Two women with tough images are still dominating reader suggestions for the honour of being named the Herald's Woman of the Year.

Women's Refuge chief executive Merepeka Raukawa-Tait and actor Lucy Lawless are still neck and neck.

Of the more than 1300 nominations now received, most have been for the pair.

But there have been some peculiarities in the nominations in the past week, with one group organising a campaign to counter what they see as a ploy by the Women's Refuge organisation to nominate Ms Raukawa-Tait.


Members of the Father-Friendly Database, run by Glenfield man Jim Bailey, were all urged to vote for Act MP Dr Muriel Newman.

"At the moment the leading woman is Merepeka Raukawa-Tait," says the e-mail newsletter.

"You can see that this is a campaign by Women's Refuge," it says, urging members to vote for Dr Newman for her work on shared parenting legislation.

Despite the database group telling people that Dr Newman is a "definite contender" for the Woman of the Year, the public is still nominating Ms Tait in much higher numbers.

Lucy Lawless is the only other woman close to her support, though overseas voters make up the bulk of the Xena star's backers.

The race for Man of the Year is much more clear-cut and more cleanly fought.

Champion oarsman and our only gold medallist at the Sydney Olympic Games, Rob Waddell, is way ahead of the pack.

At last count his nominations total more than three times those of his nearest rivals, film-maker Peter Jackson and David Clarke, the chief executive of South Auckland Health.

Close behind them in reader support is the somewhat less clean-cut figure of Green MP Nandor Tanczos, who, along with party colleagues Sue Bradford and Jeanette Fitzsimons, is slowly but surely gathering backers.

Send your nominations to:

Your Vote

NZ Herald Editorial

PO Box 3290, Auckland

Fax: 373-6421


We will update the nominations and voting over the next month.

The voting:


Women's Refuge head Merepeka Raukawa-Tait 297

Actor Lucy Lawless 288

Act MP Muriel Newman 153

Prime Minister Helen Clark 84

Green co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons 65

Work and Income NZ chief executive Christine Rankin 57

Green MP Sue Bradford 12

Hockey player Mandy Smith 10

Cyclist Sarah Ulmer 8

Broadcaster Kim Hill 8

Labour MP Tariana Turia 4

Hollywood-based actor, producer and film consultant Anna Wilding 3

National leader Jenny Shipley 3

Alliance MP Laila Harre 3

Boardsailor Barbara Kendall 3

Northland cancer sufferer Colleen Poutsma 2

Squash player Leilani Joyce 2

Former world quash champion Susan Devoy 2


Olympic rower Rob Waddell 144

Film-maker Peter Jackson 46

South Auckland Health chief David Clarke 43

Green MP Nandor Tanczos 39

Boxer David Tua 27

All Black coach Wayne Smith 12

Mana Men's Rights spokesman Bruce Cheriton 10

Nobel Prize chemistry winner Alan MacDiarmid 8

Broadcaster John Campbell 7

Yachtsman Peter Blake 7

Warehouse founder Stephen Tindall 6

Actor Russell Crowe 6

Jockey Michael Walker 6

Yachtsman Dean Barker 5

Businessman Dick Hubbard 3

Christian Heritage Party leader Graham Capill 3

Alliance leader Jim Anderton 2

Act MP Rodney Hide 2

Finance Minister Michael Cullen 2

All Black Doug Howlett 2

Writer Joe Bennett 2

Labour MP John Tamihere 2