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2015 Wellingtonian of the Year Finalists


Rodger Fox

Rodger Fox is New Zealand's leading jazz performer and educator. For more than 40 years, and almost as many albums, he’s taken his Big Band around the world, and mentored an entire generation of upcoming jazz musicians.

Paula Hunt
Paula Hunt has been involved in dance across several decades, training and mentoring dancers in Wellington and beyond, most notably in her role as Chairwoman of the Royal Academy of Dance’s International Panel of Examiners.

Geoff Murphy
Geoff Murphy is a writer, director and pioneering film-maker, well known for his work on iconic films Utu, Goodbye Pork Pie, and The Quiet Earth, and perhaps even better known for cocking a snoot at the establishment.

Anna Smaill
Anna Smaill first came to critical attention as a poet, and has published widely in NZ and abroad. Her debut novel The Chimes, released this year, was long-listed for the prestigious Man Booker prize.

Sir Richard Taylor
The artistic brilliance of Weta Workshop co-founder and five time Oscar winner Sir Richard Taylor shone through again this year with Te Papa to create “Gallipoli: the scale of our war” exhibition.


Robert Cameron

Rob Cameron is an investment banker who, in a career spanning 45 years, has contributed to the world of finance, business, tertiary education and public policy, including bringing corporate finance disciplines to public sector businesses, thus boosting the New Zealand economy.

Maurice Clark
Maurice Clark, MD of McKee Fehl Constructors, is the developer of a string of heritage projects in recent years, breathing new life into old buildings like the Public Trust building and Defence House as well as converting redundant office tower blocks to hostels for over 800 students.

Mike Egan
Mike Egan is regarded as one of the pioneers of Wellington hospitality having opened several landmark establishments. He’s been the voice for the industry in Wellington and was part of the steering group that conceptualised Wellington On a Plate.

Ralph Highnam
Ralph Highnam is Chief Executive of Wellington company, Volpara, whose pioneering breast imaging software is at the forefront of a revolution in the early detection and treatment of breast cancer, used by radiologists in more than 30 countries.

Martin Simpson
As GM of Fraser Fire & Rescue, the world’s fastest growing fire appliance manufacturer, Martin has demonstrated that with the right vision, determination and investment the Wellington region can prosper from the economic and social benefits of a strong manufacturing sector.

Community Service 

Kevin Goldsbury
For 35 years Kevin has positively impacted communities and inspired young people from all walks of life to achieve and make a difference. Today through Ignite Sport Trust he is creating change through the power of sport.

Mike Leon
Mike Leon has just retired as manager of the Wellington Night Shelter. He started working at the Shelter in 1995 and in late 2008 took on the top job. He’s always had empathy for life’s strugglers.

Mary O'Hagan
Mary O'Hagan runs an international social enterprise and consultancy in mental health. She initiated the mental health service user movement in New Zealand in the late 1980s, and was a mental health commissioner and advisor to the United Nations.

Scott Reeve
Scott Reeve has worked with Wellington young people for over a decade with Zeal Youth Trust, starting as a 19 year old volunteer. In recent times as a social entrepreneur he has opened two espresso bars in downtown Wellington which connect young people with first-time employment.

Dr Elizabeth Sneyd & Craig Utting
Elizabeth Sneyd and Craig Utting are co-founders of 'The Virtuoso Strings', a string orchestra to help young people in Wellington learn the magic of good ensemble playing, and offer free music tuition in East Porirua.


Brother Patrick Lynch
Recently retired CE of the New Zealand Catholic Education Office, Brother Patrick Lynch has contributed services to education for more than 50 years, on Ministerial task forces, advisory boards, the Education Review Office and internationally at the strategic level.

Ken McIntosh
Ken McIntosh is Principal of the Central Regional Health School which teaches children who can’t go to mainstream schools because of their mental or physical health. Getting the students back into mainstream schools is Ken and the school’s primary focus.

Roger Moses
Roger Moses, Wellington College Headmaster since 1995, is a well-known leader in education. He’s been on the executive of the Secondary Principals' Association of New Zealand and is currently Chairman of the Association of Boys' Schools of New Zealand.

Dr Jay Shaw
Dr Shaw retires as Associate Professor at Victoria UniversIty’s School of History, Philosophy, Political Science & International Relations at the end of the year. He’s been regarded as one of the most innovative and important philosophers of the latter half of the 20th century.


Stu Barr
Stu Barr leads the Goodnature team, the company providing an effective pest trap that humanely dispatches destructive pests and then resets itself – they’re proving very popular with regional councils and native birds, but less so with rats, stoats and possums.

