Exceptional individuals should be' />

Extraordinary New Zealanders are being sought for nominations for next year's New Zealander of the Year Awards.

Exceptional individuals should be nominated for their service, achievement and contribution to the country, principal sponsor Kiwibank said.

The awards would recognise a New Zealander of the Year who had made "inspirational achievements", a senior and a young New Zealander of the Year and the Community of the Year, along with up to 250 local heroes.

The winner of each category would receive $5000 towards their work, and all nominees would receive a certificate.

The 2010 New Zealander of the Year was Ray Avery, a former street kid who became a scientist and inventor, creating low-cost and sustainable health technology for developing countries.

Nominations can be submitted online at www.nzawards.org.nz or at Kiwibank, Countdown and Mitre 10 stores.