Angela Swann-Cronin is flying high after being chosen as one of four local women for the Zonta Club of Rotorua 2017 Women's Achievement Awards.

The awards will be presented at a gala event at the Blue Baths tomorrow night.

Mrs Swann-Cronin was the first Maori woman to become a pilot for the Royal New Zealand Air Force in 1997, and today works as a pilot for Air New Zealand.

"I was overwhelmed and humbled when I found out," Mrs Swann-Cronin said.


"It is an honour to be nominated, and I'm so excited about the diversity of the group and to hear their stories. I'm looking forward to attending."

She spoke highly of Zonta, an international organisation empowering women through service and advocacy.

"Zonta has such a good message for young women."

Co-ordinator Pam McGrath said the awards were held every two years and acknowledged and honoured local women who had achieved greatly and inspired other women.

"There are four categories: business, sport, community and arts-related."

The other winners are artist and community advocate Jill Walker, national sexual violence survivor advocate Louise Nicholas, and women's tennis legend Ruia Morrison.

Jill Walker
Jill Walker

Ms Walker said she felt humbled to be nominated.

"Women make such a difference in the community, and this celebration being connected with International Women's Day it reminded me of how important it is to honour and celebrate women."

Louise Nicholas
Louise Nicholas

Mrs Nicholas, who was made an Officer of the NZ Order of Merit for services to the prevention of sexual violence in the 2015 Queen's Birthday Honours, said she was stoked and honoured to be given the award alongside "three amazing women".

"I love Zonta, they are amazing women doing amazing things for the community...I have had quite a bit to do with Zonta and I love the work they do."

Mrs Morrison MBE was the first Maori and the first New Zealand woman to play at Wimbledon She could not be contacted for comment.

Ruia Morrison Davy. Photo/File.
Ruia Morrison Davy. Photo/File.

Part of the awards will be celebrating International Women's Day which is held this Wednesday.

Zonta took nominations for the awards from within the club, and the winners were chosen based on contribution to the community and women who were good role models, Ms McGrath said.

"The awardees are all amazing ladies. This is an occasion to celebrate Rotorua turning out women of excellence. It will be a gala event to make the awardees feel special and a chance for locals to dress up and catch up with everyone."

The guest speaker is Lizzie Marvelly, chosen "because she is a local woman who is not only an amazing singer, but who is empowering women", Ms McGrath said.

Entertainment will be provided by young local women.

"We think it's important to mentor younger people in our community. It's a wonderful night out. Come along and share four local women who have done a lot of good for our community."

Tickets cost $75 and can be bought from Blue Baths, Parrots Fashion or from the Zonta Facebook page.