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2011 Winners

Winners - 2011 World Class New Zealand Awards

Click here to see photos from the night.

Supreme: Dr Howard Harper
Dr Howard Harper was one of New Zealand’s greatest humanitarians, but one of our least known.

He dedicated 50 years of his life restoring sight to tens of thousands of people in Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan and the former states of the USSR.

Dr Harper funded and built eye hospitals; saw one of them destroyed and rebuilt it, built schools and trained dozens of eye doctors. His legacy includes the Noor Hospital in Afghanistan, a soon to be completed day eye clinic alongside it, 10 self-sustaining eye clinics throughout central Asia, some of them now operating for 30 or more years, and two schools.

Dr Harper was held in such high regard in Afghanistan that he was granted Afghan citizenship - one of only a few foreigners ever accorded this honour.

Dr Harper continued his pioneering medical and missionary work in Central Asia until his death in October 2011. His contribution to improving the lives of countless others was exceptional - and supremely world class.
 [Sponsored by Air New Zealand]

Friend of New Zealand: Rt Hon Lord Denman
The Rt Hon Lord Charles Denman has quietly contributed to New Zealand in the most effective and meaningful ways for more than 40 years.

He has worked behind the scenes opening doors for some of our biggest and most successful companies, sharing his networks and expertise in the Middle East and the United Kingdom.

Lord Denman’s love of New Zealand began when he served as a board member on NMA, a British-based company that financed farmers and later merged with Wright Stevenson’s to form Wrightson’s NMA. He also served as a director of Challenge, which later merged to become Fletcher Challenge. He worked alongside some of our most successful business leaders including Sir Ron Trotter and Malcolm McConnell.

Lord Denman is credited with making an enormous contribution to the success of the companies he worked with and was one of the few UK based directors to have a real passion for New Zealand.

He is extremely knowledgeable about Arabic culture and customs and this was of significant benefit when the New Zealand government and Challenge were looking to work in the Middle East.

People who worked with him say Lord Denman has an amazing ability to bring people together. His greatest successes are driven by his quiet negotiations.

Lord Denman has had a distinguished career in the UK. He served in the military, reaching the rank of major and was award a Military Cross at Tobruk in 1942. On demobilisation he joined C Tennant & Sons Merchants and became Director. This company was bought by Consolidated Goldfields (London & South Africa) and Lord Denman remained Director until 1985. He was also a Director of Marine and General Mutual Life Assurance Society from 1983 till 1985. He was a Chairman of Goldfields Mahd adh Dhahab, which developed the Saudi Gold mine of that name and a Director of British Water and Wastewater Ltd, which modernised the Cairo water and sewage services. In 1990 he became Director of Al Baraka International Bank and the Saudi British Bank.

At present, Lord Denman is Chairman of the Trustees at the Arab British Chamber Charitable Foundation. He is a Governor of Windlesham House School and President of the Royal Society for Asian Affairs. He is a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of World Traders and a Member and Chairman of the Committee for Middle East Trade and of the Committee on Invisible Exports. Lord Denman is Vice-President of the Middle East Association and a Vice-President of the Saudi British Society. He was an Advisor to Former UK Prime Minister Ted Heath on Middle Eastern Affairs. [Sponsored by Westpac]

Information & Communications: Michael Boustridge
Michael Boustridge runs a multibillion services operation in more than 170 countries, managing and leading British Telecom’s (BT) relationships and business with multi-national corporations worldwide.

BT Global Services helps multi-site organisations master the complexity of business communication. It serves corporate and government customers worldwide and wholesale customers outside the UK. It provides networked IT services for the world’s largest corporations.

As a recognised global leader, Michael is also a trustee of the XPRIZE Foundation (  XPRIZE is an educational not-for-profit that attempts to solve the grand challenges of our time by offering incentive prizes of $10 million or more. 

Alongside him are the likes of Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson; Ratan Tata, the Chairman of the largest private corporate group in India; PayPal co-founder Elon Musk; Google co-founder Larry Page; Chad Hurley, co-founder of YouTube; and biologist and entrepreneur Craig Venter one of the first to sequence the human genome.

Michael also is also a director of Riverbed Technology (  Riverbed is the IT performance company for networks, applications, and storage and provides the only comprehensive WAN optimization solutions to a host of problems that prevent enterprises from sharing applications and data across wide-area networks anywhere in the world.

Michael uses every opportunity, and every contact, to promote New Zealand, specifically its agility, innovative and leading edge technical and software development skills.

Before joining BT, he was the Chief Sales and Marketing officer for EDS in New Zealand.

Michael is an avid rugby fan and enjoys motorcycle riding in his spare time. He lives in Dallas, Texas. [Sponsored by Metservice]

Creative: Michael Stedman
Television Pioneer Michael Stedman has built the award-winning Natural History New Zealand (NHNZ) into one of the most respected television production companies in the world.

NHNZ is the largest documentary production company in the Southern Hemisphere and one of the world’s largest natural history producers in the world.  Its programmes appear on some of the world’s leading networks in the United States, Europe and Asia.

