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Equal pay champion Kristine Bartlett has been named as the Kiwibank 2018 New Zealander of the Year, taking out the top honour at a ceremony in Auckland tonight.
Ms Bartlett received the award from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
Ms Bartlett was also presented the Kiwibank kaitaka huaki cloak, Pouhine, by 2014 New Zealander of the Year Dr Lance O’Sullivan on behalf of last year’s grand award winner, Taika Waititi.
The kind-hearted Kiwi won the award for changing the lives of thousands of New Zealand women and low-paid workers, when she successfully secured landmark equal pay legislation for caregivers in the aged-care sector.
The rest-home carer of 24 years was the face of the challenging campaign for pay equity on behalf of 55,000 low-paid, mainly female care and support workers.
The other finalists for the title of Kiwibank 2018 New Zealander of the Year were mental health advocate Mike King and microbiologist Dr Siouxsie Wiles.
Earlier in the evening the other awards were won by those listed below:
• University of Auckland Young New Zealander of the Year: David Cameron (Auckland)
• Metlifecare Senior New Zealander of the Year: Kim Workman (Lower Hutt)
• Mitre 10 Community of the Year: Canterbury Charitable Hospital Trust (Christchurch)
• Sanitarium Innovator of the Year: Team New Zealand Design Team (Auckland)
• Kiwibank Local Hero of the Year: Ricky Houghton (Kaitaia)