12 July, 2017

Finalists’ diversity highlights influence of women in New Zealand

The finalists in the 10 Women of Influence categories have been announced for 2017 Awards.

From farmers to fund managers to fashionistas, finalists in this year’s Fairfax Media and Westpac Women of Influence Awards are drawn from a wide range of fields, but each has one thing in common: they have built on their personal and professional successes to help and inspire others.

Awards judge and Fairfax Media Group Executive Editor Sinead Boucher says the breadth in backgrounds of this year’s finalists highlights the significant contribution women from all corners of the country are making towards New Zealand’s growth and development.

“Every one of the finalists has a wonderful story to tell and the Women of Influence Awards provide a perfect opportunity to recognise our country’s outstanding women on a national stage,” said Ms Boucher.

Ms Boucher said the judging panel had a tough job ahead of it in selecting winners in each of the 10 categories and an overall winner.

“Many of the finalists are well-known and widely celebrated. Others operate more quietly – but all have made a positive difference to their communities.”

Westpac New Zealand GM Consumer Bank & Wealth Simon Power said the Awards were an opportunity to celebrate the nominees’ contributions to improving people’s lives.

“It gives us all a chance to recognise and thank these women for what they do to make New Zealand a better place,” said Mr Power.

“As much as we hope their achievements inspire the next generation, these awards are also an opportunity for an incredible group of people to gather together and draw inspiration from each other.”

Award winners will be announced on September 7 at the Awards Dinner at SkyCity Auckland. Previous Supreme Award winners include Helen Robinson, Joan Withers, Lesley Elliott, and Dame Therese Walsh.

2017 Women of Influence:

Arts and Culture​

Carrie Rae Cunningham

Claire Robinson

Denise L'Estrange Corbet

Lizzie Marvelly

Morva Croxson

Paula Morris

Simone Anderson

Stefanie Lash


Board and Management

Anna Curzon

Anne-Maree O'Connor

Bronwyn Rhynd

Connie Norgate

Janice Mcnab

Kirsten Patterson

Maria Johnson

Maramena Roderick

Naomi Ballantyne

Pip Greenwood

Rebecca 'Liz' Elizabeth Mellish


​Business Enterprise

Bronwyn Rhynd

Cecilia Robinson

Ezel Kokcu

Lani Evans

Leonie Freeman

Lillian Grace

Sarvnaz Taherian

Vikki Maclean


​Community / Not for Profit

Amanda Oakley

Anjum Rahman

Cindy Hall

Deborah Manning

Elaine Gill

Lani Evans

Lisa King

Minnie Baragwanath

Nurain Janah

Rebecca Elizabeth 'Liz' Mellish

Sue Mccabe

Wendy Preston

Willow Duffy

Zhi Fen Yao



Adrienne Duarte

Alison Mau

Andrea Blair

Anjum Rahman

Berlinda Chin

Carla Forbes

Dianne Daniels

Mahsa Mohaghegh

Minnie Baragwanath

Robyn Scott-Vincent



Amanda Santos

Andrea Blair

Anna Hansen

Anne-Maree O'Connor

Rez Gardi

Samantha Jones

Sian Simpson


​Innovation and Science

Amanda Oakley

Cheryl Doig

Chris Duggan

Hinemoa Elder

Mahsa Mohaghegh

Marlena Kruger

Rebecca Sowden

Robyn Phipps

Sarvnaz Taherian


​Public Policy

Deborah Manning

Dorothy Adams

Judy McGregor

Liz Macpherson

Marewa Glover

Rebecca Kitteridge

Sarah Sundgren



Carla Forbes

Carla Muller

Harriet Cameron

Hayley Hoogendyk

Nicola Shadbolt

Pamela Storey

Sarah Douglas

Tracy Brown


​Young Leader

Carla Muller

Ezel Kokcu

Grace Stratton

Hayley Yu

Poppy Norton

Rachel Ji

Shahed Abu Jwaied

Sharnay Cocup