Siouxsie Wiles named New Zealand of the Year

Microbiologist Siouxsie Wiles has been named the 2021 Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year.

Wiles was awarded the title by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern last week.

Dr Wiles has become a household name in New Zealand since the emergence of COVID-19. Officially she was awarded the title for “responding to one of our greatest challenges by sharing her knowledge with Aotearoa and the world”.

Dr Wiles has illustrated science through tweeting, blogging and as a media commentator.

Dr Wiles, a University of Auckland associate professor, has a PhD in microbiology. In November she was named the supreme winner of the 2020 Women of Influence award.

Other finalists in the running for the award included Christchurch Muslim community leader Farid Ahmed and domestic violence social entrepreneur Ranjna Patel.

Wednesday’s ceremony was the 12th time the award has been given.

Previous winners

  • Jennifer Ward-Lealand Te Atamira (2020)
  • Mike King (2019)
  • Kristine Bartlett (2018)
  • Taika Waititi (2017)
  • Richie McCaw (2016)
  • Sir Stephen Tindall (2015)
  • Dr Lance O’Sullivan (2014)
  • Dame Anne Salmond (2013)
  • Sir Richard Taylor (2012)
  • Sir Paul Callaghan (2011)
  • Sir Ray Avery (2010)
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