Shortlisted candidates named for Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year Award

Grant Dalton.
Team New Zealand boss Grant Dalton. Photo credit: Photosport.

Achievers across health, sport, science, environment and the community have been short-listed for the 2018 Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year Award.

Ten finalists have been named from more than a thousand nominations. In January, the shortlist will be reduced to three, with the winner announced at the awards gala on February 22.

Eight previous winners are film director Taika Waititi (2017), former All Blacks captain Richie McCaw (2016), businessman and philanthropist Sir Stephen Tindall (2015), Dr Lance O'Sullivan (2014), anthropologist Dame Anne Salmond (2013), creative director Sir Richard Taylor (2012), physicist Sir Paul Callaghan (2011) and scientist Sir Ray Avery (2010).

"These 10 Kiwis are our voices of conscience, courage and commitment," says chief judge Cameron Bennett. "They don't just speak truth to power  they put their words into action and make a truly positive difference for all New Zealanders.

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

This year's finalists are:

Philip Bagshaw (Christchurch)

General surgeon instrumental in creating Canterbury Charity Hospital Trust, where doctors, nurses, dentists, health professionals and public-spirited people volunteer time and expertise to provide free hospital care.

Kristine Bartlett (Lower Hutt)

Changed the lives of thousands of NZ women and low-paid workers by successfully securing equal-pay legislation for caregivers in the aged-care sector.

Grant Dalton (Auckland)

Oversaw Team New Zealand's successful campaign to lift the America's Cup in Bermuda,  uniting a diverse group of people to overcome enormous challenges and achieve a tremendous winning result.

Lesley Elliott (Dunedin)

Drew on tragedy to establish and run the Sophie Elliott Foundation, named after her daughter, who was murdered seven years ago. The foundation promotes violence prevention through education, awareness and empowerment of young women.

Heather Henare (Wellington)

Chief executive of Skylight Trust, an organisation enabling children, young people, family/whānau and friends to navigate through times of trauma, loss and grief.

Dr Mike Joy (Palmerston North)

Environmental scientist who champions New Zealand's rivers and lakes, raising awareness about the poor state of some of the country's waterways.

Mike King (Auckland)

Mental health advocate who shines much-needed light on the serious issues of depression, alcohol and drug abuse and suicide in New Zealand.

Dr Mahsa Mohaghegh (Auckland)

Lecturer in information technology and software engineering at Auckland University of Technology, founder and director of She# (She Sharp) that addresses diversity and gender-gap issues in science and technology fields.

Annah Stretton (Hamilton)

Fashion designer, entrepreneur and philanthropist who has established a charitable social venture (Reclaim Another Woman) to work with recidivist female offenders.

Dr Souxsie Wiles (Auckland)

Microbiologist and head of the Bioluminescent Superbugs Lab at the University of Auckland, working to increase understanding of infectious diseases.

The judges have also named shortlists for Young New Zealander of the Year, Senior New Zealand of the Year, Community of the Year, Innovator of the Year and Local Hero of the Year.