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Young New Zealanders recognised for building better Aotearoa

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The University of Canterbury Young New Zealander of the Year Te Mātātahi o te Tau Award semi-finalists have been announced, with two UC graduates among the 10 inspiring young kiwis.

  • UC graduate Abbas Nazari

    The University of Canterbury Young New Zealander of the Year Te Mātātahi o te Tau Award semi-finalist Abbas Nazari.

The University of Canterbury Young New Zealander of the Year Te Mātātahi o te Tau Award semi-finalists

The University of Canterbury Young New Zealander of the Year Te Mātātahi o te Tau Award semi-finalists.

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Abbas Nazari graduated from the University of Canterbury with a Bachelor of Arts with Honours degree in 2016. Nazari’s journey with his family as a child refugee from Afghanistan to New Zealand is harrowing, and the success he’s achieved since is exceptional. Read about his story here.

Josiah Tualamali’i has recently completed his Bachelor of Arts Honours degree at UC. Tualamali’i is a young mental health activist and leader, he works hard and speaks up to ensure Pacific perspectives and needs are met. Find more about his story here.

The other semi-finalists for the University of Canterbury Young New Zealander of the Year Te Mātātahi o te Tau 2022 are:

  • Ezra Hirawani started his own power company to provide electricity to the many New Zealanders living in energy hardship, and against the odds, he has compelled the industry to make systemic change.
  • Jacinta Gulasekharam is a social entrepreneur who is using candour and positivity to end period poverty. Her work has helped provide thousands of free period products to young people in need and secured free products for school students.
  • Pania Newton became the face of a new generation of activists during the occupation at Ihumātao, her unwavering commitment to protect her whenua ignited complex conversations and raised awareness of the land’s rich history.
  • Rangipo Takuira-Mita is a young innovator working with a group of environmental leaders to inspire the restoration of tupuna mātauranga, encouraging caring communities that nurture nature.
  • Sophie Pascoe is a top athlete, winning 11 Paralympic gold medals and four Commonwealth gold medals. She has shown New Zealanders that any set back is surmountable.
  • Stan Walker is a New Zealand musician who aims to use his voice to keep te reo Māori alive and promote all the gifts of te ao Māori.
  • At just 12 years old, Tayla Nasmith started a charity for mothers to be. Partnering with Police and midwives, Tayla works to provide essentials for those in greatest need.
  • Zak Devey’s mahi is helping young prisoners be creative and self-reflective with writing. The university student runs creative writing workshops at Mt Eden Prison to support the hauora of young men.

The 2022 Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year Awards Ngā Tohu Pou Kōhure o Aotearoa have grown to include seven categories for 2022, with the new Department of Conservation and Ministry for the Environment New Zealand Environmental Hero of the Year Award.

We’re delighted to see UC’s Professor Bronwyn Hayward and UC graduate Brianne West being recognised as semi-finalists for this award. Impressively, West is also a semi-finalist for the Trade Me Innovator of the Year Award 2022.

UC Adjunct Professor Tā Tipene O’Regan has been named as a semi-finalist for the Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year Award 2022. UC alumni Terry Foster is a semi-finalist for the Ryman Healthcare Senior New Zealander of the Year Award 2022.

Congratulations to the extraordinary semi-finalists across all categories of the Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year Awards for 2022. You can see the complete list here.

  • UC graduate Josiah Tualamali'i

    The University of Canterbury Young New Zealander of the Year Te Mātātahi o te Tau Award semi-finalist Josiah Tualamali’i.

/Public Release. This material from the originating organization/author(s) may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author(s).View in full here.



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