I'm sure Louise Nicholas isn't feeling too upset she didn't walk away with the Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year title on Wednesday night.

It was a foregone conclusion that Ritchie McCaw was going to win.

Taking nothing away from the finalists, McCaw stood head and shoulders above the others.

Twice he's brought the country together as a result of Rugby World Cup wins.


He's been named the best rugby player in the world, been awarded the country's highest honour the Order of New Zealand, has been a role model to children, donated to charity, shown leadership skills like no other and to top it all off has his fixed-wing pilot's licence.

It's the kind of over-achieving that usually makes us a little nauseous but McCaw isn't arrogant or in love with himself.

He has never lost that shy and genuinely humble approach that we like to think is truly a Kiwi characteristic.

He said on television show Paul Henry yesterday he didn't expect to win.

He reckoned by looking through the list of finalists, that there were some pretty amazing people who did things like change the world.

He just played rugby.

It's that kind of modesty and humility we are used to seeing with McCaw.

Now that he's got this massive list of achievements under his belt, what next for him?

A life of doing what he loves, getting married, having a family and staying out of the public eye will probably be on the cards.

But as he prepares to bow out of the spotlight, I wonder if we will ever have a New Zealander adored as much as him?