The 2023 New Zealand Rainbow Excellence Awards was held this evening in Auckland with the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) taking home the Partners Life Supreme Award, along with the All-Accor Progress Award.
Awards director and judging convenor, Martin King, says the NZ Rainbow Excellence Awards, now in their fifth year, celebrate workplace leadership, innovation and best practice by organisations committed to rainbow diversity and inclusion.
Chief of the New Zealand Defence Force Air Marshal Kevin Short said he was proud of the strides the organisation has made and that the win acknowledged how far the NZDF had come. Less than 30 years ago, Aotearoa New Zealand was not a safe harbour for rainbow communities, including those serving within the Defence Force.
“We want our rainbow communities to feel welcome, safe and valued. This award symbolises how far we have come as an inclusive Defence Force that recognises the strengths that a diverse and inclusive workforce brings..”
The win by NZDF recognises their commitment to staying the course and remaining steadfast on their commitments for being a force for all New Zealanders. NZDF have continued to make incremental shifts on their systems, policies, training, and practices building on their previous award-winning programmes. In 2014, NZDF was recognised as the most inclusive force in the world in a global survey, achieved rainbow tick certification in 2019, publishing their rainbow inclusion strategy in 2020, and cemented their commitment through taking the Pride Pledge in 2021 with an increasing focus on training and education across camps and bases.
Martin King says that all the finalists and winners at this year’s award ceremony are making a difference and it’s not just our large organisations. This year saw a wide range of new entrants from organisations of all shapes, sizes and sectors.
“We’ve come a long way and have seen incredible progress even in the last 5 years of awards” says Martin King. “We’re still working hard every day to combat injustice, discrimination and exclusion, but we hope organisations who were finalists and winners inspire others to follow in their footsteps”.
Craig West, Country Lead, Downer New Zealand
Kendall Farmer, Les Mills International
Foodstuffs North Island
MBIE (Ministry for Business Innovation and Employment)
Les Mills International
The New Zealand Defence Force
Les Mills International
New Zealand Defence Force - Winner
Wellington Zoo -2nd Place
Les Mills International - 3rd Place
Downer New Zealand - 4th Place
Congratulations to The 2021 New Zealand Rainbow Excellence Awards category winners: