nz society

uk new zealander of the year portraits

and silent auction donations

Over the last few years, I have painted the winner of the UK New Zealander of the Year.  These portraits are a donation to commemorate and immortalise the hard work the winner has contributed to the NZ and UK Community.

 

The New Zealand Society UK

Founded in 1927, the New Zealand Society UK is a non-profit, voluntary society that aims to connect and support New Zealanders in the United Kingdom (and those in the UK who have an interest in New Zealand) through social gatherings, events and financial support for Kiwi businesses and cultural groups.

The initial aims of the Society were to celebrate what it meant to be a New Zealander in England, and to promote trade between the two countries. These days that means that we host a varied calendar of events each year in recognition of important dates for our NZ community within the UK. For example, in February we hold the annual black tie Waitangi Day Charity Ball and a commemorative Waitangi Day church service at St Lawrence Jewry, with a reception hosted by the Worshipful Company of Girdlers afterwards.

At the Charity Ball, together with Air New Zealand, we award one person as the Air New Zealand UK New Zealander of the Year, for recognition of outstanding contributions towards promoting the interests of New Zealand or New Zealanders in the UK.

At most of our events throughout the year we run we fundraise for the NZ Society UK Charitable Fund, from which we then award grants to individuals and organisations who seek to strengthen, broaden and deepen the communities and relationships between New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

We are always delighted to hear from potential new members, Committee Members, Loyal Kiwi Card partners and event attendees - info@nzsociety.co.uk

Patron HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, KG, KT,OM, GBE, AC, QSO, PC

Vice Patron HE The High Commissioner, the Rt Hon Lt Gen Sir Jerry Mateparae, GNZM, QSO, KStJ

President The Hon Clarence Tan

2020 (Feb) NZ Society Waitangi Day Charity Dinner – New Zealander of the Year, (tania bearsley)

The Waldorf Hilton, Aldwych, London, United Kingdom

Waitangi Day Charity Ball
Friday 7th February 2020 
 18.30 until late
Waldorf Hilton in Aldwych.

The 93rd Waitangi Day Charity Ball will be held on Friday 7th February 2020. 

An evening of incredible significance for New Zealand and the New Zealand community in the UK. Through this event we raise money and are able to support our New Zealand community here in the UK through our Charitable Grant scheme.

This year I donated an 80cm Paua Tiki Spin Painting towards the silent Auction, and will be painting a portrait for the winner of the UK New Zealander of the Year, Tania Bearsley.

Tania Bearsley and Jarred Christmas were both named finalists for the UK New Zealander of the year for their actions.

Business woman Tania Bearsley and comedian Jarred Christmas were both finalists at a glitz and glamour event for the prestigous UK New Zealander of the Year award.

When the terror attacks shattered the peace in Christchurch almost a year ago there was an outpouring of solidarity on the other side of the world.

After the attack, Porirua-born Tania Bearsley organised a vigil in Trafalgar square.

Thousands attended, as the world's media showcased Kiwi spirit at its best.

“So what does it mean to me? it's been a beautiful journey but it wasn’t me alone - I may have led the charge, someone had to, but I was supported by so many people to make that happen,” she told 1 NEWS.

Christchurch comedian Jarred Christmas staged a comedy event in London, raising money for the victims and families.

“I've got a very limited skill set, I’m hopeless at DIY, I’m hopeless at admin but what I can do is make people laugh and I have lot of friends who can do that,” he says.

Of the 11 nominations, the judging panel agreed Ms Bearsley and Mr Christmas were picked for their personal and invaluable contribution in the UK for promoting the interests of New Zealand and New Zealanders.

Ms Bearsley won the award and said it was an honour to be a Kiwi.

“It's a huge honour and lays down to me a challenge to keep going and keep serving my nation,” she said.

I am delighted and extremely proud in the 180th year of the Treaty of Waitangi to announce the winner of the prestigious UK New Zealander of the Year Award 2020, presented by the New Zealand Society of the United Kingdom and proudly sponsored for the 15th consecutive year by Air New Zealand.

