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Dr. Jim Salinger named 2024 Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year

Distinguished international climate scientist, Jim Salinger has been named the 2024 Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year Te Pou Whakarae o Aotearoa.

Dr. Jim Salinger CRSNZ, a distinguished international climate scientist, has dedicated almost fifty years to advancing climate science.

Recognised as one of the first scientists to address global warming, his pioneering work in 1975 marked the inception of a remarkable career.

Born in Dunedin in 1947, he completed a Bachelor of Science from the University Otago in 1971, a Doctor of Philosophy from Victoria University of Wellington in 1981 and a Master of Philosophy in Environmental Law from the University of Auckland in 1999.

Jim’s contributions include ground-breaking research on Southern Hemisphere climate change, earning him the prestigious NZ Science and Technology Medal in 1994.

Jim is a Companion of the Royal Society of New Zealand, an Author, and an inexhaustible publisher in academic journals. With over 190 publications and counting, Jim is an influential communicator on climate change, addressing audiences nationwide. He was a lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which earned the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007.

Throughout his career, he has been an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Otago, a visiting Professor at Stanford University, Research Fellow at CNR in Rome, Italy and a CSIRO Fellow in Hobart, Tasmania. His studies investigate climate extremes including drought, and documenting the shrinking ice volume in the New Zealand Southern Alps.

More recently, Jim has garnered multiple accolades, including the 2018 World Meteorological Organization Award and the 2019 Jubilee Medal, in recognition of his lifetime achievements in climate and agricultural science. Today, he remains an advocate for environmental responsibility, offering practical advice through talks around the country and is a founding member of the Intergenerational ambassadors – a collective looking to unite New Zealanders across the generations for positive change.

Congratulations Jim Sallinger, We’re humbled to be able to recognise your remarkable impact, past and present, in Aotearoa.

Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year Awards – Ngā Tohu Pou Kōhure o Aotearoa Winners Announced for Seven Categories

The New Zealander of the Year Awards Office is pleased to announce the other 6 winners across seven categories for the 2024 Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year Awards Ngā Tohu Pou Kōhure o Aotearoa. The Winners in each Award were announced at the Awards dinner on Wednesday 27 March, 2024.

Now in its 15th year, the annual Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year Awards celebrate and honour extraordinary Kiwi from all walks of life; those who inspire, innovate and lead. These awards acknowledge the enormous contribution, sacrifice and commitment of people who have selflessly worked to make their local hapori, and Aotearoa, a better place.

The Awards Office received a record number of nominations that were rigorously evaluated by at least two rounds of independent and diverse judging panels. These winners have navigated the year that was with their own style; carving the way in their particular fields to ultimately unite communities and create change.


2024 University of Canterbury Young New Zealander of the Year Te Mātātahi o te Tau Winner

Simran Kaur (Tāmaki Makaurau, Auckland)

Simran Kaur, the founder of Girls That Invest, has grown her podcast into an online phenomenon that is helping millions of women to learn about investing and unapologetically generate wealth. 

2024 Ryman Healthcare Senior New Zealander of the Year Te Mātāpuputu o te Tau Winner Bob Francis (Te Whanganui a Tara, Wellington)

The definition of living life to the fullest, Bob Francis NZM QSO MBE JP is a remarkable man with an extraordinary record of community service.

2024 Spark New Zealand Innovator of the Year Te Pou Whakairo o te Tau


Cecilia Robinson (Tāmaki Makaurau, Auckland)

Cecilia Robinson is widely regarded as a leading entrepreneur in the country. Her latest venture, Tend Health, redefines primary healthcare with innovative services and technology.

2024 MFE New Zealand Environmental Hero of the Year Te Toa Taiao o te Tau


Nicola MacDonald (Tāmaki Makaurau, Auckland)

Nicola MacDonald is a dedicated conservationist who has gone above and beyond to preserve our environment, uphold cultural values, and foster a sense of unity for all.

2024 Mitre 10 New Zealand Community of the Year Ngā Pou Whirinaki o te Tau


Cyclone Gabrielle Volunteers (Across Aotearoa)

In the aftermath of devastating flooding, a diverse group of Cyclone Gabrielle Volunteers have stepped up to help, showing unwavering dedication and embodying the spirit of unity and solidarity in times of crisis.

2024 Kiwibank New Zealand Local Hero of the Year Te Pou Toko o Te Tau


Sally Walker (Tāmaki Makaurau, Auckland)

Sally Walker is a dedicated advocate for women, whose remarkable efforts have driven fundamental changes in the healthcare sector by raising awareness around the impact of surgical mesh injuries.

2024 Te Pou Tūroa o Aotearoa, New Zealand Legacy Award

Sir Wayne Smith KNZM (Tauranga)

Sir Wayne Smith is a New Zealand rugby union coach and former player. He has won three Rugby World Cups; was assistant coach for the All Blacks, and more recently, he was head coach of the New Zealand women’s team, the Black Ferns.


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