Jennifer Ward-Lealand Te Atamira has won the 2020 New Zealander of the Year Award.
The actor and director was recognised for her dedication to the performing arts.
Ward-Lealand is already an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit as well as a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit.
Ward-Lealand, who was gifted the name Te Atamira by Sir Tīmoti Kāretu and this known for her campaigning for te reo Māori.
Ward-Lealand won ahead of other finalists Peter Beck, chief executive of RocketLab, and Professor Jane Harding from the Liggins Institute at the University of Auckland.
Among the other award winners were:
– Georgia Hale, Young New Zealander of the Year
– Nick Loosely, Local Hero of the Year
– Dame Margaret Sparrow, Senior New Zealander of the Year