New Zealand

Meet the New Zealander of the Year nominees

10:59 am on 28 December 2017

The nominees for the 2018 Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year are out.

Grant Dalton, Mike King and Annah Stretton have all been nominated for New Zealander of the Year. Photo: RNZ

Ten prominent New Zealanders have made the shortlist, including Philip Bagshaw for his work co-founding the Canterbury Charity Hospital Trust, which was established in 2007 to provide day surgery and medical clinics, and expanded in the wake of the Canterbury earthquakes.

Equal Pay campaigner Kristine Bartlett, who this year won a landmark ruling gaining pay equity for low paid, female-dominated care and support workers is also on the list as is yatchsman Grant Dalton, who led Emirates Team New Zealand to make the America's Cup New Zealand's Cup once more.

Kristine Bartlett was the public face of a long-running court battle to secure pay equity for aged care workers Photo: RNZ / Mei Heron

Lesley Elliot who set up the Sophie Elliot Foundation in memory of her daughter who was killed by her ex-boyfriend has been named along with Heather Henare, chief executive of grief and mental health service Skylight Trust.

A number of scientists have been recognised for their work. Dr Mike Joy is a Massey University ecologist who has drawn attention to poor water quality in New Zealand, Dr Mahsa Mohaghegh founded She Sharp to encourage women in technology and award-winning microbiologist Dr Siouxsie Wiles heads the Bioluminescent Superbugs Lab at the University of Auckland.

Christchurch surgeon, Philip Bagshaw, in an operating theatre at the city's charity hospital. Photo: RNZ / Karen Brown

Also on the list are comedian and mental health educator Mike King and fashion designer Annah Stretton.

Chief Judge Cameron Bennett said the nominees were our voices of conscience, courage and commitment.

"While one of these 10 people will ultimately be named Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year for 2018, each is already a very special Kiwi in their own right."

He said they don't just speak truth to power, they put their words into action and make a truly positive difference for all New Zealanders.

This is the ninth New Zealander of the Year, which celebrates people who use their passion to make the country a better place.

This year nearly 2000 nominations were received for the title and in January the shortlist will be pared down to one winner to be revealed in February.

Previous New Zealander of the Year winners include Taika Waititi, Richie McCaw and Dr Lance O'Sullivan.

The Awards Ceremony will also celebrate New Zealanders who've performed with distinction in five other categories.

Lizzie Marvelly and Peter Burling are among those in the running for Young New Zealander of the Year.

Bryan Williams and Billy Apple make the shortlist for Senior New Zealander of the Year and the organisations Eat My Lunch and I Have A Dream are among those nominated for Community of the Year.

The nominees:

  • Philip Bagshaw (Christchurch)
  • Kristine Bartlett (Lower Hutt)
  • Grant Dalton (Auckland)
  • Lesley Elliott (Dunedin)
  • Heather Henare (Wellington)
  • Dr Mike Joy (Palmerston North)
  • Mike King (Auckland)
  • Dr Mahsa Mohaghegh (Auckland)
  • Annah Stretton (Hamilton)
  • Dr Siouxsie Wiles (Auckland)