Inbox: The Sir Peter Blake Leadership Awards: Celebrating inspirational leadership

The Sir Peter Blake Leadership Awards took place at the Auckland Art Gallery on Friday 22 June. The Blake Medal was presented to iconic sporting and education leader Sir John Graham by the Governor General, Lt Gen Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae. As well as honouring one outstanding leader, the Sir Peter Blake Leadership Awards recognised six Emerging Leaders from range of fields. The selection panel for this year’s awards was made up of group of New Zealand leaders in their own right: Sir Ron Carter (Chair), Sir Eion Edgar, Sir John Anderson, Glen Sowry, Dame Jenny Gibbs, Jane Huria, Hon Fran Wilde and Alison Paterson.

Blake Medallist – Sir John Graham
For more than 30 years, Sir John has demonstrated inspirational leadership on the sporting field, in the classroom and at the board table.
An exceptional All Black loose forward and captain for three tests, his mana within sport led to his appointment as manager of the New Zealand cricket team and president of the New Zealand Rugby Union.
An absolute belief in the power of education saw Sir John commit decades of his life in posts across the education sector. Famed for his two decades as headmaster at Auckland Grammar School, he taught at several other distinguished schools, co-founded the Academic Colleges Group, and achieved great things as commissioner of Nga Tapuwae College. Sir John was member of the University of Auckland Council from 1994, and chancellor from 1999 to 2004. Having been awarded CBE in 1994, Sir John was further honoured with an Honorary Doctorate (DLit) in 2005 at the University of Auckland.
Sir John also held number of directorships, including with IT distributor Renaissance Corporation, The University Bookshop, and transportation company Owens Group. He is chairman of the NZ Education Scholarship Trust and numerous charitable trusts.
His reputation as one of the country’s most inspiring and formidable leaders has landed him with many accolades and in the 2011 Queen’s Birthday Honours List, Sir John was made Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to education and sports.

Emerging Leaders

Phil Keoghan
Widely known as the host of US network television series The Amazing Race, 44-year-old Phil Keoghan uses his worldwide reach to motivate people through his NOW (No Opportunity Wasted) philosophy, which is grounded in the importance of making the most of every day. An inspiring and motivating leader, he shares his enthusiasm speaking to companies, youth, schools, universities and sporting organisations about the NOW philosophy.
Keoghan has written the best-selling book NOW and has won eight Primetime Emmy Awards as host and producer of The Amazing Race. He also recently won the Global Action Award for 2012 which celebrates individuals committed to addressing and solving some of the most urgent problems facing the world today.
He maintains strong connection with his home town Christchurch and New Zealand, bringing international attention to New Zealand when it’s required.

Roseanne Liang
At 34, Roseanne Liang is leading light for modern Kiwi feature films and the filmmaking industry in New Zealand.
Achieving international success with her documentary Banana in Nutshell and film My Wedding and Other Secrets, Liang knows what it takes to inspire team of people to turn creative idea into highly esteemed work.
Her role as director has also been acknowledged, winning her the Best Director Award at the Asia NZ Film Festival and SPADA’s New Filmmaker of the Year Award. Her creative talents have also shone through in the writing and directing of TV3 sketch comedy series Thousand Apologies.

Richie McCaw
Richie McCaw is among the finest captains in All Blacks history, constantly demonstrating the art of leading from the front.
With tenacious drive and determination, McCaw demonstrated to New Zealand and the world what it takes to be leader when he faced the greatest challenge of his career – winning the Rugby World Cup at home in New Zealand in 2011.
His commitment to New Zealand rugby was recognised when he was presented with his 100th test match cap by the late Jock Hobbs after New Zealand defeated France in their round–robin Rugby World Cup 2011 clash at Auckland’s Eden Park.
Off the field, McCaw has used his profile on many occasions to raise funds for many good causes including the re-build of his home city Christchurch, and he is an inspiration to young New Zealanders.

Rachel Taulelei
At 37, founder and CEO of Yellow Brick Road Rachel Taulelei has had phenomenal success in the development of an innovative sustainable supply of fresh fish to restaurants across the country.
Taulelei understands New Zealand’s need for successful business and also its need to protect its ‘clean green’ image, and has demonstrated that it is possible to marry those objectives in commercially successful model.
Alongside chef Martin Bosley, she co-founded the not-for-profit incorporated society which runs the City Markets in Wellington. Taulelei also contributes to the growth of her city, acting on the board of Grow Wellington and as mentor to number of start-up companies in Wellington.
With passion to bring younger people into governance, she supports the development of Maori commercial activities based on their natural resource holdings and is an associate director of the Wakatu Incorporation.

Kapu Waretini
Kapu Waretini, 29, has dedicated his career to Maori improvement in the public sector, and local communities.
His work at Te Puni Kokiri (TPK), the Ministry of Maori Development, saw him lead team which sought to highlight Maori success and achievement for the world at the 2011 Rugby World Cup.
Waretini’s commitment to quality accreditation for Maori organisations has been groundbreaking. He led TPK’s Tamaki Team to enable Maori organisations to gain Qualmark Accreditation, only awarded to businesses reaching the highest standard of quality assurance.
In 2011, he oversaw the first ever accreditation granted to marae in Aotearoa. He progressed further training and accreditation for marae across Tamaki, Waikato and Tauranga where 123 marae have now undertaken the preliminary requirements of St John’s ambulance, and the Food Safety Authority food standards requirements, in readiness for accreditation surveys.
The accreditation initiative originally intended to prepare Maori for hosting roles with the Rugby World Cup has now positioned these marae to take up further tourism and business opportunities for the future.
As recent addition to the executive team of the Committee for Auckland, Waretini is now responsible for bringing iwi and corporates together to collectively achieve the Committee’s goal of better Auckland.

Qiujing Wong
Qiujing Wong has genius for turning her vision into real action and inspiring social change by addressing some of society’s most difficult issues through film. The 34-year-old co-founded Borderless Productions six years ago with passion to create positive economic, social and environmental change, working with local and international partners.
The award-winning company has produced innovative films and campaigns in New Zealand (and around the world) and has grown into formidable organisation which constantly pushes the boundaries and demonstrates leadership. M

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