The judges & criteria

We're extremely excited to have so many esteemed leaders from around New Zealand as judges for our Women of Influence awards. 

Meet our Judges

Dame Rosanne Meo

Dame Rosanne Meo is a prominent New Zealand businesswoman. In 1991 she was the first female president of the Employers' Federation and in her time as a public director, has chaired Television New Zealand and sat on the board of Mercury Energy, Sky TV, Ports of Auckland, Forestry Corporation and Baycorp.

She currently chairs Briscoes and the Real Estate Institute, is a Director of Overland Footwear, James Dunlop Textiles and a Trustee of Kelliher Trust and the Middlemore Foundation. Dame Rosanne is renowned for bringing her business expertise into non-profit organisations such as the Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra Trust Board, Liggins Institute, South Auckland Health Foundation and the Kelliher Charitable Trust.

She was awarded a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2011 for services to business and community and was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1993. 

Sinead Boucher

Sinead Boucher 100x150

Sinead Boucher has been instrumental in growing to become New Zealand's biggest news site, developing Fairfax's digital strategy and content approach, and the launch of products and services such as Stuff's mobile apps, Stuff Nation and Essential Mums.

Sinead Boucher's history with Fairfax Media began in 1993 as a reporter for The Press in Christchurch. She moved up the ranks in her six-year stint, before heading to the UK on her OE. She worked as a digital journalist for the Financial Times site,, before moving to Reuters' London bureau, where she was a general correspondent responsible for reporting on terrorism in the UK post 9/11.

In 2004, however, she returned to New Zealand and to Fairfax Media to take up the role of Assistant Editor at The Press, charged with developing the online presence for Since then, her roles have included Group Online Editor in 2007 and a title change to Group Digital Editor in 2011, followed by Group Executive Editor in 2013 - reflecting her wide responsibilities across the group's online editorial products and product development.

Karen Silk


Karen has more than 20 years’ experience in Institutional and Middle Markets Banking in both New Zealand and Australia.

Karen is the General Manager Commercial, Corporate & Institutional for Westpac New Zealand responsible for products and customer engagement and the development and delivery of services to our Institutional, Corporate and Commercial clients in New Zealand.

Before returning to New Zealand Karen held a range of senior roles within WIB Australia, her last being Managing Director and Global Head of Debt Capital Markets. She was also inaugural Chair of the Westpac Group Property Risk Forum and prior to this lead Westpac Australia’s Corporate and Institutional Property Teams.

Previously Karen has been responsible for leading Institutional and Middle Market segments at both Westpac and Credit Agricole in New Zealand.

Jamie Tuuta

100x150 Jamie Tuuta

Jamie is the Māori Trustee and CEO of Te Tumu Paeroa. Te Tumu Paeroa protects and enhances Maori land and assets, administering 100,000 hectares of land throughout the country and managing a variety of investment interests.

Jamie has held a range of governance positions in the following sectors: iwi development, agribusiness, fishing, investment, health, Māori development, tourism and education. He is currently a director of Aotearoa Fisheries Ltd, Te Ohu Kaimoana Trustee Ltd, Wools of New Zealand, Taranaki Investment Management Ltd and is a board member of Tourism New Zealand.

He is the former chair of Parininihi ki Waitōtara Incorporation a large land based farming business, Te Runanga o Ngāti Mutunga and the Ngati Mutunga ki Wharekauri Asset Holding Company. He is also a former director of Port Nicholson Fisheries Ltd a lobster export business and was a member of the Government appointed Investment Advisory Panel for the Primary Growth Partnership.

Jamie is passionate about investing in innovation and increasing the economic and environmental performance of our primary industries, particularly the Māori pastoral and fishing sectors. He has a particular interest in building and developing the capacity and capability of the Māori primary sector.

Jamie is also a recipient of the Sir Peter Blake Emerging Leadership Award.

Sam Johnston

Sam Johnson

 Sam Johnson is the Director of WeMobilise. As Former Young New Zealander of the Year and Sir Peter Blake Trust Awardee, Sam regularly works with non-profits, corporate groups and government agencies on team motivation, community mobilisation, strategy development and crisis management.

Sam specialises in carefully curating diverse teams of people to achieve outcomes for clients and partners and has spent the past five years heavily involved in socially conscious entrepreneurial and resilience movements throughout the Asia/ Pacific region. His journey started in founding the internationally acclaimed Student Volunteer Army following the Christchurch earthquakes that mobilised 11,000 volunteers to clean up the city.

He is also Trustee of the Royal New Zealand Plunket Foundation, Chair of the Aotearoa Youth Leadership Institute and Advisory trustee of the Pacific Development and Conservation Trust. He has a BA in Politics and Community and Professional Engagement from the University of Canterbury and and has recently been appointed an Adjunct Fellow in the School of Education and Leadership.

