Don Brash among those nominated for 2019 New Zealander of the Year award

Former National leader Don Brash has been nominated for the 2019 Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year.

New Zealander of the Year Awards manager Glyn Taylor said nominations to date for this year's title took in a range of fields, including mental health advocacy, sport and lifestyle coaching.

"Each year, nominations reflect what New Zealanders are talking about and are interested in," Mr Taylor says.

"Kiwis working hard to address critical social issues continue to feature prominently.

"A particularly interesting nomination is that of Dr Don Brash, who has been at the forefront of the debate around freedom of speech that’s dominated headlines in recent weeks."

After nominations close on 17 September 2018, a judging panel – comprising representatives of awards patrons, presenters, sponsors, community leaders and independent experts – will evaluate the nominations.

The shortlist of 10 candidates to be considered for the award will be announced in December.

Kiwis nominated to date for the 2019 Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year award for exceptional contribution to their disciplines are:

o Dr Don Brash (Auckland) – former National Party leader, free speech advocate
o Annah Stretton (Hamilton) – fashion designer, philanthropist and entrepreneur
o Peter Burling (Auckland) – Team New Zealand yachting skipper
o Sue Kedgley (Wellington) – former Greens MP, Wellington regional councillor
o Mike King (Auckland) – mental health advocate
o Dave Letele (Manurewa) – athlete and weight-loss coach
o Alan Halse (Hamilton) – director of Culturesafe NZ
o Mary O’Hagan (Wellington) – mental health innovator and advocate
o Simone Anderson (Auckland) – lifestyle influencer and weight-loss star

Mr Brash was due to speak at the university, but had his speech cancelled by Jan Thomas. Source: 1 NEWS


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'The signs are positive' for New Zealand's economy despite slowdown - Reserve Bank Governor

Despite the slow down of New Zealand's economy, "the signs are positive" says Reserve Bank Governor Adrian Orr. 

TVNZ1's Q+A host Corin Dann last night asked Mr Orr if the New Zealand economy is at risk of stalling, after Treasury and the Reserve Bank both issued warnings to the Government that growth is now starting to slow.

Mr Orr said the slowdown was "very low risk", and their core forecast was that economic activity would pick up. 

"The signs are very positive. You've got a lower exchange rate, meaning we're earning more for our offshore efforts; the world growth is still very strong; the government is out spending and investing; households are still consuming, and business investment should be increasing."

Read more: Simon Bridges says unchanged OCR shows Reserve Bank Governor's shaken faith in the economy

He said the Reserve Bank do not "take any notice" of business confidence indices.

Dann asked if the Government's argument that business uncertainty developed from the shifted focus from house prices to supposedly an export-driven economy, held up. 

"I do buy that," Mr Orr said.

"That was all about more people, more consumption and thus wealth. Looking forward, it’s about driving growth."

"Looking forward, it’s about driving growth," Adrian Orr said. Source: Q+A

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Novice Māori cheesemaker wins major award with smelly camembert

A novice Māori cheesemaker has won a major award in one of the world's most prestigious cheese competitions.

Zev Kaka-Holtz works for Whangārei artisan company Grinning Gecko and his kau piro cheese has taken the bronze medal at the Nantwich international cheese show in the United Kingdom.

Kau Piro ('smelly cow' in te reo) is a camembert-style cheese that is washed in a bacteria solution giving it its characteristic aroma.

Mr Kaka-Holtz said at first he was disappointed he didn't win gold in his section for novice cheesemakers.

The Kau piro cheese has taken out the bronze medal at the Nantwich international cheese show in the United Kingdom. Source: Supplied

But his boss Catherine McNamara said it was a huge achievement as he was up against the best in the business.

"It's the biggest and best cheese show in the world, you can compare it to the Olympics," Ms McNamara said.

The gold and silver medal winners worked for old established European firms with, in one case, 100 years of mentoring behind them.

Mr Kaka-Holtz started working at Grinning Gecko in 2015 simply to feed his young family.

"It's basic, I just go to jobs to feed my children and if they're proud of me then I'm happy," he said.

He didn't start out being passionate about cheese and what he was used to was the sort you get in a Big Mac.

"At the start, I just used to wash the dishes but Catherine saw something in me and let me take over the cheese making process and now it's become a passion."

According to the 30-year-old, the secret to making a good smelly cheese is aroha.

"The biggest thing I would say is to make it with love, I make the cheese like I'd be happy to feed it to my children.

"I suppose that's what makes me realise that in the whole world, if you just make something with love it can get you almost to the top," Mr Kaka-Holtz said.

Next time, Grinning Gecko's youngest cheesemaker said he would be going for gold.

- by Eden More

Novice cheesemaker Zev Kaka-Holtz. Source: Supplied