New Zealand Women of Influence Awards


The New Zealand Women of Influence Awards are an annual set of awards which recognise women who make a difference to everyday New Zealanders' lives. The Awards were first made in 2013 and were initially sponsored by Westpac Bank.[1] In 2016, Stuff NZ became a joint sponsor.

Luamanuvao Dame Winnie Laban, winner of the 2020 Women of Influence Lifetime Achievement Award

Nominations are invited from the public. A panel selects finalists in each category, who are invited to an awards dinner at the Aotea Centre in Auckland where the recipients are announced.[2] In 2021 the awards dinner was not held due the COVID-19 pandemic.


The Awards were initially presented in seven categories; additional categories have since been introduced and as of 2020 the Awards are made in ten categories: Board and Management, Business Enterprise, Innovation and Science, Young Leader, Arts and Culture, Public Policy, Community and Not-for-profit, Diversity, Global and Rural. In addition, there is a Supreme Award, which is awarded each year, and a Lifetime Achievement Award, which has been awarded four times.[1][3]

The category Innovation and Science was titled Science, Health and Innovation until 2019. In 2021 it was renamed Innovation, Science and Health.[4] The category Young Leader was titled Emerging Leader in 2013 and 2014. The category Arts and Culture was titled Arts in 2013 and 2014. The category Community and Not-for-Profit was titled Community and Social in 2013, Community in 2014 and Community Hero in 2021.[4]

The category Social Enterprise has been awarded once, in 2014. The category Local and Regional has been awarded twice, in 2013 and in 2014.[5]

In 2021, the category Global was not awarded, a category Environment was added and the category Rural was re-named Primary Industries.[6][4]


Dame Silvia Cartwright is the head of the judging panel. On the 2020 panel with her were Sir John Kirwan, Vanisa Dhiru, Abbie Reynolds, Sinead Boucher and Gina Dellabarca.[7] In 2021 Francene Wineti replaced Sir John Kirwan on the panel.[8]


