly tell us of their very own Mike Hosking, “Mike’s insightfulness and knowledge makes him one of New Zealand’s most successful broadcasters.”

    Well he is successful, he has his own name on bits and pieces of various facets of the media and he makes enough money to be termed one of New Zealand’s most successful broadcasters in that sense. Insightfulness and knowledge?

    So he’s got it all. Why don’t they don’t just automatically knight him New Zealander of the year?

    For anyone who suggests I’m in ‘tall poppy syndrome’ mode and it’s just a chance to be positive and recognise someone who makes a notable contribution, I call bullshit on the Herald. Does being a leading light in doing something positive somehow cancel out the destructive, negative, dumbed down, muck-raking world they spend so much more time in propagating?

    Reply
    • PartisanZ

       /  3rd December 2017

      Well said duperez.

      “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society” – J Krishnamurti

      Reply

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