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, Air New Zealand, we are absolutely delighted to announce that, at the Waitangi Day Charity Ball on 7th February 2020, the Air New Zealand UK New Zealander of the Year Award 2020 was awarded to Mrs Tania Bearsley.

Tania was supported on the evening by her husband Anton and dozens of friends who attended the Waitangi Day Ball to support Tania.

The korowai (ceremonial cloak) awarded to our winner 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, was designed and woven especially for the award ceremony by Whaea Jackie Naylor from Kakahu Waipara.

Previous winners include: Ereti Mitchell 2019, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa ONZ CH DBE AC 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 2020 to November 2020 (inclusive).

The 2020 UK New Zealander of the Year Award is proudly sponsored for the 15th consecutive year by Air New Zealand.

As the New Zealand flag carrier, Air New Zealand flies daily between London and New Zealand.

I am sincerely proud of our two wonderful finalists and wish to acknowledge Jarred Christmas for all his incredible work as well as congratulate Tania Bearlsey for becoming the UK New Zealander of the Year 2020.

Ngā mih nui,

The Hon Clarence Tan
President, New Zealand Society (UK)

Photos by Peter Livingstone

2019 (Feb) NZ Society Waitangi Day Charity Dinner – New Zealander of the Year, (Eriti Mitchel)

The Waldorf Hilton, Aldwych, London, United Kingdom

FRIDAY, 8 FEBRUARY 2019 FROM 18:30 UTC-23:00 UTC

Waitangi Day Charity Ball 2019

The Waldorf Hilton London

We are looking forward to commemorating Waitangi Day for our community in here in the UK instead of at home at this very special event, and to presenting the Air New Zealand UK New Zealander of the Year 2019 Award, sharing a delicious, fresh, NZ-inspired and sourced menu, sampling some of our best and best-known wines, dancing the night away with wonderful NZ talent and raising contributions for our Charitable Fund, which we then use to support New Zealanders doing amazing things over here in the United Kingdom.

We have incredibly supportive group of sponsors who help us bring this event to life every year, including the NZ Wine Cellar who have worked with our wonderful local NZ wine distributors to provide us with loads of New Zealand bubbles, reds and whites for our celebration.

Photos by Peter Livingstone

2018 (Feb) NZ Society Waitangi Day Charity Dinner – New Zealander of the Year, (kiri te kanawa)

The Waldorf Hilton, Aldwych, London, United Kingdom

The winner of the prestigious award was announced at the New Zealand Society's Waitangi Day Charity Ball in London today. 

Unfortunately Dame Kiri Te Kanawa wasn't able to attend the award ceremony due to being ill. 

The New Zealand Society of the United Kingdom said they will hold another event later in the year to present the award to her. 

 

The award recognises the efforts and contribution made by a New Zealand or British national in promoting the country's interest in the UK. 

The President of the New Zealand Society (UK), Ms Kerryn Beeching said, "The New Zealand Society and our sponsor partner Air New Zealand are thrilled to confirm the presentation of this prestigious award to Dame Kiri Te Kanawa in recognition of her tireless work through the Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation."

"The Foundation is both the guiding light and the solid foundation from which young New Zealand singers’ presence and brilliance on the international stage is championed.

"This year the Judging Panel were spoilt with a list of uncommonly-deserving nominees, all of whom happened to be women for the first time since the inception of the Award in 1999.

"Even from within this stellar group, Dame Kiri’s contribution to the valued bonds that tie the UK and NZ together is exceptional.

"Dame Kiri may have retired from public performance, but her influence, energy, expertise and passion is very much a current and driving force in both developing and shining a light on young NZ singing talent on the world stage, and for that we are delighted to recognise her with the UK New Zealander of the Year Award in 2018.”

