Polly Gillespie says it’s important to recognise ordinary Kiwis in Pride accolades.

Radio personality Polly Gillespie says she is glad to have the chance to recognise ordinary New Zealanders doing great things for their communities.

Gillespie is today named as a judge for the inaugural Pride of New Zealand Awards.

The radio host moved to The Hits station with husband Grant Kereama after more than 20 years as morning hosts at ZM.

Gillespie's involvement with the awards follows the announcement of Silver Fern Maria Tutaia as a judge.


Gillespie said it was important to recognise ordinary people whose work in the community usually went unnoticed.

"So much of social media and the media is devoted to making fun of people. So to actually talk about people who have the angel gene and who are doing good things out there, is great.

"When people see that positivity, it's such a good thing it's uplifting. It makes people happy."

The radio host grew up in Papatoetoe, in South Auckland and Hamilton.

The kind of person she would nominate for a Pride award was someone who had put their own needs aside to help address another person's needs.

"They would be the people who are for the kids. People who are willing to take in kids from troubled homes and circumstances.

"Yes, you could adopt a cute baby or a young child, but people who take in kids who have had it tough I'd nominate them. [Because] there's really nothing in there for them, only that they're giving these kids a home."

There were many people in her life and in her local community who had shown that kind of selflessness, she said, including family friends and colleagues.


The Pride of New Zealand Awards is a joint venture with The Hits radio station and TSB Bank; supported by the Herald and APN regional newspapers.

There are six categories honouring bravery and heroism, community spirit, lifetime achievement, emergency services, top fundraisers and those making a difference for the environment.

Nominations are open until June 15. Make your nomination now.