A secret admirer has sung the praises of Glenbervie couple Rick and Joan Kennaway, nominating the pair in this year's inaugural Pride of NZ awards.

The Opera North founders were put forward by the anonymous nominator for their fundraising skills in particular, such as raising $4500 this year for the North Haven Hospice in the annual event, Opera in the Garden.

The inaugural Pride of New Zealand Awards were launched in May this year by The New Zealand Herald, The Hits and TSB Bank. The Pride of New Zealand Awards will celebrate Kiwi greatness, and recognise those who selflessly work to make New Zealand a better place to live.

"Together Rick and Joan have inspired the singers of Opera North to raise thousands of dollars for charity through their performances at fundraising events," the person wrote.

In 2013 they co-ordinated an event for a charity close to their hearts - Auckland's Domain Lodge, where Rick stayed while undergoing chemotherapy in May last year.


"He hadn't even been home five minutes before he was hatching a plan for a Daffodil Variety Concert for this home away from home for many Northland families undergoing cancer treatment in Auckland," the nominator said.

"Together they co-ordinated a swag of Whangarei talent who performed in a sold out concert to a very appreciative audience.

Mr Kennaway felt the Domain Lodge was a very worthy cause. "It's free lodging and it's so beneficial, so I felt I should try and do something."

He said while "it's very nice to be nominated" - it's not just the work of the Kennaways.

"We've got a wonderful committee dedicated to helping us in any way they can."