Four Rotorua women will be honoured at this year's Zonta Women's Achievement Awards.

Author, broadcaster and businesswoman Wendyl Nissen will be guest speaker at Friday's dinner.

The event, held every second year, sees awards presented in four categories - sport, business, community and general.

Jenny Nahu will be presented with the Women's Achievement Award for Sport, for her commitment to rugby league in Rotorua and the wider Bay of Plenty region. Her award is in appreciation of her tireless efforts at the operational and management level of rugby league, liaising tournaments and supporting youth into the sport.


Former chief executive of the Lakes District Health Board and director of Kowhai Health Associates Cathy Cooney will be receiving the Business Award for her contribution as one of Rotorua's most reputable health professionals.

She has 40 years' experience in the health sector, was also the acting chief executive for HealthShare, and was formerly a director on the boards of Quality Health NZ and the Partnership Resource Centre.

The Community Award will be awarded to Rotorua Creative Arts Trust chairwoman Barbara Cook, who has been involved with Rotorua's Wearable Creations'n Colour since 2003. Although Wearable Creations ended in 2012, she also won a Sir Peter Blake Leadership Week award for her work forming the Rotorua Creative Arts Trust.

Allison Zanelli will be awarded the General Award. She is well known for her contribution to music in Rotorua and was formerly head of department of music at Rotorua Girls' High and director of performance music at Rotorua Boys' High.

Ms Zanelli has been involved in rehabilitation therapy services, the Institute of Registered Music Teachers of New Zealand (IRMTNZ) Rotorua Branch Music Scholarship and is teaching at the Rotorua School for Young Parents.

Event organiser, Zontian Pam McGrath, is delighted to have attracted Nissen to the event.

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"With someone like Wendyl, and such a beautiful venue and gorgeous food, it will be a truly special evening to celebrate the achievements of these amazing local women," Ms McGrath said.

The event will be held at the Blue Baths at 6.15pm this Friday. Tickets are $72 and are available from or