DAME ANNE SALMOND has been named New Zealander of the Year.
The historian and environmentalist received the award at the Langham Hotel in Auckland this week for her work building bridges between cultures and mapping New Zealand’s history.
She urged the country to keep its spirit of adventure alive.
“If we all link arms and reach across, we could join forces to do anything,” she was reported as saying by Fairfax NZ.
She said she wanted to make the country a place where talent lives.
“We just need to have faith in steering New Zealand into the future.”
Dame Anne is a professor of Maori studies at Auckland University and an award-winning author.
“I see wonderful, young people coming through every year. They’re full of talent, dreams and visions. I learn from them all the time. The future of our country is so bright.”
Patron of the awards, former prime minister Jim Bolger said Dame Anne was dedicated to making New Zealand proud of its Maori heritage.
“Dame Anne’s work has been lifting the opportunities of New Zealanders. She has also made us comfortable with who we are through her work in Maori studies.
She received the award ahead of plastic surgeon Swee Tan and business entrepreneur Bill Buckley.
The young New Zealander of the Year title went to Sam Judd, chief executive of Sustainable Coastlines.
His company motivates communities to clean up the coastline and waterways of New Zealand.
“What we have done has taken a lot of dedication and a lot of hard work. We’ve done it because we love it.”
Ian Grant won the Senior New Zealander of the Year award.
He established The Parenting Place to guide and assist parents to better raise their children.
Local hero was Jim Morunga.
He supports disabled Maori and runs suicide prevention programme Kia Piki te Ora, despite his blindness.
Grandparents Raising Grandchildren won the Community of the Year award.