Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year Awards

We’ve proudly partnered with the Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year Awards for more than a decade, honouring extraordinary Kiwi whose selflessness, creativity and vision make us proud to call New Zealand home.

Meet our 2024 winners

These New Zealanders are inspiring positive change in their communities, across the nation and on the global stage. This is leading the way.

Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year winner


Dr Jim Salinger

Dr Jim Salinger is recognised as the first climate scientist to address global warming, was a lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on climate change, earning him the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. Today, he remains an advocate for environmental responsibility, working to unite New Zealanders across generations for positive change.

Kiwibank New Zealand Local Hero of the Year winner


Sally Walker

Sally Walker is a dedicated advocate for women impacted by surgical mesh injuries, whose remarkable efforts have driven fundamental change in the healthcare sector.

Previous Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year winners

Professor Rangi Mātāmua: 2023 New Zealander of the Year

In 2022, Professor Rangi Mātāmua became known as “the man behind Matariki” – appointed as chief advisor to the government on the Māori New Year.

NZOTY content video Rangi

Tā Tipene O'Regan: 2022 New Zealander of the Year

Tā Tipene O'Regan is known for his work in Ngāi Tahu’s Treaty Settlement, as an educator and as a public figure whose life has been dedicated to building an inclusive, bicultural nation.

NZOTY Ta Tipene video cover

Dr Siouxsie Wiles: 2021 New Zealander of the Year

Dr Siouxsie Wiles is an award-winning scientist who has used her expert knowledge of microbiology to empower a lot of New Zealanders. Throughout COVID-19, Siouxsie joined forces with The Spinoff cartoonist Toby Morris to make the science of the pandemic clear and understandable. Their work has undoubtedly helped to save lives, and her leadership through uncertain times has been recognised around the world.


Jennifer Ward-Lealand Te Atamira CNZM: 2020 New Zealander of the Year

Actress and te reo Māori me ngā tikanga advocate Jennifer Ward-Lealand Te Atamira has amassed an extraordinary body of work throughout her 40-year career as an actress and director, significantly raising the profile of the performing arts industry in New Zealand.

Mike King: 2019 New Zealander of the Year

Mental Health advocate Mike King is founder of the The Nutters Club and Key to Life Charitable Trust. On the I Am Hope tour, Mike delivered 70 talks to more than 20,000 school students across the country. Mike also leads Gumboot Friday, an initiative aimed at creating greater mental health awareness and raising money for free youth counselling.


Kristine Bartlett: 2018 New Zealander of the Year

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.


More about inspirational Kiwi

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