About the Rainbow Excellence Awards

Building towards excellence

The New Zealand Rainbow Excellence Awards build on the the Rainbow Tick Certification to lead us towards a sharing of best practice, excellence and better ways forward to improve workplace inclusion.

Who are the New Zealand Rainbow Excellence Awards?

Who are the New Zealand Rainbow Excellence Awards?

The awards are a collaboration between:

  • The Rainbow Tick, the organisation that developed and leads the Rainbow Tick Certification system, synonymous with improved inclusivity and safety in New Zealand workplaces; and
  • South Pacific Pride Limited, the organisation behind Winter Pride and the Pride Pledge, led by Martin King who is recognised as a leading diversity and inclusion champion in New Zealand.
Barbara Chapman: Patron

Barbara Chapman: Patron

“I’m delighted to be the Patron of the New Zealand Rainbow Excellence Awards. Improving business performance through a focus on improving diversity and inclusion is great for the team, great for shareholders and brings a real sense of satisfaction and achievement in the workplace.”

Barbara was the Chief Executive and Managing Director of ASB Bank Limited from 2011 until February 2018. Barbara has extensive business experience gained through a successful career in the banking industry, commencing with the Commonwealth Bank Group in 1994.

During her career Barbara has held a number of senior and executive roles in retail banking, life insurance, marketing, communications and human resources. She is passionate about people, culture, diversity and inclusion. In 2018 Barbara was awarded the inaugural INFINZ Diversity and Inclusion award, recognising her longstanding involvement and advocacy in these areas.

Barbara currently holds directorships with Genesis Energy, NZME, The New Zealand Initiative, and most recently Fletcher Building. In 2017 she was named the New Zealand Business Leader of the Year.

Michael Stevens, Programme Director, Rainbow Tick, Awards Judge

Michael Stevens, Programme Director, Rainbow Tick, Awards Judge

Michael is the founding Programme Director of the Rainbow Tick, New Zealand’s only LGBTTI+ Diversity and Inclusion programme and a thought leader in this field. He has a long history of involvement with New Zealand’s Rainbow communities in various capacities from student activism to being Chair of the New Zealand AIDS Foundation.

Along with a Masters in Sociology, he has had a career ranging from demolition work in New York to teaching English in Istanbul for eight years to being a lecturer at the University of Auckland.

Michael has been an invited speaker at a number of conferences and has written on the topics of human sexuality, mental health, wellbeing, and public health.

Rachel Hopkins, Chief Executive, Diversity Works New Zealand, Awards Judge

Rachel Hopkins, Chief Executive, Diversity Works New Zealand, Awards Judge

Rachel is committed to equity and empowerment for all New Zealanders. In addition to her role at Diversity Works NZ, she is an independent director of crowdfunding platform PledgeMe and is Chair of the Ministry for Youth Development Partnership Fund.

Rachel has degrees in Law and Feminist Studies, is a Chartered Member of the Institute of Directors and studied Design Thinking at Stanford University. She sat on the Board of NZX listed AWF Madison Group as part of the Future Directors Programme and was the recipient of the 2016 IOD Emerging Director Award for Auckland.

Rachel has owned her own marketing business in Sydney and worked for the world’s largest law firm in London. In New Zealand, she has held various executive leadership roles in professional services, education and training. She was the Executive Sponsor of the Competenz Māori and Pasifika Steering Committee and founding Chair of collaborative industry training initiative Got a Trade? Got it Made? designed to promote trades careers to young people, particularly young women.

Rachel’s volunteer work includes sitting on the Establishment Board of the Auckland Foundation’s Women’s Fund and the New Zealand Committee of the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles.

Kirstin Te Wao – Diversity & Inclusion Lead, Vodafone New Zealand, Awards Judge

Kirstin Te Wao – Diversity & Inclusion Lead, Vodafone New Zealand, Awards Judge

“I consider it a privilege to be part of the judging panel for these inaugural Rainbow Tick Awards. In today’s socially vulnerable society it’s important - now more than ever - that we recognise people and individuals who stand up for humanity. I’m proud to be part of an initiative that celebrates the people who stand up in our communities and our businesses for a more inclusive and colourful Aotearoa.”

Kirstin Te Wao is Vodafone New Zealand’s Diversity & Inclusion Lead, appointed to the inaugural role in May 2014. Kirstin is responsible for the development and execution of the Diversity and Inclusion Strategy, and programmes that focus on Vodafone’s strategic priorities.

Kirstin comes from humble customer service beginnings and in 2011 led Vodafone’s inaugural celebrations for Te Wiki O Te Reo Māori (Māori Language Week), which triggered the beginning of her career journey from Customer Service and Technology into Human Resources. Kirstin’s current portfolio includes: developing authentic relationships with Māori, increasing gender equality and growing visible support for Vodafone’s Rainbow community.

During Kirstin’s time in the role, Vodafone have launched various programs including the launch of the Rainbow Whānau in 2016 who went on to lead the company’s acquisition of the Rainbow Tick, Pride Parade participation and Winter Festival. In addition to her business role, Kirstin is also a Director on the Vodafone New Zealand Foundation Board whose purpose is to help young people live lives that they value.

