Ordinary Kiwis who do extraordinary things will be celebrated in a new set of national awards launched by the Herald as part of its 150th birthday celebrations.

Hosted in partnership with Classic Hits, the Pride of New Zealand Awards will recognise the efforts of Kiwis who each year make a real difference in their communities.

The awards were launched at a function celebrating the Herald's 150th birthday at the Auckland Art Gallery last night.

The inaugural awards in six categories are an opportunity for the newspaper and its radio partner to give something back to New Zealand.


"The people who make the most positive, uplifting and inspiring contributions in the community do so selflessly, and many of the most outstanding efforts go unheralded," APN New Zealand chief executive Martin Simons said. "We want to change that and recognise everyday people doing extraordinary things.

"As the team producing New Zealand's largest newspaper, we are privileged to be able to report the stories that inspire and we are also ideally placed to lead the country in ensuring the people who make these contributions are truly appreciated.

"We will be encouraging people right across the country to get involved."

Jane Hastings, chief executive of The Radio Network, said Classic Hits was the perfect radio partner with its reach across New Zealand.

"We're thrilled to be supporting this initiative."

The award categories are:

* Bravery/Heroism - for an individual or group who have put themselves in danger to help or save the life of another.

* Community Spirit - for an individual or group whose selfless, tireless and largely unacknowledged actions have enriched lives in their community.


* Fundraiser of the Year - for an individual or group who have shown outstanding resilience in raising money for a cause.

* Emergency Services - for services such as the police, fire, ambulance, defence forces or air rescue who have gone beyond the call of duty to protect their community.

* Environmental - for an individual or group whose actions prove that by making one degree of difference to their local environment, people make a difference in the broader community.

* Lifetime Achievement - to recognise an individual or group whose actions have enriched the lives of others through a number of years and whose actions/achievements have been far reaching, possibly on a national or international level.

Details about nominations, judges and award celebrations will be announced in the coming months.