Sileni Estate boss Sir Graeme Avery and IronMaori founder Heather Skipworth have been chosen as judges for Hawke's Bay Today's 2017 Person of the Year.

The pair will join Hawke's Bay Today editor Andrew Austin and deputy editor Mark Story on this year's judging panel.

Hawke's Bay Today is keen to get a far-reaching representation of whoever you think deserves the title of 2017 Hawke's Bay Today Person of the Year.

In the search for someone to receive this honour, we need your help.


He or she could be someone who has made a significant contribution to the Hawke's Bay community in terms of charity, fundraising or other non-profit activities.

Or someone who has achieved remarkable success in her or his chosen business, career or sport.

Maybe a local who has demonstrated courageous or heroic actions?

Those nominated this year have some rather large shoes to fill.

Last year's winners, Bill and Anne Perry, were dubbed the "saviours of the Waipatiki Beach Holiday Park" after forgoing millions of dollars and sealing a deal with the Napier, Hastings and Hawke's Bay regional councils to see the park stay forever in public hands.

The 2015 winner, Ian Emmerson, was described by one of the judges, Ikaroa-Rawhiti MP Meka Whaitiri, as epitomising "the great Bay man".

Paediatrician and Children's Commissioner Russell Wills was the judges' unanimous choice the year before, while inaugural winner Flaxmere Boxing Academy head coach Craig McDougall was also chosen unanimously.

Mr Austin said Hawke's Bay Today was proud to get behind the quest to find a local worthy of Person of the Year.

"Hawke's Bay has so many people out there doing some amazing things and we see this as an opportunity to give praise to a deserving person.

"These people don't do what they do for any recognition, but we believe it is important to shine a spotlight on their achievements."

■ Nominations close 5pm this Monday. All nominations must be emailed to news@ - with a few sentences explaining why you have chosen to nominate that person. The winner will be announced before Christmas.