When Michael took over NHNZ in 1991 he faced a stark choice: contract and face almost certain closure, or look to the international market and have a go. 

His vision was simple if not bold – BECOME A WORLD LEADER. 

His first target: the world’s largest television market the United States. NHNZ has now made more than 500 hours for the US and their programmes appear on the Discovery Channel, Animal Plant, The Science Channel, National Geographic, The Biography Channel and PBS.

From there Michael moved to Europe and then on to Asia. His strategy is based on building long-term sustainable relationships, based on the Kiwi “can do” attitude and an honest approach. 

Today NHNZ is in the area of documentaries, the world’s largest co-producer with Japan.  His status in China, regarded by senior officials as “a true friend of China” has given NHNZ exclusive access to film in China that no other Western companies have achieved. 

NHNZ has made more than 120 documentaries about New Zealand – the vast majority having been screened in over 180 countries. A five-part series on New Zealand screened to 300 million Chinese not once, but nine times. 

The company has been widely recognised internationally with 200 awards including Emmy awards — the TV industry’s highest accolade.

With Michael at the helm, NHNZ has expanded to become truly global and currently have offices in Beijing and Washington DC, ownership in Beach House Pictures - a Singapore production company, and Aquavision - the largest producer of wildlife documentaries in South Africa.  The latest initiative is in opening a production office in Abu Dhabi and exploring opportunities in Australia.

At the forefront of new technologies, NHNZ is the world’s largest producer of factual 3D productions with a total 20 x 1 hour programmes currently in production. 

A 30 year television veteran, Michael has been honoured many times. He was created an Office of New Zealand of Merit for service to television and awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of Otago.  In 2009 he was named the Screen Producers and Development Association’s (SPADA) Industry Champion of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award.  

His previous roles include Head of Features at ABC Australia, Head of Training at the Australian Film and Television School and Director of Production at Television New Zealand. [Sponsored by Wellington City Council]

Life Sciences: Emeritus Professor Robert (Bob) Elliott
Emeritus Professor Bob Elliott is a world leader in the treatment of type-1 diabetes.
He has pioneered the radical and controversial transplantation of insulin-producing pig cells into humans to treat type-1 diabetes. The hope is that the procedure will mean patients no longer need insulin injections.
Professor Elliott’s work is being hailed as a major lifesaving breakthrough.
He also discovered a new method of testing infants for Cystic Fibrosis which has been adopted internationally and is the inventor of 11 patents.
Professor  Elliott trained as a Paediatrician at Adelaide University. He moved to New Zealand in 1970 to become the Foundation Professor, Dept of Paediatrics, University of Auckland, and in 1978 Professor of Child Health. It was there he made the breakthrough on Cystic Fibrosis as well as discovering a novel medical method of treating newborn babies with cyanotic heart disease.
In 1999 he was awarded a CNZM (a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit) for services to the community. He is an Emeritus Professor of Child Health Research, is on the Board of the New Zealand Child Health Foundation (NZ) and the Wings Trust (a NZ trust for the treatment of alcohol and drug abuse) and is also patron of the NZ Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
Professor Elliott co-founded Living Cell Technologies Ltd; a company listed on the Australian stock exchange aimed at treating disease by live porcine cell transplantation.
He is currently the Medical Director of LCT and continues to work actively fostering international business collaborations in Australia, the United States, Canada, Belgium, Israel, China and Russia. [Sponsored by Ernst & Young]


Manufacturing, Design & Innovation: Sir George Fistonich
From a modest start Sir George Fistonich has built one of the country’s iconic wine companies, Villa Maria Estate.
He has spent five decades at the forefront of this major New Zealand export industry that he helped create. Sir George is an entrepreneur and passionate ‘people’ person.
Sir George founded Villa Maria Estate in Auckland in 1961 and through an unrelenting commitment to quality, drove the company to become New Zealand’s leading wine award winner, both locally and overseas for more than 30 years.
Villa Maria Estate remains proudly family and New Zealand owned and now exports to more than 50 countries, employs 250 staff and owns 350 hectares of grapes in Marlborough, Hawke’s Bay, Gisborne and Auckland.
Sir George has consistently swum against the tide – he recognised early on the importance of regional difference to grape quality and wine styles. He pioneered the use of contract growers paid for quality rather than a flat contract price.  He realised the potential of areas in  Hawke’s Bay and established some of the first vineyards there.
In 1979, he opened New Zealand's first licensed winery restaurant at the Vidal Estate, setting the standard for vineyard restaurants around the country. In 2001 he led Villa Maria to become the first major New Zealand winery to have its total wine production sealed by screwcaps.
In 2004, Sir George was shortlisted as one of the 50 most prominent figures in the wine industry by UK Wine International magazine and in 2005 he was named New Zealand’s Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year.
It was in 2009 that Sir George received his greatest honour to date - a knighthood for his services to the New Zealand wine industry - the first ever to be acknowledged for services to the New Zealand wine industry. [Sponsored by The Ministry of Science and Innovation]

