Vaimoana Tapaleao is the New Zealand Herald's Pacific Affairs and People reporter.

Following in Blake's wake

Sir Peter Blake inspired the awards.
Sir Peter Blake inspired the awards.

Some of New Zealand's top men and women have been honoured in this year's Sir Peter Blake Leadership Awards.

Acknowledging inspiring leaders from all walks of life, the awards were established in honour of the late Sir Peter Blake, widely regarded as one of New Zealand's most recognised leaders.

At a ceremony in the Auckland Town Hall last night, Judge Michael "Mick" Brown was awarded the premium award, the Blake Medal by Lady Pippa Blake, Sir Peter's widow and patron of the trust.

Six others were recognised as Blake Leadership Award winners.

They were former world discus champion Beatrice Faumuina, Northland GP Dr Lance O'Sullivan, disability advocate Minnie Baragwanath, South Auckland music programme director Dr Joe Harrop and Hawkes Bay school principals Louise Anaru and Nicola Ngarewa.

Trust chief executive Shelley Campbell said the diverse backgrounds of this year's recipients illustrated the changing face of the country's leaders.

"This year's award winners have demonstrated a significant contribution to future-proofing New Zealand society," she said.

"What is evident is that women, Maori and Pacific leaders are assuming key leadership roles in greater numbers than ever before and achieving remarkable results.

"This is suggesting that the investment in diversity and cultural leadership capability over the last decade is beginning to pay dividends."

The Blake leaders will join an impressive alumni of New Zealanders who are given the opportunity to take part in leadership activities, forums and environmental expeditions.

The Herald is profiling all the Sir Peter Blake Leadership Award winners, beginning today with Judge Brown. The other winners will be featured next week.

- NZ Herald

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