Oamaru-born navy veteran wins Sir Peter Blake Leadership award
A navy veteran who grew up in Oamaru was honoured for her outstanding leadership at a special ceremony at Government House on Friday.
Lieutenant Commander Kerry Tutty was given the Sir Peter Blake Leadership Award.
Tutty, a former student of St Kelvin's College in Oamaru, was the current executive officer of HMNZS Philomel, the navy's main operations centre at the Devonport Naval headquarters in Auckland.
She had previously seen operational service in Iraq, Kosovo and Timor-Leste.
Tutty had been looking after visiting ships from 12 different nations as part of the Royal New Zealand Navy's 75th birthday celebrations when the Kaikoura Earthquake struck.
Tutty said plans for the celebration had to be instantly scaled back, and were then passed on to her team to put into action.
"They went about that just in a heartbeat, they are just incredible people. It's emotional to be recognised for parts of that, but there's nothing that happens without your team.
"It's difficult to actually accept an award for something where there's been great sadness and trauma to so many people."
Tutty was heavily involved in the New Zealand Defence Force's touch rugby and netball teams, coached provincial North Harbour touch rugby team and played for a provincial touch team.
She thought her sporting efforts had also played a part in the being given the award.
"I have always been passionate about driving diversity and gender integration. Sport brings a different type of leadership and a different type of way you can influence people, often people become very confident through sport.
"I think that's been the driver behind being put forward for this [award], because I don't sit still."
Tutty said one her "key drivers" was "making people feel valued through sport ... ensuring they have a positive experience through sport so they can become the best versions of themselves".