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 2023 winners

These New Zealanders are showing us a new way of doing things. In their own communities and across the nation, they're inspiring change. They're leading the way. And they're doing the mahi.

Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year winner

NZOTY content video Rangi

Professor Rangi Mātāmua

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

Kiwibank Local Hero of the Year winner

NZOTY content video Ellen

Dr Ellen Nelson

Working day and night to bring 563 Afghanis to the safety of New Zealand, Dr Ellen rallied a small team from her rural Manawatū home to save the lives of colleagues that had supported the New Zealand Army.

Previous New Zealander of the Year winners

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.