The New Zealand Society established this Award in 1999 to recognise and honour those New Zealanders or British nationals who have gone above and beyond their daily or professional lives to make a difference in presenting the most positive image of New Zealand within the U.K. It symbolises the continuation of the close relationship between the United Kingdom and New Zealand.
In partnership with the sponsors of this award for the 14th consecutive year, Air New Zealand, we are absolutely delighted to announce that, at the Waitangi Day Charity Ball on 8th February 2019, the Air New Zealand UK New Zealander of the Year Award 2019 was awarded to Mrs Ereti Mitchell, President of the NZ Society Scotland.
The evening was made even more special for Ereti by her sister Michelle coming over to London from NZ for only four days, especially to support Ereti! And by her loyal supporters from the NZ Society Scotland traveling to be with her at the Ball, including her Vice President Molly Smith.
The pākē (ceremonial shawls) awarded to our three incredible finalists for the Air New Zealand UK New Zealander of the Year Award by the Rt Hon. Sir Jerry Mateparae, High Commissioner for NZ to the UK, were designed, woven and blessed in NZ and transported to us especially for the award ceremony by Ataraiti Waretini from Maru Creations. These taonga were created specifically for finalists Colleen Toomey, Jo Walsh and Ereti Mitchell, weaving parts of each wonderful lady’s story into the taniko (pattern and colours) by Ataraiti and are unique to each of them, and to this moment in time.
Previous winners include: Dame Kiri Te Kanawa 2018, Lady Alexandra Smith 2017, Mark Wilson 2016, Katherine Corich 2015, Eric Tracey 2014, Bronwen Horton 2013, Kent Gardner 2012, Terry Smith 2011, Anna Hansen MBE 2010, Esther Kerr Jessop QSM 2009, Dr Ian Conrich 2008, Jonathan Rennie 2007, Tom & Susan Glynn 2006, Peter Leslie 2005, Dame Judith Mayhew Jonas 2004, The Rt. Hon Don McKinnon 2003, (The late) Harry Mahon OBE 2002, Michael Campbell CNZM 2001, Sir Mark Todd 2000 and Peter Gordon ONZM 1999.
Air New Zealand, General Manager UK & Europe, Joanna Copestake says: “Air New Zealand is passionate about showcasing the best of New Zealand on the world stage and is incredibly proud to sponsor the UK New Zealander of the Year award which formally recognises the impressive achievements of UK-based Kiwis.”
Waitangi Day commemorates the signing of The Treaty of Waitangi in 1840 and is a public holiday in New Zealand.
The Annual New Zealand Society Waitangi Day Charity Ball is the biggest event on the NZ Society UK calendar, raising funds for the Society’s Charitable Grant Fund, which allows the Society to support New Zealanders from across the United Kingdom who are doing amazing things to strengthen ties between NZ and the UK.
The Prize Draw is to win two tickets to a New Zealand Society (UK) event of the nominator’s choice from March 2019 to November 2019 (inclusive).
The 2019 UK New Zealander of the Year Award is proudly sponsored for the 19th consecutive year by Air New Zealand.
As the New Zealand flag carrier, Air New Zealand flies daily between London and New Zealand.