Honouring the best of us

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 honour those who use their passion to make our country a better place. The awards recognise a diverse range of Kiwis making a difference. Whether they’re aged 15 or 100, they’re contributing to grassroots communities or putting New Zealand on the world stage, they inspire us all.


New Zealander of the Year

2018 Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year: Kristine Bartlett

Rest home caregiver Kristine Bartlett is a reluctant hero. She doesn’t like being the centre of attention, but found herself thrust into the limelight when her landmark court battle won pay rises for about 55,000 of the health sector’s lowest-paid workers. Kristine was awarded the 2018 Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year on the 22nd February 2018.


2017 Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year: Taika Waititi

Taika Waititi is an award-winning director, writer, actor and artist who has become one of the country’s best-loved and most distinctive cultural voices. His subversive, funny and deeply human films have introduced the world to a New Zealand rarely seen on screen before, and reshaped the way we see ourselves.

Watch Taika's journey

2016 Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year: Richie McCaw

Former All Black skipper Richie McCaw is the Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year. The two-time Rugby World Cup winner talks about leadership, the people who inspire him, and his passion for enabling more Kiwi kids to participate in sport.

Off the field Richie devotes much of his time to helping other Kiwis. He has fundraised for the Christchurch rebuild and Leukaemia and Blood Cancer New Zealand. As patron of the Catwalk Spinal Cord Injury Trust, McCaw helped raise $200,000 for research into the development of a cure for spinal cord injury.

Read the rest of Richie's story

More about inspirational Kiwis

Learn more about the journey of previous Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year nominees and winners who’s achieved extraordinary things and made a positive difference to the lives of others.

Read more at inner.kiwi