The beloved New Zealand opera singer hasn't taken to the stage in more than a year, and in an interview with the BBC last September, said she wouldn't ever again. "I don't want to hear my voice," said the 73-year-old soprano. "It is in the past. When I'm teaching young singers and hearing beautiful young fresh voices, I don't want to put my voice next to theirs."

She said she would focus on training the next generation through her foundation.

 

Her final concert was near Melbourne last October.  Dame Kiri has appeared at all the world’s major opera houses.  She also sang at the wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana in 1981.

2017 (Feb) NZ Society Waitangi Day Charity Dinner – New Zealander of the Year, (lady alexandra smith)

The Jumeirah Carlton Hotel, London, United Kingdom

Lady Alexandra Smith has been named the UK New Zealander of the Year 2017 at the New Zealand Society’s Waitangi Day Charity Ball on the evening of 3 February 2017.

The award recognizes the outstanding contribution that a New Zealand or British national has made in promoting the interests of New Zealand or New Zealanders in the United Kingdom.

Alexandra has expanded New Zealand’s connections in the United Kingdom through building extensive networks spanning literature and the performing arts, academia, the legal profession, politics, business and diplomatic world.

Her charitable work with Breast Cancer Haven included negotiating generous ongoing sponsorship for BLUSH, the Haven’s top yearly fundraising event.

She has worked tirelessly for FANZA, the Foundation for Australian and New Zealand Arts, not just as a Board Member but in organising fundraising concerts showcasing New Zealand and Australian performers, hosting most at the Residence and catering

for the events personally.

Alexandra has actively supported the New Zealand Women’s Association as Patron and as a member spent hundreds of hours, almost singlehandedly, embroidering a large panel for the Mount Felix Tapestry, part of the WW100 commemorations at Walton-on Thames, the place of New Zealand’s WW1 No2 hospital. The panel shows the hospital ward where Alexandra’s grandfather was nursed back to life after severe shrapnel wounds suffered at the 2nd Somme.

Involvement in other organisations include being a Board member of NZ-UK LINK Foundation and a member of the UK Parliament Choir singing in the UK, at Notre Dame Cathedral and joining with Italian choirs in Anghiari, Tuscany, for their music festival.

When seeking to extend its own reach for a special event, the High Commission itself turned to Alexandra’s extraordinary network. She has been a strong supporter of the New Zealand Society UK and her generosity, grace and charm will be missed in London.

The Award, which was established by the New Zealand Society in 1999, was presented to the winner at the annual New Zealand Society’s Waitangi Day Charity Ball in The Ballroom of The Jumeirah Carlton, Knightsbridge,  London on Friday 3th February 2017.  

Robyn Allardice-Bourne, President of the New Zealand Society (UK) commented: “It is with great pride that the New Zealand Society (UK) in association with Air New Zealand, presents this prestigious award.  Lady Alexandra Smith is an outstanding individual not only in her role as wife of our New Zealand High Commissioner to London but in her support of the London New Zealand Community and enhancing the reputation of New Zealand within the London diplomatic scene. Rarely, do you find an individual with such passion and energy who goes well beyond the call of duty to make positive change for the benefit of us all.”

Previous winners have included: Mark Wilson, Katherine Corich, Eric Tracey, Bronwen Horton, Kent Gardner, Terry Smith, Anna Hansen MBE, Esther Kerr Jessop QSM, Dr Ian Conrich, Jonathan Rennie, Tom & Susan Glynn, Peter Leslie, Dame Judith Mayhew Jones, The Rt. Hon Don McKinnon, (The late) Harry Mahon OBE, Michael Campbell CNZM, Sir Mark Todd and Peter Gordon ONZM.

 

Photo credit: Peter Livingstone Photography

Article credit:  Charlotte Everett NZ New UK

This year I donated a Fern inspires 60cm spin painting to the NZ Society silent auction which raises funds to help kiwis in the UK achieve their dreams.

