The 2017 Dominion Post
Wellingtonian of the Year
Mark Dunajtschik is a Wellington property investor/developer who has pledged $50m to CCDHB to build a new children’s hospital, fast-tracking the process by about 5 years.
He has long been a big backer in education, health and sport and has made significant donations to good causes both in the capital and around the country over the past 40 years.
A lot of his altruism has gone unnoticed – financial support from Dunajtschik helped set up the Life Flight Trust, in 1975.
~ Arts ~
in association with The Wellington Company
2017 WINNER: HONE KOUKA
Hone Kouka is widely known as a writer, director and producer. He is the Artistic Director of the annual Kia Mau Festival of Maori, Pasifka, International Indigenous Dance and Theatre
Miranda Harcourt is an actress and director on stage and screen. She coaches Hollywood actors and this year she co-directed first feature The Changeover.
Jacqui Moyes works as the Arts in Corrections Advisor for Arts Access Aotearoa, helping Corrections staff to provide arts programmes matching the needs of each prison and its offenders.
Rachel Rouge runs and curates The Menagerie, a monthly variety show at The Fringe Bar that celebrates weird, wonderful, diverse and uniquely talented Wellington performance.
Charlotte Yates is a singer/songwriter and recording artist. She’s produced a number of musical projects based on New Zealand poets and writers, and released her seventh studio album a month or so ago.
~ Business ~
in association with ANZ
2017 WINNER: MARK DUNAJTSCHIK
Mark Muru is the Director Datacom Wellington and has led the major Wellington IT employer to significant growth and expansion over the past 20 years, creating more than 800 jobs in Wellington in the past 5 years.
Steve O’Connor is Founder and Chief Executive of Flick Electric. He’s been helping disruptive ideas become great businesses for more than 20 years, including 5 years as CEO of Creative HQ and Lightning Lab.
Amanda Santos is CEO of Tekron International, she’s on the boards of a diverse range of enterprises in the Wellington Region and makes time to encourage and inspire young people.
~ Community Service ~
in association with Wellington Hospitality Group
2017 WINNER: MIKE O’SULLIVAN
Mike O’Sullivan is a long-time volunteer at Mary Potter Hospice whose substantial recent donation will allow the Hospice to build an apartment complex, with the proceeds supporting hospice services.
MARIE FITZPATRICK & NICOLE MURRAY
Marie Fitzpatrick and Nicole Chapman are co-founders of Good Bitches Baking - a network of people who showing support in the form of home baking, to those in need.
Benjamin Johnson is Co-Founder and Director of The Free Store - it works like a shop, except it doesn’t take any money and simply hands out food to those who need it.
Liz Makalio manages the team of social workers at Wesley Community Action in Waitangirua. She launched the Porirua ‘P’ Pull movement to help meth addicts quit the habit which has since gone nationwide.
Rebecca Stewart founded the Pomegranate Kitchen to get refugees into work – as well as cooking and catering, the new arrivals are involved in every level of the business.
~ Education ~
in association with Wellington City Council
2017 WINNER: ALISON ELDREDGE
Alison Eldredge is the founder of Arohanui Strings-Sistema Hutt Valley, a group using music as a vehicle for social change and giving free instruments and music lessons to Hutt Valley kids.
DK is producer of TEDxWellington & founder of Creative Welly, an independent collective with the aim of making Wellington the most creative little capital in the world.
Claire Robinson is Pro Vice-Chancellor of Massey University’s College of Creative Arts in Wellington, where among other things she researches election campaigning and design for public good.
Lydia Wevers has been a leader in education for many years – she’s a professor of literary history at Vic, she’s a widely read author and sits on a number of creative boards.
~ Environment ~
in association with Green Cabs
2017 WINNER: ROB WILSON & SERENA COX
Rob Wilson and Serena Cox have founded and run Ghostfishing NZ, a group of divers who remove mountains of rubbish out of the Wellington harbour.
Sally Bain is co-ordinating a predator trapping campaign in the eastern bays aimed at saving the Little Blue Penguin and Dotterill. Bird numbers are up, rats and stoats are down.
Russell Bell has spent 40 years in conservation and has played a significant role in many of the most important conservation projects in and around the Hutt Valley.
Richard Moore, founder of Poly Palace, recycles polystyrene packaging into top-grade building material resulting in less waste going in the landfill and lower cost, healthier, “greener” homes.
