New Zealander of the year – women

NZ Herald has ‘named’ all women as their New Zealander of the year: Our New Zealander of the year is… women

It was the year of #metoo, pay equity, and our Prime Minister becaming a mum. It was the year a female rugby player – at last – gained the sport’s top honour. It was the 125th anniversary of suffrage, a year of celebration. But also a reminder that change does not come without hard work and frustration.

All year, we have watched as New Zealand women have fought for their rights. And fought. And fought.

From campaigning against sexual harassment in the media, to arguing for equal pay through the courts, to addressing our shameful domestic violence record at the United Nations, women stood up and were counted. They raised their voices when others didn’t want to hear. They were empowered in the face of adversity. They persisted despite knowing meaningful change would likely be a long time yet.

That persistence has led us to name women – all women – as our 2018 New Zealanders of the Year.

However, we wanted to acknowledge a year which – though challenging – has been described by many as a beginning.

Governor General Dame Patsy Reddy told us she thought the year was a tipping point, when women decided they’d simply had enough. Jackie Clark, who works with survivors of domestic violence, said it felt like a renaissance of the feminism of the 1970s. The only female chief executive in the NZX50, Chorus head Kate McKenzie, said she thought the year created momentum – and with it an opportunity to keep that momentum going.

New Zealand is still a good place to be a woman, even if all our battles are not yet won. But what women have achieved this year marks 2018 as the beginning of an overhaul which will have a profound impact on future generations. It is a challenge to the future, rather than an answer to the past.

Important change takes time, but 2018 was a good step forward for women in New Zealand.

 

New Zealander of the year

That seems like a fair choice. her determination had made a major difference to many aged care workers by getting them decent wage rates for difficult jobs. It should also benefit many of those being care for.

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.

 

 

New Zealander of the Year nominations

Nominations for New Zealander of the Year were used as a political campaign to promote Metiria Turei, have become dominated by the number of nominations for an Australian politician who recently denounced his New Zealand citizenship, Barnaby Joyce.

Nominations for New Zealander of the Year for 2018 close on 18 September (well short of the end of the year). The top 10 will be announced at the end of the year (30/12), the top 3 will be announced on 24 January 2018. The website doesn’t say under ‘Key Dates’ when the winners will be announced – it will be at a gala in Auckland on 21 February 2018.

Why are they always announced in Auckland? There are some other parts of the country too.

2018 New Zealander of the Year Awards Update

The New Zealander of the Year Awards office is pleased to provide the following nominations update for the 2018 New Zealander of the Year Awards.

• 371 nominations have been received for 2018 New Zealander of the Year.

• Support for former co-leader of the Green Party Metiria Turei has continued to grow since her resignation and she has received the most nominations.

• Australian Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has received the second most. At the conclusion of the nominations period the Awards office will assess Mr Joyce’s eligibility based on his citizenship and other criteria.

 

After nominations close on 18 September 2017, a judging panel – comprising representatives of awards patrons, presenters, sponsors, community leaders and independent experts – will evaluate the nominations. The shortlist of 10 candidates to be considered for the New Zealander of the Year Award will be announced in December.

Comment from New Zealander of the Year Awards manager, Glyn Taylor:

“With three weeks to go, the nominations for 2018 New Zealander of the Year come from all fields of achievement and community service. It’s also not unusual for people of the moment to attract significant support during the public nominations period.

“We’re looking forward to seeing the expected upswing in nominations in these final weeks. The independent judging panel will then consider each nomination on how a particular individual has contributed to making New Zealand a better place to live”.

Barnaby Joyce’s denouncement of he New Zealand should rule him out, and he has hardly “contributed to making New Zealand a better place to live”.

Turei’s nominations are premature at least. Some may see her putting the Green Party at risk of dropping out of Parliament a contribution, but the reality is that while she risked her career to speak up for poor people and against poverty it’s very arguable about how much she has actually achieved.

By the end of the year she may be virtually forgotten. Remember Russel Norman? Kevin Hague? One an ex Green leader too, the other an ex Green MP, and arguably both have done as much or more for New Zealand than Turei, but they don’t have political point scoring campaigners behind them.

If the Greens do poorly in next month’s election then even the political faction pushing her barrow may fizzle somewhat.

If a political campaign succeeded in making Turei New Zealander of the year it would be as lame as a political knighthood or damehood.

Turei may yet prove her worth as an advocate for the poor in the future, but she has gone backwards rather than forwards this year, and so has what could actually have been able to make a real difference, the Green Party.