Frances Valintine

Frances Valintine

The founder of Tech Futures Lab, Frances is also the founder and chair of The Mind Lab. The Mind Lab is a private-public partnership with Unitec delivering programmes in digital and collaborative technologies for school students and teachers. Tech Futures Lab is a boot camp for business leaders and boards to develop an understanding of technological enablers and emerging technical threats that are redefining the rules and foundations of contemporary business.

Frances has a Master of Education Management from the University of Melbourne and is an alumni from Singularity University in the Silicon Valley.

In 2015, she was awarded the Westpac Woman of Influence – Innovation, and the Next Magazine Woman of the Year – Education. In 2014, Idealog Magazine rated her as one of the top 10 most Innovative people in New Zealand.

In 2014 Frances's business won the ‘Best New Business’ in the Talent International Asia/Pacific Awards judged by Sir Richard Branson and Steve Wozniak.

She is on the board of Education NZ, Talentnomics, a Washington DC initiative supporting women into leadership roles and NZTech.

Criteria, Terms and Conditions

Entry criteria

Candidates will be judged on their demonstrated vision, leadership, innovation and action in and beyond their field, as well as on their impact and how it was achieved.

The judging panel will give consideration to:

  • Personal, academic, professional and community achievements. 
  • Demonstrated performance in their chosen field. 
  • Demonstration of collaboration within or beyond their field, and a wider circle of influence than their direct role. 
  • If their influence has contributed to women’s social and economic advancement. 
  • Involvement and contribution to New Zealand communities through collaboration and mentoring. 
  • Extent to which their contribution was innovative.

Terms and Conditions

Submission of a nomination, or consent to proceed to nomination, constitutes acceptance of the following terms and conditions.

1. To be eligible to enter the Women of Influence 2016 Awards (the “Awards”), candidates: 
a. must be women who are currently living in New Zealand and are either New Zealand citizens or permanent New Zealand residents. Entrants in the global category must be a New Zealand citizen or a permanent resident, but can be based overseas;
b. must not be judges or direct suppliers of the Awards;
c. must be aged 16 years or over as at Friday 15 July 2016;
c. if entering the Business Enterprise Award, the business must have been operating for at least 36 months as at Friday 15 July 2016; 
d. if entering the Young Leader Award, must be aged under 25 years as at Friday 15 July 2016; and 
e. who were category winners in the 2015 Women of Influence Awards cannot enter the same category in the 2016 Awards.
2. Employees of Westpac New Zealand Limited (“Westpac”) or any entity within the Westpac Group, or Fairfax New Zealand Limited (“Fairfax Media”) or any entity within the Fairfax Media Publications Pty Limited group are not eligible to enter or be nominated in these Awards. Employees of sponsors may only enter categories other than the category their employer sponsors.
3. Nominations open on Wednesday 1 June 2016 and close on Friday 15 July 2016.
4. Nominations must be submitted in accordance with the instructions set out at and on the entry form, along with the relevant information detailed in the entry criteria and category descriptions at
5. Candidates may submit multiple entries in different categories but may only submit one entry per individual category.
6. The judging panel and its representatives reserve the right to verify nominations in each category, for example, by requesting further information or by contacting referees. 
7. The winners of each category and the overall winner will be announced on 12 October 2016.
8. A candidate may be nominated by a third party. The third party submitting the nomination must obtain the consent of the person they are nominating prior to submitting the entry form. Following submission of the nomination, the candidate will receive an email requiring them to confirm their consent to nomination, including (a) their agreement to these Terms and Conditions; and (b) their agreement to their referees being contacted for verification purposes. 
9. The judging panel reserves the right to make a special award that falls outside the prescribed categories, where, in the opinion of the judging panel, a candidate merits recognition not covered by the prescribed categories. 
10. The judging panel reserves the right not to make an award in a category. 
11. Additional information not forming part of the entry form should be clearly marked so as to indicate which portion of the entry form it supports. 
12. Information provided in entries (including any photo provided) may be made publicly available and may also feature in Fairfax Media editorial coverage from July through to October 2016. By providing a photograph in an application the candidate warrants that they are either the owner of the photograph or are authorised to provide the photograph for use in relation to the Awards. Candidates may be contacted for editorial coverage by Fairfax Media and agree to participate in any interviews conducted by Fairfax Media or other media coverage. 
13. Category winners agree to make themselves available for publicity purposes relating to the Awards, including without limitation participation in the promotion of the Awards for the following year.
14. All decisions made by the judging panel are final and no correspondence will be entered into.
15. Fairfax Media and Westpac accept no responsibility for late or incomplete entries.
16. The entry, judging and award process is managed by Fairfax Media and Westpac. 
17. For enquiries about eligibility or other questions relating to the Awards, please contact