Stephen Tindall chosen as Kiwibank's NZer of the Year

Sir Stephen Tindall and Margaret Tindall in November 2013.
Ella Brockelsby

Sir Stephen Tindall and Margaret Tindall in November 2013.

A retail leader who has gone on to help many community groups and fledgling companies has been named Kiwibank's next New Zealander of the Year.

Sir Stephen Tindall, the founder and a current director of the Warehouse Group, received his award tonight for services to business and philanthropy.

Together with his wife Margaret, he is co-founder and trustee of The Tindall Foundation which has given more than $100 million towards community-based initiatives, enterprise and social services.

Sir Stephen has also invested more than $250 million in seed and venture capital in a large number of start-up and early stage businesses.

Speaking before the award ceremony tonight, he said the Tindall Foundation had given away millions, "but that has been substantially leveraged by the generosity of tens of thousands of Kiwis".

The foundation did not just give money away, but ensured it was heavily involved in strategic projects, such as one addressing youth unemployment in South Auckland.

"We are asked to contribute to ten times the number of projects we can actually satisfy," he said. 

"We choose the ones that we judge will have the biggest impact.

"I call it catalytic philanthropy, as there can be a chain reaction of benefits."

On receiving the award, Sir Stephen was presented a special kaitaka huaki cloak by last year's New Zealander of the Year recipient, Dr Lance O'Sullivan.  

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Among the other winners tonight was Wellington's Guy Ryan who was named the University of Auckland's Young New Zealander of the Year. 

Ryan founded the Inspiring Stories Trust for the development of young people. Nearly 5000 young Kiwis have taken part in the trust's programmes, which include social entrepreneurship.

The Metlifecare Senior New Zealander of the Year was Auckland businessman Donald Sew Hoy.

Hoy has been in the New Zealand textile and garment industry for 50 years and is managing director and owner of Glacier Investments Ltd, a successful clothing importer to major retail chains.

The Mitre 10 Community of the Year was given to Focus Paihia! in Northland which works to improve the economic, social, cultural and environmental elements of its community.  

The Sanitarium Innovator of the Year was Peter Beck of Auckland who developed a rocket designed to make reaching space more affordable. Through his company Rocket Lab, Beck has helped make major advances in the cost of aviation.

Local Hero of the Year was Billie Jordan of Waiheke Island for services to the community. Jordan was the brains behind the crew of Hip Op-eration, a dance troupe of senior citizens who made it to the world Hip Hop Championships recently. The troupe is heading to Taiwan for a similar event.

 - Stuff

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