Parris Goebel, winner of the 2015 Young Leader Award and the 2020 Arts and Culture Award
Year Category Recipient Notes
2021 Supreme Woman of Influence Bronwyn Hayward, expert on expertise on sustainability, climate change and youth [6]
Lifetime Achievement Dame Silvia Cartwright, New Zealand’s first female High Court judge and second female Governor-General
Board and Management Cassandra Crowley, CEO of Te Arawa Management Limited
Business Enterprise Jessie Wong, director of Yu Mei
Innovation, Science and Health Beverley Lawton, founder and director of Centre for Women’s Health Research – Te Tātai Hauora o Hine
Young Leader Kate Gatfield-Jeffries, co-founder of Young Women in Business and Law mentoring groups
Arts and Culture Qiane Matata-Sipu, founder and creator of NUKU
Public Policy Melanie Mark-Shadbolt, Deputy Secretary Māori Rights and Interests, Ministry for the Environment
Diversity Dana Youngman, television executive
Community Hero Bernadette Pinnell, founder of Compass Housing Services
Primary Industries Tia Potae, Whānau Ora navigator at Tokomairiro Waiora
Environment Bronwyn Hayward
Year Category Recipient Notes
2020 Supreme Woman of Influence Siouxsie Wiles, microbiologist and leading Covid-19 commentator [9]
Lifetime Achievement Luamanuvao Dame Winnie Laban, New Zealand’s first female MP of Pacific Island descent
Board and Management Dame Alison Paterson, businesswoman and company director
Business Enterprise Sonya Williams and Brooke Roberts, co-founders of Sharesies
Innovation and Science Siouxsie Wiles
Young Leader Aigagalefili Fepulea'i Tapua'i, climate change and social equality campaigner
Arts and Culture Parris Goebel, choreographer and dancer
Public Policy Una Jagose, New Zealand Solicitor-General
Community and Not-for-Profit Ranjna Patel, domestic violence campaigner
Diversity Tupe Solomon-Tanoa'i, diplomat
Global Jane Kelsey, lawyer and political scientist
Rural Trish Fraser, soil scientist
Dame Jane Harding, winner of the 2019 Supreme Woman of Influence Award
Year Category Recipient Notes
2019 Supreme Woman of Influence Dame Jane Harding, medical researcher [10][11]
Board and Management Abbie Reynolds, sustainable business leader
Business Enterprise Brianne West, sustainable beauty entrepreneur and founder of Ethique
Innovation and Science Dame Jane Harding
Young Leader Annika Andresen, marine conservationist
Arts and Culture Jennifer Ward-Lealand, actress
Public Policy Debbie Sorensen, public health leader
Community and Not-for-Profit Swanie Nelson, community organiser
Diversity Tapu Misa, journalist
Global Anne-Marie Brady, political scientist
Rural Gina Mohi, environmental planner
Year Category Recipient Notes
2018 Supreme Woman of Influence Jackie Clark, of The Aunties, a charity working with domestic violence survivors in South Auckland [12]
Lifetime Achievement Theresa Gattung, businesswoman and former chief executive of Telecom New Zealand
Board and Management Farah Palmer, former captain of New Zealand's women's rugby union team, the Black Ferns
Business Enterprise Angie Judge, technology entrepreneur [13]
Science, Health and Innovation Wendy Larner, president of the Royal Society Te Apārangi
Young Leader Maddison McQueen-Davies, founder of Share a Pair NZ
Arts and Culture Miranda Harcourt, actress
Public Policy Charlotte Korte, for creating Mesh Down Under [12][14]
Community and Not-for-Profit Jackie Clark
Diversity Sarah Lang, founder of Women's Infrastructure Network [15]
Global Sarah Vrede
Rural Rebecca Keoghan [16]
Hinemoa Elder, winner of the 2017 Science, Health and Innovation Award
Year Category Recipient Notes
2017 Supreme Woman of Influence Cecilia Robinson, founder of My Food Bag [17]
Lifetime Achievement Helen Clark, former Prime Minister of New Zealand
Board and Management Anne-Maree O'Connor, investment banker
Business Enterprise Cecilia Robinson [18]
Science, Health and Innovation Hinemoa Elder, youth forensic psychiatrist
Young Leader Sharnay Cocup, founder of the Taupiri Youth Group Trust
Arts and Culture Denise L'Estrange-Corbet, fashion designer
Public Policy Rebecca Kitteridge, director of the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service
Community and Not-for-Profit Lisa King, founder of school lunch provider Eat My Lunch
Diversity Minnie Baragwanath, founder of Be. Accessible, a social change agency focusing on changing how New Zealanders view accessibility
Global Siân Simpson
Rural Nicola Shadbolt, agricultural businesswoman
Mavis Mullins, winner of the 2016 Rural Award
Year Category Recipient Notes
2016 Supreme Woman of Influence Helen Robinson, businesswoman [19]
Lifetime Achievement Dame Rosanne Meo, businesswoman
Board and Management Helen Robinson
Business Enterprise Lisa King, founder of school lunch provider Eat My Lunch
Science, Health and Innovation Michelle Dickinson, nanotechnologist and science educator
Young Leader Alexia Hilbertidou, founder of GirlBoss NZ
Arts and Culture Gaylene Preston, filmwriter, director and producer
Public Policy Naomi Ferguson, Commissioner of Inland Revenue
Community and Not-for-Profit Catriona Williams, founder of Catwalk Trust
Diversity Sue Kedgley, Wellington politician
Global Lyn Provost, Auditor-General of New Zealand
Rural Mavis Mullins
Year Category Recipient Notes
2015 Supreme Woman of Influence Joan Withers, for her work campaigning for more women on boards and in business [3]
Board and Management Joan Withers [20]
Business Enterprise Linda Jenkinson, entrepreneur
Science, Health and Innovation Frances Valintine, education futurist
Young Leader Parris Goebel, choreographer and dance
Arts and Culture Victoria Spackman, creative director and business executive
Public Policy Vicky Robertson, Chief Executive of the Ministry for the Environment and Secretary for the Environment [5][21]
Community and N Stacey Shortall, volunteer lawyer in women's prisons
Diversity Colonel Karyn Thompson, the most senior woman in the New Zealand Defence Force
Global Dame Judith Mayhew Jonas, lawyer
Rural Katie Milne, first woman president of Federated Farmers [5][19]
Year Category Recipient Notes
2014 Supreme Woman of Influence Lesley Elliott, for her work at the Sophie Elliott Foundation, which educates New Zealanders on healthy relationships [3]
Board and Management Traci Houpapa, company director [5]
Business Enterprise Dame Wendy Pye, publisher
Science, Health and Innovation Dame Margaret Brimble, chemist [22]
Emerging Leader Parris Goebel, choreographer and dance
Arts Shona McCullagh, choreographer and founding director of the New Zealand Dance Company
Community Lesley Elliott
Local and Regional Kerry Prendergast, Wellington politician
Social Enterprise Jo-anne Wilkinson and Anne Miles
Mai Chen, winner of the 2013 Business Enterprise Award
Year Category Recipient Notes
2013 Supreme Woman of Influence Dame Therese Walsh, chief operating officer for the 2011 Rugby World Cup [1]
Board and Management Dame Therese Walsh
Business Enterprise Mai Chen, constitutional and administrative lawyer [5]
Science, Health and Innovation Marilyn Waring, public policy scholar
Emerging Leader Mahsa Mohaghegh, founder of women's networking group She Sharp [22]
Arts Victoria Spackman, creative director and business executive
Community and Social Emeline Afeaki-Mafile'o, community leader [5]
Local and Regional Fran Wilde, Wellington politician