Grant Muir is a champion of New Zealand’s fresh water and has developed RiverWatch, a water quality monitor that’s faster, more accurate and more affordable than standard models.
~ Government ~
in association with +64Connect
2017 WINNER: ANNETTE KING
Annette King signed off on more than 30 years in Parliament at the end of this term, 24 of them spent proudly representing the eastern and southern suburbs of Wellington.
Bruce Pepperell has recently retired as manager of the Wellington Region Emergency Management Office, with the last five years being rather eventful in terms of natural disasters.
Matt Reid, General Manager for Hutt City Council is spearheading projects and initiatives where needed most, empowering tamariki for brighter futures and building stronger communities.
TUI TE HAU
Tui Te Hau is the General Manager of Mahuki, Te Papa’s Innovation Hub, Tui is shepherding the next generation of innovators towards the future.
~ Science & Technology ~
in association with Hutt City Council
2017 WINNER: LINC GASKING
Linc Gasking is a startup entrepreneur who is driven to solve big problems, most recently in the VR, AR and Hologram space. He has founded over 30 tech companies during the past 20 years all around the world.
Don Christie is one of the founders of Wellington HQed ITcompany Catalyst. Currently Managing Director he has also been responsible for Catalyst’s global development strategy and actively promotes and advocates for New Zealand digital businesses.
Jessica Manins manages ProjectR, a new virtual and mixed-reality centre, whose first R&D project is looking at using Virtual Reality for the relief of pain, anxiety and fear.
Brian Smellie is founder and director of Tekron International. His nano-second level timing equipment designs provide market-leading solutions for telecommunications and power utility operators worldwide.
Peter Tyler of the Ferrier Research Institute has invented a drug called Mundesine, approved for use this year for treatment of a hard-to-treat aggressive form of non-Hodgkins lymphoma.
~ Sport ~
in association with Porirua City Council
2017 WINNER: JOSH JUNIOR
Dinghy sailor Josh Junior was on the water at the 2016 Rio Olympics then cycled to victory as part of Team New Zealand’s America’s Cup crew in Bermuda.
Beauden Barrett is one of New Zealand’s, and the world’s, most exciting rugby players. From his Super Rugby debut in 2011 Beauden hasn’t looked back.
Katrina Grant is captain of the Silver Ferns and the Central Pulse netball teams. She’s represented New Zealand at two Netball World Cups and two Commonwealth Games.
Fran Scholey is in her fourth season as General Manager for the Saints basketball team, with 3 titles and an undefeated 2017 season under her belt.
~ Youth ~
in association with Massey University
2017 WINNER: TABBY BESLEY
Tabby Besley is the founder and leader of InsideOUT, the organisation that’s making every school and community in New Zealand a safer place for LGBTQIA+ youth.
Chevron Hassett is a Lower Hutt artist whose deeply personal work explores his heritage. He also mentors Valley youth, sharing his love of art and fitness.
Amelia Kerr is New Zealand’s youngest World Cup cricketer, and is also the youngest contracted White Fern, juggling that little white ball with her college studies.
Peter McKenzie was last year’s captain of the New Zealand Schools Debating team and is co-founder of Active Citizenship Aotearoa – a charity focused on engaging young people in politics.
~ World Class Welly ~
in association with Sofitel Wellington
The World Class Welly Award is a tribute to a person who spent their formative years in Wellington, learning and evolving skills and expertise that has provided them with a solid foundation for achieving internationally in their chosen field.
2017 Recipient: Tim Brown
The 2017 WORLD CLASS WELLY went to a founding member of the Wellington Phoenix and a key player in the All Whites successful 2010 World Cup Campaign who is now resident in San Francisco where he has created an excitingly creative and interesting Merino wool Shoe business, AllBirds which is experiencing considerable growth and gaining a very high media profile.
~ Philanthropy Showcase ~
in association with Nikau Foundation
A new initiative for 2017 is the PHILANTHROPY SHOWCASE created to acknowledge people who have made an outstanding financial and/or time contribution to the Wellington community and the inaugural recipients were
Sadly passed away last year but left a generous bequest of $3 million to the Wellington SPCA
Has established a $500,000 fund, among other contributions, for the well-being of Wellington’s young people.
A successful ambassador and fundraiser for the Kapiti Performing Arts Centre