Blake trust names winners

By Errol Kiong, Nicholas Moody

The spirit of Sir Peter Blake lives on in a new generation.

Six emerging leaders were named at the Sir Peter Blake Leadership Awards at Government House in Wellington on Saturday night, and the trust set up in the murdered yachtsman's name is sending its first seven young "ambassadors" to an environmentalism summit in Japan.

Sir John Anderson, NZ Cricket chairman and ANZ-National Bank chief executive, was also named the first Blake medallist for his contribution to business, sport, environment and the community.

The six emerging leaders were Samara Sutherland, 25, marine education advocate; Mark Weldon, 37, NZ Stock Exchange chief executive; New York-based Steven Carden, 31, founder of the First Foundation youth mentoring programme; Greg Fleming, 35, co-founder of the Maxim Institute; Neil Paviour-Smith, 36, managing director of sharebroking and investment house Forsyth Barr; and Glen Sowry, 42, yachtsman, Olympic selector and Air NZ executive.

Each receives $5000 from the Lion Foundation and $5000 worth of Air NZ travel.

Sir Peter's widow, Lady Pippa Blake, spoke highly of all the award recipients.

"It seems to me this country is in good hands when I observe the calibre of these emerging leaders who are rising through the ranks," she said.

The ambassadors to the summit in Aichi, Japan, this week, are Hannah Kiely (Kaitaia), Finn McLennan-Elliot (Auckland), Jasmin Lancaster (Rangiora), Sophie Turner (Motueka), Eddie Jackson (Taupo), Brittany Packer (Nelson) and Tony Smith (Feilding).

This is the 10th Children's World Summit for the Environment, which draws more than a thousand 10- to 14-year-olds from around the world.

Lady Pippa told the children NZ needed future leaders to protect the environment "to ensure future generations can enjoy the many experiences in the outdoors that we have been fortunate to have".

Finn McLennan-Elliot, 12, who guides groups of visitors around Tiritiri Matangi Island, where a brown teal is named after him, said the trip would be a great opportunity to share experiences with like-minded children.

The Peter Blake Trust was established in June last year to honour the memory of the man who led Team NZ to its America's Cup triumph in 1995.

He was killed by pirates in December 2001 during an environmental voyage on the Amazon.

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