The three finalists for New Zealander of the year have been announced.
Behavioural scientist doctor Marewa Glover joins mental health advocate Mike King and social entrepreneur Lisa King as a finalist for the prestigious award.
Chief Judge Cameron Bennett said: “Empathy, understanding and a passion for effecting real, positive change are the defining qualities shared by Marewa Glover, Lisa King and Mike King.
“These three remarkable Kiwis are worthy finalists for the title of Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year in 2019. They are tackling some of the toughest social issues facing New Zealand – issues that touch us all.”
He says Glover has become a catalyst for the adoption of practical, real world solutions to public health issues, especially those that disproportionately affect indigenous populations.
“Never one to shy away from challenging conventional thinking, Marewa’s work to find better ways to reduce the harm caused by smoking, especially among Maori, is world-leading.”
Lisa King, Bennett says, “doesn’t just believe that no Kiwi child should go hungry, she rolls up her sleeves and makes that belief a reality”.
She has called on her creative and commercial expertise to create her innovative and successful social enterprise Eat My Lunch which is positively and sustainably transforming the lives of thousands of Kiwi kids, their families and their communities.
Mike King has seen first-hand the tragic and devasting impacts of depression, alcohol and drug abuse in our communities – especially among Maori and young people.
Bennett says: “He pulls no punches tackling New Zealand’s shocking rate of suicide, inspiring hope and optimism for those most at risk.”
The award ceremony will be held in Auckland next month.
The full list of finalists:
Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year
Dr Marewa Glover
See profiles of the three finalists here
Kiwibank New Zealand Local Hero of the year
University of Auckland Young New Zealander of the Year
Metlifecare Senior New Zealander of the Year
Dr Bill Glass
Dr Rosamund Vallings
Sir Mason Durie
Sanitarium New Zealand Innovator of the Year
Dr Mark Sagar (Soul Machines)
Ian Taylor (Animation Research Ltd)
Dr Alister Scarfe and Steven Saunders (Robotic Plus)
Mitre 10 New Zealand Community of the Year