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 the chair of NZX-listed Briscoe Group and the Real Estate Institute, a Director of Overland Footwear and James Dunlop Textiles and a Trustee of the Kelliher Trust and the Middlemore Foundation.

The first female president of the Employers’ Federation, she has previously chaired Television New Zealand and served on the boards of Mercury Energy, Sky TV, Ports of Auckland, Forestry Corporation and Baycorp.

Dame Rosanne is renowned for applying her business expertise to non-profit organisations such as the Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra Trust Board, Liggins Institute, South Auckland Health Foundation and the Kelliher Charitable Trust. She was made a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2011 for services to business and the community, having been made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1993.

Sinead Boucher

Sinead Boucher 100x150

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

Sinead began in 1993 as a reporter for The Press in Christchurch, before heading to the UK where she worked as a digital journalist for the Financial Times 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, she returned to New Zealand to take up the role of Assistant Editor at The Press. Since then, her roles have included Group Online Editor, Group Digital Editor and, since 2013, Group Executive Editor.

Karen Silk


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

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

Previously, 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 led Westpac Australia’s Corporate and Institutional Property Teams.

Jamie Tuuta

100x150 Jamie Tuuta

Jamie Tuuta is the Māori Trustee and CEO of Te Tumu Paeroa, administers 100,000 hectares of land throughout the country and managing a variety of investment interests.

Jamie has held a range of governance positions in 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 and Taranaki Investment Management Ltd, and a board member of Tourism New Zealand.

Jamie is passionate about investing in innovation and increasing the economic and environmental performance of New Zealand’s primary industries, particularly the Māori pastoral and fishing sectors. Jamie is also a recipient of the Sir Peter Blake Emerging Leadership Award. 

Frances Valintine

Frances Valintine

Frances Valintine is the founder of Tech Futures Lab, a partnership with Unitec Institute of Technology that aims to equip NZ’s workforce with skills relevant to the 21st century. She is also the founder and chair of The Mind Lab, a unique collaboration that is redefining professional development for teachers through the offering of an applied, progressive and blended postgraduate qualification specialising in digital and collaborative learning . She is also on the board of Education NZ, Talentnomics, a Washington DC initiative supporting women into leadership roles, and NZTech.Frances has a Master of Education Management from the University of Melbourne and is an alumna of Singularity University in the Silicon Valley.

Frances is a past winner of the Innovation category in the Westpac Woman of Influence awards and a former Next Magazine Woman of the Year. In 2014,
The Mind Lab was named ‘Best New Business’ in the Talent International Asia/Pacific Awards judged by Sir Richard Branson and Steve Wozniak.

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes

From technology evangelist to entrepreneur, mentor to commentator, emergency volunteer to business adviser – Ben Kepes is spreading his net wide to create a legacy through leadership.

He is driven to find ways to make a positive impact on the world, either directly or by helping others to realise their own innate potential. He believes creating a legacy is the most important thing anyone can do, and that leaders have an obligation to use their position to do so.

Ben is regarded as New Zealand’s go-to guy on Cloud Computing, is one of the country’s most active mentors and is a globally respected commentator in the technology space. He is also playing a part in rebuilding his home city of Christchurch in the earthquakes’ aftermath. The diversity of Ben’s interests brings a vital balance to his life - investing in companies, sitting on commercial and not-for-profit boards, being a firefighter, running ultra-marathons and helping to raise two teenage sons.

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 2017 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 Sunday 28 May 2017;
c. if entering the Business Enterprise Award, the business must have been operating for at least 36 months as at Sunday 28 May 2017;
d. if entering the Young Leader Award, must be aged under 25 years as at Sunday 28 May 2017; and
e. who were category winners in the 2016 Women of Influence Awards cannot enter the same category in the 2017 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 Tuesday 11 April 2017 and Sunday 28 May 2017.
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 7 September 2017.
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 April through to September 2017. 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