24 Oct 2019

Professor Jane Harding, whose decades of acclaimed research has improved health outcomes for newborn babies, is the Supreme Winner of the 2019 Women of Influence Awards.

The Distinguished Professor of Neonatology at the University of Auckland was honoured at the seventh annual Women of Influence Awards at the Auckland Town Hall this evening.

Professor Harding is best known for her pioneering work helping the one in six babies who develop low blood sugar (hypoglycaemia). Her research findings changed medical practice globally, halving rates of New Zealand neonatal intensive care admission for babies with this condition.

Westpac and Stuff jointly present the awards programme, attracting a record 371 nominations across 10 categories this year.

Westpac NZ Chief Executive David McLean says Professor Harding’s achievements exemplify the bold and ground-breaking work of Kiwi women across all walks of life.

“Her tireless research work and her lobbying for effective treatments for babies has touched the lives of thousands of families across many years,” Mr McLean says.

“The awards judges noted that not only has she created an exceptional legacy, but she continues to make a big impact today.”

Stuff Chief Executive Sinead Boucher says Professor Harding’s work is a strong example of the many New Zealand women who are leading their fields both locally and globally.

“The judging panel was struck by the number of women who are driving the change they want to see in the world. These women are out there quietly making a powerful difference to the future of our country; many in the important areas of environmental protection, science and sustainability,” Ms Boucher says.

“The Women of Influence Awards enable us to elevate our award-winners’ profiles and recognise their achievements on a national stage.”

Full list of 2019 Women of Influence Award winners

  • Supreme winner: Jane Harding, medical research pioneer
  • Arts & Culture: Jennifer Ward-Lealand – Te Atamira, performing arts veteran
  • Innovation, Science & Health: Jane Harding, medical research pioneer
  • Rural: Gina Mohi, environmental planner
  • Board & Management: Abbie Reynolds, sustainability champion
  • Community Hero: Swanie Nelson, community organiser
  • Young Leader: Annika Andresen, marine conservationist
  • Public Policy: Debbie Sorensen, public health leader
  • Business Enterprise: Brianne West, sustainable beauty entrepreneur
  • Global: Anne-Marie Brady, political expert
  • Diversity: Tapu Misa, Pasifika journalist


2019 Women of Influence Partners

Stuff and Westpac are grateful for the support of the following partners:

  • Bayleys – sponsor of Young Leader category
  • Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand – sponsor of Diversity category
  • DLA Piper – sponsor of Board & Management category
  • Massey University – sponsor of Global category
  • Mastercard – sponsor of Innovation, Science & Health category
  • Ministry for Women – sponsor of Public Policy category
  • Zespri – sponsor of Rural category SKYCITY – sponsor of Community Hero category

About Women of Influence

Presented by Westpac NZ and Stuff, the Women of Influence programme recognises and celebrates women from all walks of life who make a difference in the lives of everyday New Zealanders. We are committed to showcasing the amazing work our women are doing from a community level to the global stage, and sharing their stories with a wider audience. Now in their seventh year, the awards are helping inspire New Zealanders to build a better future for all of us.