Northland GP Dr Lance O’Sullivan is New Zealander of the Year.
Prime Minister John Key presented O’Sullivan with the award at a ceremony in Auckland this evening.
The Kaitaia-based doctor was honoured for his leadership, vision and advocacy in healthcare.
Accepting the award, O’Sullivan said: “We don’t do what we do for recognition, but when nights like this happen it helps us go forward for another day, another week, another month, another year.”
O’Sullivan and his wife, Tracy, established low-cost health clinic Te Kohanga Whakaora (The Nest of Wellness) to make basic healthcare more accessible for people in the Far North.
He also set up Northland’s first fulltime, school-based health clinic, which provides medical care to 2000 children across the region.
His Kainga Ora (Well Home) initiative fixes rundown homes in the community and promotes the idea wellness begins in safe, warm homes. . .
Choreographer and dancer Parris Goebel has won Kiwibank Young New Zealander of the Year.
She and her Palace Dance Company have showcased New Zealand dance on the international stage.
Presented by the Minister of Youth Affairs, Nikki Kaye, Goebel dedicated the award to her parents. . .
Tauranga businesswoman Frances Denz took away this year’s Senior New Zealander award.
As a business educator, she has helped thousands of people and people with disabilities to start businesses and find employment.
“People from all sorts of backgrounds can achieve wonders. We are a wonderful place, I want us all to work to achieve magic,” she said.
Chief scientific officer and co-founder of the pioneering sustainable fuel company, Lanzatech, Dr Sean Simpson, was the winner of the inaugural Sanitarium Innovator of the Year. . .
Cecilia Sullivan-Grant, who inspired young people in Dunedin to take up apprenticeships when the trades had gone out of fashion, was the Kiwibank Local Hero of the Year.
“To me I am not a hero, it is the people I work with. I am a farm girl from South Canterbury, and I dearly love my country,” she said.
The Mitre 10 Community of the Year award was given to the New Zealand Council of Victim Support Groups, for their support for victims of crime and trauma, including homicide, suicide, and serious and grievous assaults. . .
I like the way these awards celebrate ordinary people doing extraordinary things.
You can read about past recipients here.