Parker in but Lorde, Catton miss out

Last updated 14:31 27/12/2013
Lorde, Bob Parker, Eleanor Catton

TOP KIWIS: Bob Parker has been nominated for New Zealander of the Year, though Eleanor Catton and Lorde miss out.

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Bob Parker has been nominated for New Zealander of the Year, though Eleanor Catton and Lorde have missed out.

Former Christchurch mayor Bob Parker, founder of Trade Aid Vi Cottrell, and All Black skipper Richie McCaw are among the 10 semi-finalists for the 2014 Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year.

Paralympic champion Sophie Pascoe has also been shortlisted for the Young New Zealander of the Year.

However, prizewinning Christchurch author Eleanor Catton and pop star Lorde were amongst the shock absences from the list. Arguably the most successful New Zealanders worldwide in 2013, they were not among the 250-odd names nominated.

National awards manager Glyn Taylor said nominations closed on September 30, before Catton and Lorde became globally famous.

Catton won the Man Booker Prize with her West Coast-based novel The Luminaries on October 15. Lorde, 16, leapt to No 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States on October 2, the youngest artist to go top in 26 years.

At home in Christchurch, Parker said it came as a "complete surprise'' to have made the shortlist.

He said McCaw had more chance of becoming Christchurch Mayor than he had of leading the national rugby team. "I just wish I had Richie's physical prowess.''

Parker said it was "lovely and pretty humbling'' to think someone cared enough to nominate him for the award in the first place.

"That's a good feeling,'' he said.

Parker quit as Mayor this year after two controversial terms in charge. He said he had done that job "to the best of my ability.''


Chief judge Cameron Bennett said the semi-finalists were "exceptional individuals who followed their passions and contributed to improving the lives of many New Zealanders".

"In their own way, each of these people is a revolutionary," Bennett said. "Some have worked tirelessly for their local communities, others have stamped their mark at a national or even international level."

"They are all Kiwis of whom we can be very proud."

Nearly 250 nominations were received for the fifth year of the award. Three finalists will be announced in January, with the winner awarded at a gala event in February.

Previously the title has been taken out by Dame Anne Salmond (2013), Sir Richard Taylor (2012), Sir Paul Callaghan (2011) and Sir Ray Avery (2010).

Other Cantabrians up for awards include Jason Pemberton for Young New Zealander of the Year and Deaf community group Magnet for Community of the Year. Vi Cottrell is also in the running for Senior New Zealander of the Year.

Semifinalists in the other categories are:

Young New Zealander: Brando Yelavich (North Shore); Parris Goebel (Auckland); Andrew McDaid (Auckland); Kristina Cavit (Auckland); Ludwig Wendzich (Auckland); Lydia Ko (North Shore); Sophie Pascoe (Christchurch); Jason Pemberton (Christchurch); Todd Balogh (Dunedin); Dale Stewart (Whangaparaoa).

Senior New Zealander: Ian McLean (Rotorua); Bob Kerridge (Auckland); Francis Denz (Tauranga); Julie Bartlett (Auckland); Tom Clarkson (Westland); Billy Graham (Lower Hutt); Michael Mudford (Dargaville); Vi Cottrell (Christchurch); Frank Lowry (New Plymouth); Barry Lucinsky (Otaki).

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Community: NZ Council Victim Support (Wellington/NZ); Cranford Hospice (Hastings); KidsCan (NZ wide); UN Youth (Wellington); NZ Cadet Forces (NZ wide); ToughLove (Auckland); Magnet (Christchurch); Ronald McDonald House (Auckland); Starjam (Auckland); Otanewainuku Kiwi Trust (Tauranga).

Innovator: Dr Sean Simpson (Auckland); Andre Prassinos (Rotorua); Christopher Rodley (Nelson); Dr Craig Radford (Warkworth); Stuart Dennis (Rotorua).

Local Heroes: Dale Smith (Gisborne); Cecilia Sullivan-Grant (Mosgiel); Juping Zhou (Wellington); Janice Byford (Taihape); Dr Lance O'Sullivan (Kaitaia); David Lean (Wellington); Tim Davies-Colley (Porirua); Soteria Mareko (Auckland); Katrina Mitchell (Wellington); Simon Park (Wellington).

Click here to see the list of those in the running to be named New Zealander of the year.


- The Press


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