Colin Ryder
Colin Ryder has initiated, managed and resourced conservation projects across the Wellington region for more than 25 years, as well as leading campaigns to purchase Baring Head, establish the Taputeranga Marine Reserve and protect Watts Peninsula in Miramar.

Phil Squire
Phil Squire has worked in the not-for-profit sector for the past 20 years – for the past 10 at Sustainability Trust, where he’s now Chief Executive, driving the promotion of practical examples of urban sustainability in Wellington.


Mike Bush
Mike Bush is the Police Commissioner. Joining the force in 1978, he was appointed Commissioner last year and has worked hard to create a workforce that better reflects and understands its community, living and breathing empathy for victims of crime.

Philippa Howden-Chapman
Professor Philippa Howden-Chapman is director of He Kainga Oranga/Housing and Health Research Programme, Otago University, Wellington which is improving children's health by reducing respiratory and infectious illnesses linked to poor housing in the Wellington region.

Nick Leggett
A tireless champion for the city since becoming the country's youngest Mayor in 2010, Porirua's Nick Leggett is charting an ambitious new course that puts children and young people at the centre of Council and city decision-making.

Paul Quigley
Working at Wellington Regional Hospital, Dr Paul Quigley is an emergency department specialist and clinical toxicologist who’s not afraid to speak out. He spends his time campaigning for change and raising awareness about the effects alcohol and drugs have on our communities.

Science & Technology 

Haritina Mogosanu
Haritina Mogosanu is the lead of the New Zealand Astrobiology Initiative, a Mars Research Scientist passionate about biosecurity and planetary protection, science curator at Space Place, and Media Manager for United Nations’ World Space Week Association.

Tim Stern
Professor Tim Stern is a geophysicist based at Victoria University, where his research is concerned with the structure and tectonics of the continents, and has resulted in recent breakthroughs attracting international attention.

John-Daniel Trask
John-Daniel Trask is co-founder & CEO of Raygun, a software development tools producer which in turn co-founded Givealittle. He has backed a wide range of Kiwi start-ups and combines mentoring up-and-coming software developers with lectures and speaking engagements


Grant Elliott
Black Cap Grant Elliott’s unbeaten 84 and winning six off the second to last ball of the innings in the semi against South Africa put New Zealand into its first ever Cricket World Cup final, where he went on to top score with 83 in a losing battle.

Mary Fisher
Swimmer Mary Fisher collected three world titles in record times and two silvers at the International Paralympic Committee swimming world championships in Glasgow in July. On arrival home she broke two short course world records.

Geoff Henry
Geoff Henry started the Eastern Suburbs Children's Athletics Club back in 1975 and has been coaching and officiating every week rain, hail or shine ever since. He also started and manages the athletics programme for young disabled athletes.

Conrad Smith
Described as the senior statesman of the All Blacks’ midfield, Conrad Smith has also been an inspirational captain with the Hurricanes over the past couple of seasons, contributing greatly to the team’s overall success.

Waimarama Taumaunu
Waimarama Taumaunu is stepping down as coach of the Silver Ferns netball team. Before stepping up to the top job, Wai was assistant coach for Ruth Aitken and before that coached the Capital Shakers.



Lucy Carver & Skye Chadwick
Lucy Carver and Skye Chadwick are co-founders of Orientation Aotearoa, an 8 month residential education programme for aspiring young changemakers that focuses on leadership, sustainability and social entrepreneurship. Lucy manages the curriculum and Skye the fundraising and marketing.

Kate Fitzmaurice
Kate Fitzmaurice is a 21-year-old medical student working as an operational intern in Thessaloniki, Greece, with the non-profit anti-human trafficking A21 Campaign, in an aftercare shelter for girls who have escaped or been rescued from sex slavery.

Finnian Galbraith
Finnian Galbraith is a Kapiti College Year 11 student whose speech encouraging respect for Maori language, prompted by noticing his classmates were having trouble pronouncing Te Reo correctly, went viral on YouTube and attracted international attention.

Aaron Hape
Aaron Hape is the founder and Executive Director of Commonwealth Youth New Zealand, a national initiative that lets young New Zealanders engage with Commonwealth, national, and community leaders and learn more about the world they live in.

Kurtis Imrie
Kurtis Imrie is a talented young kayaker and canoeist from Kapiti. He represented New Zealand at the Oceania canoe racing champs in Sydney winning four gold medals and a silver medal in the U18 section.

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