Science, Technology & Academia: Dame Anne Salmond
Distinguished Professor of Maori Studies and Anthropology Dame Anne Salmond has spent her life building bridges of understanding and knowledge between Maori and Pakeha, academia and the community.
She is the pre-eminent New Zealand figure in early contact studies and Pacific voyaging, and is a long-standing staff member of the University of Auckland.
Dame Anne has written widely on Maori society and the Pacific. Her books published here and with leading overseas publishers, have achieved the difficult feat of impressing academic readers and appealing to a wider public. As a result, they have enjoyed a wide circulation and have helped to bring the excitement of first-class academic research to general readers in New Zealand and overseas.
She has been widely honoured here and overseas including a Fulbright Scholarship, a Nuffield Commonwealth Travelling Scholarship and the seventh James Cook Fellowship.
In 1988 she received the CBE for services to literature and the Maori people and in 1990 she was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand. In 1995 she was made a Dame Commander of the British Empire for Services to New Zealand History, in 2004 she received a Prime Minister's Award for Literary Achievement in Non-Fiction, and in 2007 she became an inaugural Fellow of the New Zealand Academy of the Humanities.
Dame Anne is one of just 307 fellows worldwide of the British Academy and has also been elected a foreign associate in the American National Academy of Sciences (NAS) for excellence in scientific research. She is the only New Zealander known to have received both awards.
Dame Anne has worked actively in the community as Chair of the New Zealand Historic Places Trust and on the boards of the Foundation for Science, Research and Technology, the Museum of New Zealand and Archives New Zealand.  She served as the Pro Vice Chancellor (Equal Opportunities) at the University of Auckland, acting as the sponsor for the Starpath project, which aims to enhance educational achievement for low income students. She also has a passion for conservation, establishing the Longbush Ecosanctuary in Gisborne with her husband Jeremy. [Sponsored by The Royal Society of New Zealand]

Investment & Business: Dame Judith Mayhew Jonas
Lawyer and powerbroker Dame Judith Mayhew Jonas is a significant force in the upper echelons of the British establishment
She is one of London’s most influential operators on governmental, cultural and educational fronts and has held an array of chairmanships and directorships.
Dame Judith has achieved many firsts being the first woman to lead the City of London, the first woman to Chair The Royal Opera House, the first woman Provost of King’s College Cambridge and, until its takeover in 2008, the only non-American on the main board of Merrill Lynch in New York.
Born and educated in New Zealand, Dame Judith graduated LLM from the University of Otago, where she lectured before moving to the UK as a lecturer in law at King's College, University of London.
In private practice as an employment lawyer, she became Special Adviser to the Chairman at Clifford Chance, the world's largest law firm.
Dame Judith was elected to the City of London Corporation in 1986 and became Chairman of the Policy and Resources Committee in 1996 which effectively made her leader of the City of London Corporation. She held that position for six years. She is still active in London and is currently Chair of the New West End Company, an organisation set up to drive forward the commercial opportunities for the world’s top shopping destination, London’s West End.
In 2008 she became Chairman of the Independent Schools’ Council and in 2009 was appointed to the Mayor of London’s Promote London Council. She now chairs the new economic development company London & Partners, which is the tourism and inward investment company for London. She is also a trustee of The Imperial War Museum.
Dame Judith was described as one of the “tide of reverse colonisers who have been so crucial in the rejuvenation of Britain in the past few decades” when she was named a Fellow of Birkbeck College at the University of London. In the same year she was named New Zealander of the Year in Britain.
She was appointed Dame Commander of the British Empire in the 2002 Queen's Birthday Honours list for services to the City of London. [Sponsored by BDO]

New Thinking: Sam Morgan
Sam Morgan is the founder of Trade Me, New Zealand’s largest online auction site, which he sold to Australian media company Fairfax for more than $700 million in 2006.
Sam grew up in Wellington and worked for IT consultancy Deloitte before leaving to start Trade Me in 1999.
Sam is now an active software investor and philanthropist, investing in enterprises that benefit communities in the Pacific, Asia and Africa.
A significant amount of Sam’s time is now dedicated to Jasmine Social Investments that he established after the sale of Trade Me.
Jasmine identifies high performance social ventures with a venture investment approach to philanthropy - looking for great management, evidence based management and the potential for large scale impact.  Jasmine has built a portfolio of well run, impact focussed organisations serving the poorest of the poor - in the Pacific, Asia and Africa.
Sam is a director of Fairfax Media in Australia, Tourism NZ and software company Xero.
He is involved as a shareholder, director or advisor to a number of high-growth New Zealand software companies including Sonar6 and Visfleet, which is creating the world’s easiest to use dispatch software for mobile businesses.
Sam is also co-founder of Pacific Fibre, the project to connect New Zealand and Australia with the United States via a 13,000 kilometre submarine fibre optic cable. [Sponsored by Gen-i]