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c "Women of Influence Awards | Ministry for Women". Retrieved 3 June 2016.
  2. ^ "Women of Influence 2016: About the awards". Stuff. Retrieved 3 June 2016.
  3. ^ a b c "Know a Woman of Influence?". Stuff. Retrieved 3 June 2016.
  4. ^ a b c "Categories". Women of Influence. Retrieved 12 February 2022.
  5. ^ a b c d e f "Women of Influence 2016: Meet our alumni". Stuff. Retrieved 27 September 2017.
  6. ^ a b "2021 Winners". Women of Influence. Retrieved 11 February 2022.
  7. ^ "Judges". Women of Influence. Retrieved 15 December 2020.
  8. ^ "Judges". Women of Influence. Retrieved 11 February 2022.
  9. ^ "Dr Siouxsie Wiles supreme winner at Stuff-Westpac 2020 Women of Influence Awards". Stuff. 17 November 2020. Retrieved 14 December 2020.
  10. ^ "2019 Women of Influence Supreme winner medical pioneer Jane Harding". Stuff. 24 October 2019. Retrieved 14 December 2020.
  11. ^ "2019 Winners". Women of Influence. Retrieved 14 December 2020.
  12. ^ a b "Women of Influence awards". Stuff. 18 September 2018. Retrieved 8 October 2018.
  13. ^ "2018 Winners". Women of Influence. Retrieved 13 December 2020.
  14. ^ "Patients who say surgical mesh has made their lives a 'living hell' question why it's still being used". Stuff. Retrieved 8 October 2018.
  15. ^ "Sarah Lang: Women of Influence Diversity Award Winner | Scoop News". Retrieved 7 October 2018.
  16. ^ "Rebecca Keoghan named Rural Woman of Influence - Life & Leisure - The Country News". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 7 October 2018.
  17. ^ "My Food Bag founder Cecilia Robinson supreme winner at Women of Influence awards". Stuff. Retrieved 2 June 2018.
  18. ^ "2017 Winners". Women of Influence. Retrieved 14 December 2020.
  19. ^ a b "Women of Influence winners". Stuff. Retrieved 13 October 2016.
  20. ^ "2015 Winners". Women of Influence. Retrieved 14 December 2020.
  21. ^ "Leadership team | Ministry for the Environment". Retrieved 8 October 2018.
  22. ^ a b "Alumni". Women of Influence. Retrieved 14 December 2020.