2015 – Our winners

TEINA PORA

He was already out of prison, but Pora wasn’t truly a free man until the Privy Council in March quashed his convictions for the 1992 rape and murder of Susan Burdett. No retrial was ordered, meaning Pora would not have to face the courts for a third time. His legal team launched a bid for compensation for wrongful conviction and imprisonment, which is still under consideration. But in his first television interview, Pora – who became a grandfather while behind bars – said the bid was less about the money and more about an apology: “I want an apology … Then I can move on.”

As we’ve seen, he’s after more than an apology now.  All the humility has gone, and he’s back to form.

LYDIA KO

Ko is probably one of the nicest people in world sport and 2015 has certainly been a massive year for the 18-year-old. She became the youngest ever world No.1 – man or woman – and clocked up 17 top-10 finishes, including five titles. She claimed her first major – the Evian Championship in France – and was named Player of the Year. Despite her success and sporting prowess, Ko made headlines in January for the unlikeliest of reasons – the fact she’d traded in her glasses for contacts.

THE TPP NEGOTIATORS

After plenty of false starts and ominous predictions it’d never get off the ground, the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade deal was finally completed in October. The TPP had its beginnings way back in 2006 with the P4 agreement between Brunei, Chile, New Zealand and Singapore. It eventually morphed into a deal involving 12 countries and that’s where negotiations hit complications. In August, conflicts over car, pharmaceutical and dairy industries threatened to scuttle the TPP. But one final push in Atlanta, with several days of talks that went through the night, finally secured a deal.

Unlike the idiots in France talking about a planet warming up but agreeing to a non-binding agreement (huh?), the TPP actually required real hard work and compromise.

DAVID SEYMOUR

The rookie MP has managed to turn around the fortunes of the ACT Party, which not so long ago appeared to be fading into political oblivion. He was behind the so-called Rugby World Cup booze bill that ultimately succeeded, allowing pubs to open and serve bleary-eyed punters alcohol in the early hours for the duration of the tournament. He’s also pushed along the euthanasia debate by drafting a member’s bill to allow for assisted dying in certain, strictly defined circumstances. Something of an endearing figure, Seymour’s also provided one of the more memorable quotes of 2015: “the French love the coq”.

As even National supporters are starting to tire of National, but they would never vote for Labour, NZ First and ACT are set for a huge resurgence in 2017.  If Seymour and his invisible supporters keep this up, you may see a larger ACT party back in partliament.

THE BLACK CAPS

They may not have won the Cricket World Cup, but for a few all-too-brief weeks, it seemed even the most unlikely of cricket fans were converted. In the pool stages of the tournament, the Black Caps embarrassed both England and Australia. Then there was the unforgettable, nail-biting semi-final – Grant Elliot became an instant hero when he slammed a six into the stands at Eden Park on the second-to-last ball of the match, securing victory. Sure, they weren’t able to repeat the feat in the final against Australia, but the Black Caps at least proved some of their doubters wrong.

Being a Black Cap fan is like being in a bad relationship.  You keep going back for more, because when it’s good, it is really good.

 

– NZN, via Yahoo!


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.

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