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Renowned New Zealand author and Distinguished Professor of Māori Studies and Anthropology, Dame Anne Salmond from The University of Auckland’s Faculty of Arts is one of three finalists in the New Zealander of the Year Awards.
The Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year honours the achievements and contributions of an inspirational Kiwi; someone who has made a major contribution to the nation, given outstanding service to the country, and provided inspiration to New Zealanders through their achievements.
Dame Anne isof seven award-winning books and a myriad of articles on Māori life, cross-cultural encounters in New Zealand and the Pacific. As well as holding the title of Dame, she has many honours and titles to her name, among them Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy (2008) and Foreign Associate of the National Academy of Sciences (2009). She is the first New Zealander known to have achieved this double distinction.
Dame Anne has served on a number of boards including chair of the New Zealand Historic Places Trust, and is a former Pro Vice-Chancellor (Equal Opportunities) at The University of Auckland. She is Project Sponsor for the Starpath Partnership for Excellence, which aims to ensure that Maori, Pacific and low income students achieve their potential through education.
“It’s a great honour, and very humbling to have been selected as a finalist for the New Zealander of the Year award when the other nominees and semi-finalists are so stellar,” says Dame Anne. “I've been deeply moved by the nomination, and the support I've received from around the country.”
Dame Anne is also a committed environmentalist and has been involved in restoration of Longbush Reserve near Gisborne over the last 12 years - an area where she grew up.
“These days it is great to see so many Kiwis appreciating our heritage as a nation, and all of our traditions, and the creativity that this unleashes. As for the future, I hope that as New Zealanders, we will join forces to take care of these beautiful islands, the bush, rivers and beaches, and our unique plants and animals.
“Much of our international prosperity and our reputation for honesty and integrity are at stake in upholding the 100% Pure New Zealand image. As the saying goes – ‘take care of the land, and the land will take care of us.’
“I also hope that we will work together to ensure that every child in New Zealand has a good start in life, and the chance to realise their dreams and ambitions. Our future prosperity and happiness depends upon their success, and their ability to realise their potential,” she says.
Winners of the 2013 awards will be announced at a gala dinner on February 28 in Auckland.