Women of Influence winners announced video

LAWRENCE SMITH/Stuff.co.nz

Women of Influence celebrate another successful year in business

Businesswoman Helen Robinson has been named the supreme winner of this year's Women of Influence awards.

Presented by Fairfax Media and Westpac, the New Zealand Women of Influence programme recognises and celebrates women from all walks of life who make a difference to everyday people.

Robinson co-founded Organic Initiative, a company that sells organic and biodegradable cotton hygiene products, with the aim to help get rid of plastic from society.

Helen Robinson was also the chief executive of Microsoft New Zealand.
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Helen Robinson was also the chief executive of Microsoft New Zealand.

The company launched last year and is now in almost every Pak 'n Save and New World supermarket in the country.

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As well as leading a growing social enterprise, Robinson is an experienced executive and director, sitting on a number of boards including Auckland Tourism, Events & Economic Development.

The former chief executive of Microsoft New Zealand also won the Board and Management category.

There were 10 other winners announced:

Arts and Culture

Gaylene Preston has previously been awarded a lifetime achievement award for outstanding contribution to documentary ...
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Gaylene Preston has previously been awarded a lifetime achievement award for outstanding contribution to documentary from Documentary Edge.

Writer, director and producer Gaylene Preston won this category for the work she has done on New Zealand-focused films and documentaries.

She has told important stories about Kiwis in war, captured the lives of influential New Zealanders and made enormous contributions to the country's film industry.

Preston has won 11 New Zealand Film Awards, she has been appointed an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to filmmaking and has sat on a number of boards, including the New Zealand Film Commission and New Zealand on Air.

Business Enterprise

Lisa King started Eat My Lunch after finding out 29 per cent of Kiwi children live in poverty.
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Lisa King started Eat My Lunch after finding out 29 per cent of Kiwi children live in poverty.

Lisa King is the founder of social enterprise Eat My Lunch, which has been helping to feed children in need for the past year.

Eat My Lunch gives a free lunch to a Kiwi kid in need for every lunch that is bought and in 12 months, 200,000 lunches went to kids in more than 30 low decile schools in Auckland and Hamilton.

This week, Eat My Lunch started taking its first orders in Wellington, with the first lunches being delivered on October 17.

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Community and Not For Profit

Catriona Williams is the founder of Catwalk Trust, which funds support for spinal cord injury research.

Catriona Williams' Catwalk Trust has raised millions of dollars and its patrons include Richie McCaw, Dion Nash, Sir ...
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Catriona Williams' Catwalk Trust has raised millions of dollars and its patrons include Richie McCaw, Dion Nash, Sir Mark Todd and Sarah Walker.

Williams became a tetraplegic after a horse riding accident in 2002.

She has also been recognised as a Sir Peter Blake leader, she was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2014 and was a top three finalist for New Zealander of the Year.

Diversity

Sue Kedgley is a member of the Capital and Coast District Health Board, Deputy Chair of Consumer NZ and a Wellington ...
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Sue Kedgley is a member of the Capital and Coast District Health Board, Deputy Chair of Consumer NZ and a Wellington Regional Councillor.

Sue Kedgley has been championing gender diversity and women's issues for decades, having founded the Auckland University Women's Liberation group as a 22-year-old.

The need for gender diversity in the workplace has been a theme in her five books on women's issues and the impact of feminism on New Zealand society.

Kedgley negotiated for an equal employment commissioner, introduced the Employment Relations Flexible Working Arrangements Bill and helped initiate and develop the UN Women's Empowerment Principles National Committee's Gender Equality Workplace Strategy, which was launched on June 17.

Global

Auditor-General Lyn Provost has worked to ensure the public sector can deliver quality services to citizens now and in ...
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Auditor-General Lyn Provost has worked to ensure the public sector can deliver quality services to citizens now and in the future.

Lyn Provost is New Zealand's first female auditor-general and has been a dedicated public servant for most of her career. 

She advocates for accountability and transparency in the public sector and advises developing nations on public auditing and accounting.

In her seven years as auditor-general, Provost has worked with other auditor-generals around the world and has been instrumental in improving auditing across the smallest Pacific nations.

Innovation and Science

In 2015 Michelle Dickinson was a Sir Peter Blake Leadership winner and she is a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit.
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In 2015 Michelle Dickinson was a Sir Peter Blake Leadership winner and she is a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

Dr Michelle Dickinson is one of New Zealand's publicly recognisable scientists and is widely known as "Nano Girl".

She set up the country's first and only nano-mechanical testing lab at the University of Auckland and she has delivered more than 30 lectures around the work as an internationally recognised expert in nanotechnology.

Dickinson is also the co-founder of OMG Tech, a charity that aims to give all New Zealand children access to new technology.

Public Policy

Commissioner of Inland Revenue Naomi Ferguson is the first female commissioner and the youngest person to hold this position.

Naomi Ferguson is passionate about delivering public services that meet the needs of New Zealanders and puts this at the ...
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Naomi Ferguson is passionate about delivering public services that meet the needs of New Zealanders and puts this at the heart of Inland Revenue's strategies and actions.

Ferguson has been a driving force in the creation of the Government Women's Network for public sector women and also serves on the State Sector Leadership Group and the Leadership Development Centre board, both of which focus on developing and promoting future public sector leaders.

In a previous role in Northern Ireland, Naomi focused on diversity and inclusion and worked in a partnership with the University of Ulster to implement diversity legislation in Northern Ireland.

Rural

In 2005 Mavis Mullins was the first woman to manage a New Zealand shearing and wool handling team, competing in the ...
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In 2005 Mavis Mullins was the first woman to manage a New Zealand shearing and wool handling team, competing in the World Championships in Australia and bringing home two titles.

Mavis Mullins is the chairwoman of Rangitane Tu Mai Ra Trust, a post-settlement governance entity established in 2014.

In 2005 Mullins became the first woman to manage a New Zealand shearing and wool handling team and she also chairs the Atihau-Whanganui Incorporation, a 42,000-hectare agribusiness with 7000 shareholders.

The incorporation has created jobs, new skills and an economic boost to Maori in the Whanganui area, in addition to reconnecting young Maori with their land.

Young Leader

Alexia Hilbertidou created GirlBoss NZ to address gender issues in science and technology and C-suite positions and to develop the leadership potential of young women between 13 and 18 years old.

She has also created KaiShare, an online platform where corporate food waste is redistributed to those in need.

Earlier this year, dozens of milk crates and more than 400 frozen family pies were redistributed to the Salvation Army.

Hilbertidou is working with Goodman Fielder to implement KaiShare with its merchandisers in Auckland supermarkets.

GirlBoss NZ has 650 members and school clubs in six schools and is in the process of establishing clubs in another 24 ...
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GirlBoss NZ has 650 members and school clubs in six schools and is in the process of establishing clubs in another 24 schools.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Businesswoman Dame Rosanne Meo was the first female president of the Employer's Federation.

She has chaired Television New Zealand and sat on the boards of several high profile Kiwi companies including Mercury Energy, Sky TV and Ports of Auckland.

Dame Rosanne Meo was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1993.
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Dame Rosanne Meo was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1993.

Meo is renowned for bringing her business expertise to non-profit organisations like the Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra Trust Board and the Kelliher Charitable Trust.

She was awarded a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2011 for services to business and community.

 - Stuff

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