Former Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei and Australian Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce are frontrunners for the 2018 New Zealand of the Year Awards.

Despite Turei's fall from grace after she publicly admitted she lied to Winz about her living circumstances in the 1990s she has received the most nominations.

Joyce, whose New Zealand-born father makes him a New Zealand citizen, came second.

The revelation he had dual citizenship hit the headlines this month.


NZ's Labour Party became implicated in the furore after MP Chris Hipkins lodged two written parliamentary questions about whether Australian-born children of Kiwis were automatically given New Zealand citizenship.

A spokesperson for the annual awards said Joyce's eligibility for the awards will be assessed after nominations close on September 18.

Others nominees include Team New Zealand boss Grant Dalton, broadcaster Kathryn Ryan, fashion designer Annah Stretton and celebrity chef Michael Meredith.

The judging panel will evaluate the nominations and a shortlist of 10 will be announced in December.

Awards manager Glyn Taylor said nominations came from all fields of achievement and community service.

"It's not unusual for people of the moment to attract significant support during the public nominations period," he said.

"We're looking forward to seeing the expected upswing in nominations in these final weeks. The independent judging panel will then consider each nomination on how a particular individual has contributed to making New Zealand a better place to live."

The annual New Zealander of the Year awards are in their ninth year.


The 2018 Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year will be announced on February 21.

Previous winners of the New Zealander of the Year Award are: Taika Waititi (2017), Richie McCaw (2016), Sir Stephen Tindall (2015), Dr Lance O'Sullivan (2014), Dame Anne Salmond (2013), Sir Richard Taylor (2012), Sir Paul Callaghan (2011) and Sir Ray Avery (2010).

More information on the awards is at