We should be looking more at others on the list who have been overshadowed by politics and farce:

• Other nominated New Zealanders for 2018 Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year include:

o Kristina Cavit – founder and director of The Kindness Institute
o Grant Dalton – managing director of Team New Zealand
o Kelly Dugan – CEO and founder SmileDial NZ INC
o Mark Dunajtschik – philanthropist
o Heather Henare – CEO of Skylight and former CEO of Women’s Refuge New Zealand
o Dr Mike Joy – senior lecturer in ecology / zoology at Massey University
o Mike King – mental health advocate
o Lizzie Marvelly – musician, writer and activist
o Michael Meredith – award winning chef and co-founder of Eat My Lunch
o Kathryn Ryan – broadcaster
o Annah Stretton – fashion designer and founder of Reclaim Another Women
o Dr Ingrid Visser – founder of Orca Research Trust

ALL AWARDS

NOMINATE

Turei promoted as ‘New Zealander of the Year’

It appears that there is a campaign to promote Metiria Turei as New Zealander of the Year.

This is unusual given that Turei has only come to prominence over the past month, and in that time she has precipitated chaos in the Green Party.

She has also made a dramatic recovery of the Labour Party’s chances in the election, so perhaps she deserves credit for that, our democracy was weak when Labour was weak.


2018 New Zealander of the Year Awards Update

The New Zealander of the Year Awards office is pleased to provide the following nominations update for the 2018 New Zealander of the Year Awards.

• 41 people have been nominated for the 2018 New Zealander of the Year title.
• There has been a surge in nominations for former Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei since her resignation.
• Other nominated New Zealanders for 2018 Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year include:
o Peter Burling – Team New Zealand helmsman
o Mark Dunajtschik – Wellington Children’s Hospital benefactor
o Nicky Hager – author
o Heather Henare – Skylight CEO and former CEO of Women’s Refuge New Zealand
o Mike King – mental health advocate
o Nigel Latta – psychologist and author
o Jono Pryor – television and radio personality

After nominations close on 18 September 2017, a judging panel – comprising representatives of awards patrons, presenters, sponsors, community leaders and independent experts – will evaluate the nominations. The shortlist of 10 candidates to be considered for the New Zealander of the Year Award will be announced in December.

Not sure why Turei gets a special mention there.

No mention of a surge for Andrew Little. While Turei precipitated his stepping down as Labour leader, his going quickly and gracefully made it possible for Jacinda Ardern to take over with gusto.

New Zealander of the year

I have mixed feelings about singling out one person from a diverse bunch of people but some make a big deal out of awards.

Richie McCaw has just been named New Zealander of the Year – I presume it relates to last year, I don’t think he’s done much of note this year.

The three finalists described in the Herald’s Richie McCaw named New Zealander of the year:

Presenting the award, Prime Minister John Key said: “One end of the country to the other we’re jam-packed with people who do incredible things.

“Richie McCaw, who is the greatest All Black New Zealand has ever produced – an amazing New Zealander.

“Louise Nicholas who has done more for sexual violence and sexual abuse than any other New Zealander.

“Rob Fenwick who has a real passion… For the environment that we as New Zealanders treasure and enjoy so much.”

I guess this was the last chance for McCaw had of getting this award, for playing rugby anyway.  He may be up for an award for humbleness in the face of an accolade onslaught in the future.

Nicholas and Fenwick will presumably keep doing what they’ve been doing and may be considered again in the future due to accumulating merit.

There’s a lot of other people who do a lot of good for New Zealand.

People towards the other end of the scale will probably complain about the Prime Minister being involved in handing out the award.

There were more awards:

  • Richie McCaw – New Zealander of the Year
  • Lydia Ko -Young New Zealander of the Year
  • John Russell – Senior New Zealander of the Year
  • Selwyn Cook – New Zealand Local Hero
  • Community Fruit Harvesting – New Zealand Community of the Year

Website: New Zealander of the Year Awards

The New Zealander of the Year Awards celebrate those people who use their passion for New Zealand to make our country a better place. These awards are your opportunity to honour extraordinary Kiwis whose selflessness, creativity, and vision make us proud to call New Zealand home.

Herald New Zealander of the year

NZ Herald has named Lecretia Seales as their New Zealander of the year.

Courageous woman who sparked euthanasia debate New Zealander of the Year

She was brave and inspiring, sharing something as personal and private as her death for the advancement of a human right.

Instead of spending her last months quietly with family and friends, she spent them in a legal battle – fighting for the right to choose how she died.

For that courageous effort, the late Wellington lawyer Lecretia Seales is the Herald‘s New Zealander of the Year.

She died, aged 42, on June 5 from brain cancer. Her death came just days after learning she had been unsuccessful in her High Court bid for the legal right for a doctor to help her end her life. She wanted the right to not die a painful death.

As the result of the debate she prompted, Parliament began the first public inquiry into the issue of medically assisted dying.

It’s a good choice.

The finalists were:

  • Richie McCaw and Steve Hansen
  •  broadcaster Rachel Smalley
  • spy boss Rebecca Kitteridge
  • road safety campaigner Sean Roberts
  • cot death specialist Ed Mitchell
  • Teina Pora advocate Tim McKinnel
  • activist architect Julie Stout;
  • Lisa King and Michael Meredith for feeding hungry kids;
  • Tania Billingsley, who stood up to sexual violence.

Other awards:

  • Sporting Achievement of the Year – All Blacks
  • Business Leader of the Year – IAG chief executive Jacki Johnson