By 3 News online staff
Finalists for New Zealander of the Year include a plastic surgeon, a knighted researcher and an entrepreneur who makes silicon chip machines.
The Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year awards “recognise the significant contribution community volunteers make to the nation”.
More than 700 people and organisations were nominated, and a team of judges made up of well-respected New Zealanders have now chosen their finalists.
Plastic surgeon professor Swee Tan was shortlisted because of his research into strawberry birthmarks, which could be useful for cancer treatment.
Dame Anne Salmond, a writer and historian at the University of Auckland, is known for her dedication into improving the environment, as well as her writing on Maori life.
Entrepreneur Bill Buckley is well known in Silicon Valley in the United States for his machines which build 90 percent of the world’s silicon chips used in iPhones, LCD televisions and DVD players, and is a finalist because of his innovative business skills. He was also nominated for World Entrepreneur of the Year last year.
Other categories in the awards include the Countdown Senior New Zealander of the Year, Coca-Cola Amatil Young New Zealander of the Year, Mitre 10 Community of the Year, and Kiwibank Local Heroes Awards.
Countdown Senior New Zealander of the Year
- Marcia Read, founder of anxiety disorder charity Phobic Trust, Auckland
- Ian Grant, founder of the Parenting Place, Auckland
- Dorothy Hopkins, musician and teacher, Auckland
Coca-Cola Amatil Young New Zealander of the Year
- Assil Russell, 23, dentist and founder of dental charity ICARE, Hamilton
- Sophie Pascoe, Paralympic gold medallist, Christchurch
- Sam Judd, co-founder of Sustainable Coastlines, Auckland
Mitre 10 Community of the Year
- The Hawea Community, Central Otago
- Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Trust, nationwide
- The community of Uawa, Tolaga Bay
Kiwibank Local Heroes Awards
- Jade Temepara, founder of gardening initiative Hand Over a Hundy, Ashburton
- Jim Morunga, advocate for disabled Maori, Napier
- Scott Gilmour, I Have a Dream Programme founder, Auckland
The award winners will be announced in Auckland on February 28.
See the New Zealander of the Year website for more information about the finalists.