On a side note, I think the song Whakaaria Mai was one of Lockwood's favourites. I'm sure he always sang this with the proudest beaming smile and bellowing voice at each NZ Event when this song was played

2016 (Feb) NZ Society Waitangi Day Charity Dinner – New Zealander of the Year, (Mark wilson)

The Jumeirah Carlton Hotel, London, United Kingdom

The Air New Zealand / NZ Society UK New Zealander of the Year 2016 Finalists - David Paterson, Mandii Pope and Mark Wilson

Finalists for the prestigious UK New Zealander of the Year Award 2016 (proudly sponsored by Air New Zealand) were announced in London this week.

The three finalists, Professor David Paterson, for his lifetime contribution to medical science, Ms. Mandii Pope, for her role as New Zealand Artist in London and charitable fundraiser, and Mr. Mark Wilson, CEO of Aviva, global business leader and champion of sustainable business; are recognised for their personal contribution in the UK to promoting the interests of New Zealand or New Zealanders.

 

The Award, which was established by the New Zealand Society in 1999, will be presented to the winner at the annual New Zealand Society’s Waitangi Day Charity Ball in The Ballroom of The Jumeirah Carlton, Knightsbridge, on Friday 5th February 2016.  Robyn Allardice-Bourne, President of the New Zealand Society (UK) commented: “It is with great pride that the New Zealand Society (UK) in association with Air New Zealand, presents this prestigious award.  Nominations were called for from the UK New Zealand community, and we were delighted to receive 15 nominations for the 2016 honour.  Nominations were received for individuals who promote the interests of New Zealand in the UK, within the areas of business, music, community services, arts and culture, sport and academia.  It was unanimous amongst the Judging Panel that all three finalists are great ambassadors of New Zealand in the United Kingdom and make valued contributions to our community.”

 

Previous winners have included: Katherine Corich, Eric Tracey, Bronwen Horton, Kent Gardner, Terry Smith, Anna Hansen MBE, Esther Kerr Jessop QSM, Dr Ian Conrich, Jonathan Rennie, Tom & Susan Glynn, Peter Leslie, Dame Judith Mayhew Jones, The Rt. Hon Don McKinnon, (The late) Harry Mahon OBE, Michael Campbell CNZM, Sir Mark Todd and Peter Gordon ONZM.

 

Tickets are available for the New Zealand Society’s (UK) Waitangi Day Charity Ball and these can be booked here www.musicglue.com/new-zealand-society-uk/events/

Full press release available here.  http://www.nzsociety.co.uk/uk-new-zealander-of-the-year/

2015 (Feb) NZ Society Waitangi Day Charity Dinner – New Zealander of the Year, (katherine corich)

The park lane hotel, London, United Kingdom

New Zealand businesswoman Katherine Corich has been named the UK New Zealander of the Year.

The award was presented at the New Zealand Society's Waitangi Day Charity Ball in London and recognises the outstanding contribution that a New Zealand or British national has made in promoting the interests of New Zealand or New Zealanders in Britain.

Corich, who is the founder and director of international business consultancy firm Sysdoc, was nominated for her contributions to New Zealand business, community and fundraising causes.

In recent years Corich has supported a number of boards and projects, including The Quake Studies Advisory Board, Global Women Leaders, Women In Leadership, Global Angels, Kea's World Class New Zealand network and the University of Canterbury's CEISMIC digital archive programme. 

Katherine Corich has been named the UK New Zealander of the Year 2015 at the New Zealand Society’s Waitangi Day Charity Ball held at The Park Lane Hotel Piccadilly, London on the evening of Friday, 6th February 2015.

The award recognises the outstanding contribution that a New Zealand or British national has made in promoting the interests of New Zealand or New Zealanders in the United Kingdom.

Katherine Corich received the 2015 award in recognition of her outstanding contribution to New Zealanders in the UK and in New Zealand, and for presenting a positive image of New Zealand in the United Kingdom. Nominated for her contributions to New Zealand business, community and fundraising causes.

