A Tauranga woman nominated alongside Richie McCaw and Mai Chen for the 2014 New Zealander of the Year award is also up for the Metlifecare Senior New Zealander of the Year.

Frances Denz said she did not know who had nominated her but it was an honour to be considered for such prestigious awards.

"I feel very privileged," she said. "It is an extraordinary thing to happen."

The Otumoetai resident has been recognised for her work in business leadership and education in the Tauranga area.


Her company Stellaris, set up in 2005, is a centre for governance education and business training.

"We specialise in governance education and training for directors, trustees and executive committees. I like giving people the skills to take steps forward."

She said the business world was always growing and changing.

"New Zealand is amazing but we need to upskill to be kept up with the rest of the world and to be able to say that I gave someone a chance, a chance to grow and change their lives, it is a really good feeling."

Ms Denz said Stellaris, run with Ron Scott, will be offering the first NZQA approved programme for directors in New Zealand starting early in 2014.

She has helped train more than 6000 people and a standout was a client who used the skills taught to her on several entrepreneurial projects and now acts as a business mentor herself.

Of the other nominees, Ms Denz said they were all amazing people who had followed their dreams.

Ms Denz said she would never stop working.

"Life is too exciting."