Duncan Garner: Malcolm Mulholland more than deserving for New Zealander of the Year

OPINION: I would like to nominate a man who I think is more than deserving of this year's New Zealander of the Year.

He has saved lives, perhaps more lives than the night Willie Apiata destroyed the enemy and made sure Kiwi soldiers came home alive.

This man has been tireless in his work to keep other New Zealanders alive.

He has faced off with the Government and big drug companies, exposed them big time, and got some serious change.

He's done everything he can to win his fight.

He doesn't seek the limelight or recognition and has no idea I am doing this, and he will be embarrassed.

He's a thoroughly smart, hard-working Kiwi and his name is Malcolm Mulholland, a social historian who writes about the history of rugby and Maori.

He rang me four years ago when I was in Manurewa on a Sunday afternoon on the sideline watching my son play rugby league.

I took his call and went to the car to chat while the rain poured down. 

He explained to me that his wife Wiki, who was barely 40 at the time, had been diagnosed with late-stage breast cancer.

The drugs to help her were $5000 a month and he wanted to highlight the inequity given in Australia, Britain and other countries, where's it's next to free. 

I found myself with tears streaming down my cheek.

These drugs could save lives or prolong them and with the Mulholland's kids still young, Malcolm was desperate for her to see more of their milestones and achievements.

You would want the same, I would want the same, we would all be desperate, I promised to do what I could.

I got him on the AM Show  where he said Wiki might have 18 months to two years.

Almost four years on she is still with us. She's positive and a fighter, but I truly believe without Malcolm, perhaps the outcome would be different. 

But here's why he should be New Zealander of the year.

He formed the group Patient Voice Aotearoa and put every other New Zealander fighting cancer before his wife's battle.

He's got dozens of Kiwis their cancer drugs, when they'd previously been unavailable or too expensive. 

He has saved countless lives, but has also seen dozens of women die that he sadly couldn't help. 

Wiki finally got her drugs last year, going from $5000 a month to zip.

Malcolm Mulholland is a Kiwi hero.

No one deserves recognition more than this quiet humble hero.

Duncan Garner is the host of The AM Show.