Katherine Corich founded the Sysdoc group 25 years ago and has grown it into a global multi-award winning provider of services in Business Transformation, Cultural Change, Training, Simulated Learning and Knowledge Portals. With operations in four countries; UK, US, Australia and New Zealand, and projects in many more.

 

Despite the demands of an internationally recognised and successful business, Katherine tirelessly shares her knowledge with others, and demonstrates her pride in New Zealand and desire for New Zealanders global success by giving of her advice and support on a regular basis. Her Philanthropic ventures have seen her take on a worldwide view on issues which affect women and their communities. In recent years Katherine has provided support to a number of boards and projects: The Quake Studies Advisory Board, Global Women Leaders, Women In Leadership, Global Angels, Kea World Class New Zealander network, University of Canterbury’s CEISMIC digital archive programme.

Tania Bearsley, President of the New Zealand Society, who was one of the judges for the award commented: “The UK New Zealander of the Year Award is a community nominated award, allowing us to acknowledge those who are great ambassadors of New Zealand in the United Kingdom. All three finalists are greatly admired and represent the interests of business, community, charitable work and literature. Katherine Corich is deserving of this award in recognition of her ongoing personal commitment in supporting New Zealand interests in both the UK and in New Zealand.”

Past winners of the award have included Eric Tracey (Chair of UK Friends of Auckland University, Acting Chair Christchurch Earthquake Appeal UK, Former Chair NZTE European Beachheads Programme, co-founder former NZICA), Bronwen Horton (Founder of the New Zealand Business Women’s Network), Kent Gardner (Chief Executive of Evans Randall and major fundraiser for the Canterbury Earthquake Appeal), Terry Smith, (Chairman of Sir Keith Park’s Memorial Campaign and Chief Executive of Fundsmith), Anna Hansen MBE (chef, restaurateur and founder of The Modern Pantry restaurant in London), Esther Kerr-Jessop QSM (founder of the London Maori cultural group, Ngati Ranana), Dr Ian Conrich, Jonathan Rennie (New Zealand war memorial architect), Susan and Tom Glynn (restaurateurs and founders of Suze in Mayfair), Peter Leslie (the founding President of the New Zealand Society in Scotland), Dame Judith Mayhew Jonas (Chairman of Policy and Resources of the City of London Corporation and the first woman Provost of King’s College, Cambridge), (The late) Harry Mahon OBE, Michael Campbell (professional golfer), The Rt. Hon. Don McKinnon (Secretary-General of the Commonwealth); Sir Mark Todd (Olympic and international equestrian even rider) and Peter Gordon ONZM (celebrity chef and restaurateur, and founder of The Providores and Kopapa restaurants).

2014 (Feb) NZ Society Waitangi Day Charity Dinner – New Zealander of the Year, (Eric tracey)

The dorchester, park lane, London, United Kingdom

Eric Tracey has been named the UK New Zealander of the Year 2014 at the New Zealand Society's Waitangi Day Charity Ball held in London.

The award recognises the outstanding contribution that a New Zealand or British national has made in promoting the interests of New Zealand or New Zealanders in the United Kingdom. 

Mr Tracey was honoured for presenting a positive image of New Zealand in the United Kingdom. He was nominated for his many contributions to New Zealand trade, business, sporting and fundraising causes.

Among many causes supported over the years, Mr Tracey helped to create the UK branch of NZ Society of Accountants, is chair of UK Friends of Auckland University, acting chair of the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal UK and former chair of the NZTE European Beachheads Programme.

President of the NZ society Tania Bearsley says the three finalists for the award were all great ambassadors for New Zealand.

"Eric Tracey stood out this year, with his ongoing personal commitment in supporting New Zealanders both in the UK and in New Zealand," Ms Bearsley says.

Mr Tracey received an engraved award from the New Zealand Society and return air tickets to New Zealand, as part of his prize.

Past winners of the award include equestrian Sir Mark Todd and celebrity chef Peter Gordon.

