Northlander up for NZ er of year

A Northland woman who helped revamp the Waitangi Treaty Grounds is one of eight people in the running to be named the Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year.

Jeanette Richardson was the manager of the Waitangi National Trust from 2001, and became chief executive in 2005, a position she held until June last year. She has also chaired the Waitangi Day Governance committee.

In her time as chief executive, the Treaty Grounds were opened to New Zealanders free of charge and a major building programme was begun.

The board's efforts were recognised in the 2010 Northland Business Awards with the award of Best Tourism operator and Northland Business of the Year.

Ms Richardson has published Time and Tide, a history of the north of New Zealand, and, in 2009, her play, The Land of Plenty, was first performed at the Treaty Grounds.

In addition to trust work, she owns and manages a management and human resources consultancy.

Now into her third term as a member of the Northland Cricket board, she has also served as an inaugural board member of the Colleen Poutsma Life Trust, which helps with the needs of the terminally ill.

Ms Richardson was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the community in the 2011 New Years Honours List. On the eve of Waitangi Day in 2010, she was nominated in the New Zealander of the Year awards and, in the same year, was a finalist in the Woman of the Year awards' arts and culture section.

Born in Kawakawa and now living in Opua, Ms Richardson attended Kawakawa Primary School and Bay of Islands College before completing a BA in New Zealand and Pacific history, followed by post-graduate studies in business management.

Seven Northlanders - James Bidois, Helen McGregor, Millan Ruka and Pat Cherrington of Whangarei; Terry O'Meara of Bream Bay; Frank "Derry" Godbert of Kerikeri and Clive Boonham of Kaiparaare - are in the running for the Kiwibank Local Heroes award.

The finalists for all awards will be announced in January with the awards presentation on February 28.

- Northern Advocate

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