Born and raised in the Tāmaki district among the whānau of Ngāti Whātua ki Ōrākei, Kirstin’s tribal affiliations are also connected to Te Arawa and Tainui. Kirstin has two children and is currently completing a Post-Graduate Business Diploma in Māori Development at the University of Auckland.

Koro Dickinson, Executive Officer to the Chief Operations Officer at Auckland Council, Awards Judge

Koro Dickinson, Executive Officer to the Chief Operations Officer at Auckland Council, Awards Judge

Of Ngāi Tahu and Ngāti Kahungunu descent, Koro was born and raised in Southland. He is an international relations and trade expert and a former New Zealand diplomat and New Zealand representative age group triathlete.

He is currently the Executive Officer to the Chief Operations Officer at Auckland Council. As a senior strategic advisor, he works across the Division on a broad range of issues. This includes leading on enhancing relationships with senior leaders and the community to help deliver positive outcomes.

Previously he managed Auckland’s international relations activity as the Head of Global Partnerships and Strategy. In 2016, he completed a Masters of Business Administration degree at the University of Auckland.

Between 2004 - 2014, Koro worked with New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) in Wellington, Australia and Canada specialising in trade and economic issues, including free trade agreements. At MFAT, he assisted in the economic modelling for the New Zealand-China FTA. He was an agricultural negotiator in the New Zealand-Malaysia FTA negotiations. Koro was also the lead negotiator in the New Zealand-Australia-Pacific Economic Forum negotiations and a Trans-Pacific Partnership FTA negotiator.

Prior to joining the foreign service, he completed a post-graduate degree with First Class Honours in political science at the University of Otago, and completed his undergraduate studies in marketing at Iowa State University in the United States.

Koro has been a member of Rainbow Auckland since 2015. He lives with his husband in Maungakiekie-Tāmaki (One Tree Hill).

Michael Bennetts, Chief Executive of Z Energy Limited, Awards Judge

Michael Bennetts, Chief Executive of Z Energy Limited, Awards Judge

Michael is presently the founding Chief Executive of Z Energy Ltd, the company that purchased the downstream (refining and marketing) business of Shell in New Zealand in April 2010 and Chevron in June 2016. As a result of an IPO in August 2013, Z is now dual listed on the ASX and NZX and ranks in the NZX10.

Michael has accumulated 30 years of experience in the global energy industry with his expertise in supply, trading and marketing businesses, covering both consumer and business to business segments. In 1983 he joined BP in New Zealand to take on roles based in sales, marketing, information technology and finance. From 1992 to 2008 he served in various senior leadership roles in South Africa, China, Singapore and the United Kingdom.

Michael has served as a Director of various private and public companies and joint ventures in Singapore, China and South Africa. He is presently a Director of Loyalty New Zealand Limited and the Chair of Punakaiki Fund Limited, a $40m investment fund that makes long term investments into high growth, revenue generating New Zealand companies.

Michael holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Corporate Management. He graduated as a Bachelor of Business Studies majoring in Management from Massey University where his academic record led him to be recognised as a Massey Scholar.

Martin King, Director South Pacific Pride Limited, Awards Judge

Martin King, Director South Pacific Pride Limited, Awards Judge

Martin King, Director of South Pacific Pride Ltd and Awards Director brings over 20 years Human Resources and Diversity and Inclusion experience to the team. Recognised as one of New Zealand's leading Diversity and Inclusion practitioners, and accomplished speaker, Martin has worked across many of New Zealand's Best Places to Work and has taken organisations on transformational change journeys culminating in award-winning people programs. Martin lead the team at Coca-Cola Amatil NZ to be the first business in NZ to sign up for the Rainbow Tick and the second to receive certification.

Many of the teams Martin has lead have had their work recognised through earning the following awards : UN Women Empowerment Principles Supreme Award, YWCA Equal Pay Awards, Diversity Works Awards, Health and Safety Leadership Awards, AON Hewitt Best Employers, Australia and New Zealand, LEAD 2018 Top 20 Global Best Leadership Development Programs, and the Randstad Most Attractive Employers multiple top 20 positions.

Alison Mau, Leading NZ Journalist,  Awards MC

Alison Mau, Leading NZ Journalist, Awards MC

With more than 20 years at the top of the Television news and current affairs in New Zealand, Ali Mau is one of the country’s most recognised and respected faces. In two decades at TVNZ, Ali hosted shows across the spectrum including Newsnight, TVNZ Breakfast, One News At Six, Fair Go and Seven Sharp. Ali is a former talkback radio host on RadioLIVE Drive.

Mau currently leads a team of journalists at Stuff and is a lead journalist in the recently launched national #metoonz investigation into sexual harassment in New Zealand. The#metoonz project - which references the celebrity#metoo social movement - is for people who wanted to have a voice but didn't know where to go. Ali heads a team of journalists who help investigate these emerging stories.

Who is invited to participate?

The awards are open to all New Zealand organisations. However, some award categories are open to Rainbow Tick certified organsiations only. This depends on the category for the award.

Who is Rainbow Tick Certified? A current list of Rainbow Tick Certified companies can be found here.