Recognition was also given to Barrie Neilson who was the winner of the New Zealand Society Lifetime Achievement Award 2014.

Mr Neilson is the owner of Sailing Holidays, which operates a fleet of yachts and is said to be the only entirely independent flotilla sailing provider in the UK.

This is the 10th year the awards have taken place.

Holding back the tears was a supreme act of self control for Palm Beach resident Eric Tracey when a surprise haka was performed in his honour in London.

The tribute, by members of London's Maori cultural group Ngati Ranana, came after he was named UK New Zealander of the Year 2014 at the Dorchester Hotel on February 7.

The award was presented by Sir Alexander Lockwood Smith and Air New Zealand UK and Europe general manager Antony Price.

It is the second time it has been won by a Waiheke resident - Kent Gardner was named in 2012 for his support of Christchurch earthquake relief efforts.

Eric got this year's award for an outstanding contribution to New Zealanders here and in the UK.

The honour also recognises the way he's presented a positive image of New Zealand in England.

Eric helped created the UK Branch of the New Zealand Society of Accountants, is chairman of UK Friends of Auckland University, acting chairman of the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal UK and former chairman of the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise Beachheads Programme.

He will continue to fly the Kiwi flag on top of work demands as a high level trouble shooter accountant for Deloitte in London, helping turn around the fortunes of companies in strife.  His efforts to help and promote New Zealand started 20 years ago when he says he realised it was more important to assert his Kiwi identity than put all his energies into his job.  "People of my generation who received a state education reasonably feel we owe the country something. "He likes being able to "do stuff for New Zealand" and says hardly a day goes by when he doesn't feel he wants to assert his Kiwi identity one way or another.

 

Eric was among three finalists gathered at the New Zealand Society's Waitangi Day Charity Ball and says he was really chuffed when he found out he'd won.  The singers and dancers were dressed in their dinner outfits when they launched into the haka.

"It was the most amazing honour to be given for them to do that. I had to take a few deep breaths. It was magnificent."

The Auckland born and raised accountant is on his six-week holiday with wife Patricia at their Palm Beach house, their only New Zealand home

2013 (Feb) NZ Society Waitangi Day Charity Dinner – New Zealander of the Year, (bronwen horton)

The dorchester park lane, London, United Kingdom

The search for the UK New Zealander of the Year Award 2013 is now over. The New Zealand Society is proud and delighted to announce that the 2013 winner of the UK New Zealander of the Year Award is Bronwen Horton.

 

The Award was announced at the New Zealand Society's Waitangi Day Charity Ball at The Dorchester in Mayfair, London on Friday evening, 8 February 2013 and presented by Mr Nick Peirce, the Commercial Director of Air New Zealand, together with His Excellency Mr Rob Taylor the Acting High Commissioner of New Zealand the Mr John Greager, the President of the New Zealand Society.

 

The Award recognises the outstanding contribution that a New Zealand or British national has made in promoting the interests of New Zealand or New Zealanders in the United Kingdom and presenting a positive image of New Zealand. Bronwen Horton received the 2013 Award in recognition of her extraordinary personal efforts to help New Zealanders both in the UK and in New Zealand.

 

Bronwen founded the New Zealand Business Women's Network in the UK in 2009, which has successfully brought together women in all levels of the corporate and creative worlds, particularly fostering business networking together with social bonding and support, and creating an environment to share entrepreneurial ideas, skills and expertise. In addition, Bronwen has been at the forefront of the fundraising efforts in the UK in aid of those who suffered in the Canterbury earthquakes.

 

Bronwen will have the right to be recognised as the UK New Zealander of the Year 2013, and will receive return flights for two (2) from the UK to New Zealand, courtesy of our kind sponsors, Air New Zealand.

 

We also offer our congratulations to Katherine Corich and Matt Hickey who were the runners up for the Award. Both Katherine and Matt are recognised for their significant contributions.

