new zealander of the year

Did New Zealander of the Year actually achieve anything?

The judging committee of the New Zealander of the Year has delivered their verdict. And the winner is Richie McCaw.

In the court of public opinion they’ve hit one out of the park. Not only is Richie successful, he’s community minded with a slew of charities benefiting from his patronage, but the main reason for his success is skippering a team that made all New Zealand proud. Proud of our accomplishments and proud of a peculiar New Zealand character. Humble, talented folk who conquer the world and say, “Aw shucks. It’s about the team”. Richie, Sir Ed, Jackson and others.

But my colleague at ZB, Alex Braae, has stuck his head over the barricade today and said, “Hold On!”. He argues that Richie was just doing his job – very well, we may all add – but for him the true New Zealander of the Year was the nominee, Louise Nicholas.

He argues that “an opportunity has been missed to truly commend someone who has battled for decades to change New Zealand for the better.”

Perhaps the New Zealander of the Year is a person we haven’t actually heard of and is unlikely to receive any other recognition?? Read more »

New Zealander of the year nominees are sorted

More than 330 nominations were received for the award, which goes to a New Zealander judged to has achieved great things and made the country a better place.

Richie McCaw has been nominated for what is being called his unrivalled success as a leader and inspirational player in his 14-year career.

Louise Nicolas is a campaigner for better recognition of victims’ rights and the prevention of sexual violence, leading to what is described as a significant change in legislation and public attitudes.

Other finalists include Dame Margaret Bazley, lawyer Mei Chen, cancer researcher Michael Berridge, environmentalist Rob Fenwick.

Artists Dick Frizzell and Dame Suzie Moncrieff, climate scientist Jim Salinger and academic Ranginui Walker also make the list.

The winner will be announced at a gala in Auckland in February.

Mai Chen should get New Zealander of the year for being part of the political disaster that took David Cunliffe down. ?Well, it would have been if Andrew Little had performed any better. ?So she’s out of the running for sure. ? Read more »

New Zealander of the Year – nominations


We’ve seen some idiots suggest some other idiots for New Zealander of the Year for 2015.

Please place your nominations in the comments below, and we’ll run a poll tomorrow for Whaleoil’s New Zealander of the Year 2015.

Doesn’t have to be a specific person, could be conceptual, like “nurses”, or “teachers”.


Comment of the Day


George is his usual erudite self:

A man is employed by a television network to host a prime time current affairs programme with the mandate to increase ratings. The outcome of this appointment results in a steady decline in this company’s prime objective. So much so he was fired and his show canned.

I know! Let’s make him New Zealander of the year. ?? Read more »

New Zealander of the Year


Not sure of the true benefit of this, but the finalists will be narrowed down to one winner Feb 25th

  • Dr Sharad Paul: surgeon and skin cancer specialist
  • Sir John Kirwan: rugby coach, mental health and depression awareness advocate
  • Cassandra Treadwell: chief executive and founder, So They Can
  • Sir Stephen Tindall: founder, The Tindall Foundation
  • Julie Chapman: chief executive and founder, KidsCan Charitable Trust
  • Barbara Ala’alatoa: principal, Sylvia Park School
  • Roana Bennett: manager, Te Taumata o Ngati Whakaue Trust
  • Dr Susan Parry: Auckland City Hospital and Ministry of Health
  • Cynthia Ward: True Colours Children’s Health Trust
  • Judge Peter Boshier: Law Commissioner Read more »

New Zealander of the Year – your chance to vote

OK, first, thanks for the many of you suggesting I should be New Zealander of the Year. ?It would be cool, but I’m asking ?my own team who to pick, so I’m obviously disqualified for this particular illustrious award. ?But – thank you all the same.

Here are the people that didn’t get a clear 2nd nomination, so they can’t be voted for today

  • Lindsay Mitchell
  • Bevan Chuang
  • John Minto
  • Hone Harawira
  • Louisa Wall
  • Kim Dotcom
  • Scott Dixon
  • David Shearer
  • Val Baker and the Matata police
  • Bob Parker
  • Gerry Brownlee

One or two there reflecting some humour or the fact that we do in fact allow readers to have a different opinion to me!

Val Baker and the Matata police was an interesting nomination. ?This is how it was put forward, and I think they’ve earned some approbation: ? Read more »

Nominations sought: New Zealander of the Year

If you look over KiwiBank’s New Zealander of the Year winners for the last 5 years, the majority are people who are “Sir”, “Dame” or “Dr”.

In the comments, please propose your nomination for New Zealander of the year, and why. ?An individual needs to have at least two nominations before s/he will be included in tomorrow’s Whaleoil Poll.

Who sticks out as your New Zealander of the Year for 2013?

Wednesday General Debate

Welcome to Wednesday. ?Here’s your General Debate post where you can have your own say on the news of the day, share a joke or say what’s on your mind.

Today’s debate topic is:

Dean Barker and Eleanor Catton have been honoured as outstanding New Zealanders at an awards ceremony in Auckland last night. ?The pair were announced as … Man and Woman of the Year for 2013. ?Who would you have picked, and why?

(mostly) Daily brain teaser is over the break….? Read more »