2012 (Feb) NZ Society Waitangi Day Charity Dinner – New Zealander of the Year, (kent gardener) Plaisterers Hall, 1 London Wall, London, United Kingdom

Donation of Billy T James Painting.  Congratulations to Winner Kent Gardner

 

For the first time in five years, the New Zealand Society Waitangi Day Charity Ball, will be at The Ballroom at The Dorchester in Park Lane.  This superb venue will be the backdrop for the most glittering social event for New Zealanders in London.

This spectacular evening will commence with a New Zealand Sparkling Wine Reception, followed by a superb 3-course New Zealand-themed dinner with fine New Zealand wines.  We will have a special guest speaker and wonderful entertainment, as well as the announcement and presentation of the coveted UK New Zealander of the Year Award (sponsored by Air New Zealand).  The famous Charity Raffle will also take place with some wonderful prizes.  The evening concludes with live entertainment and dancing.

This is one of the best opportunities to socialise with other New Zealanders to celebrate what it means to be a New Zealander in the UK.

 

Gardner wins UK New Zealander of the Year Award in London

Kent Gardner, who helped raise funds for the Canterbury earthquake appeal, was today named the UK New Zealander of the Year 2012 winner at a gala function in London.  Gardner made a big contribution in the Step Up for Christchurch effort and was fully awarded for his contribution which enhanced New Zealand’s profile in the UK over the last year.

The award, established by the New Zealand Society in 1999, was presented to Gardner at the society’s annual Waitangi Day charity dinner at the Plaisterers’ Hall in London this morning (NZ time).

The tragic consequences of the Canterbury earthquake and the continuing aftershocks resulted in an unprecedented response from the New Zealand community in the UK, society president John Greager said today.  The Step Up 4 Christchurch event, a charity stair run up the 1037 steps to the top of the 180 metre tall Gherkin office tower in London, raised stg325,000. Gardner, who hails from Dunedin, said today it was humbling to receive this recognition.  ``I am both proud to be a Kiwi in London, and honoured to be part of a great team of UK-based New Zealanders that are genuinely committed to supporting their country’s interests while overseas.”

Air New Zealand has sponsored the event for the last eight year. Their UK-Europe general manager and one of the judges Chris Myers presented the award to Gardner.  ``There were some outstanding examples of New Zealanders getting behind the Christchurch cause, but Kent Gardner and his team really stood out with their creativity and money raised: an awesome effort.”  Recognition was also given to the two other finalists Bronwen Horton and Paul Kendrick, and all the other nominees who made significant contributions in a range of activities.

Gardner is a founding partner and chief executive of property fund manager, Evans Randall. The company has stg4 billion of assets under management, including the iconic ‘Gherkin’ building in London, as well as landmark properties in Munich, Stuttgart, Amsterdam, Brussels and Moscow.

 

His London-based team includes a number of talented expat Kiwis. He started his career with New Zealand law firm Russell McVeagh. He is now commissioner of the Crown Estate Paving Commission, a trustee of the UK Christchurch Earthquake Appeal and has been a major fundraiser for Christchurch.  He has also been working to create ways in which New Zealand can maximise its exposure in central London and to encourage strategies and ideas that will lead to increased investment and participation in New Zealand by both foreigners and expat Kiwis.

 

Born and bred in Dunedin, Gardner is one of 11 children. He has been in London for the last 10 years and lives in Regent’s Park with his wife Gaye and their three young sons, Freddie, Harry and Will.

Previous winners of the award have included: Terry Smith, chairman of Sir Keith Park’s memorial campaign and chief executive of Fundsmith; Anna Hansen, chef and founder of The Modern Pantry restaurant in London; Esther Jessop, founder of Ngati Ranana, the London Maori cultural group; New Zealand war memorial architect, Jon Rennie; Susan and Tom Glynn, New Zealand restaurateurs in London; equestrian champion Mark Todd; golfer Michael Campbell; former secretary general of the Commonwealth Don McKinnon; and chef Peter Gordon.