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NZ HR Awards Finalists named

Human Resources New Zealand (HRNZ), in association with Principal Sponsor Lee Hecht Harrison, are pleased to announce the finalists for the 2020 NZ HR Awards. The winners will be announced at the Awards Ceremony Dinner on 26 February at The Cordis Auckland. Congratulations to the following individuals and organisations;

  • Emerging HR Practitioner of the Year: Samantha Irvine - Higgins Group Holdings; Sophie John - Cedenco Foods NZ; Liz McAllister - McDonald’s Restaurants (NZ) Ltd.
  • HR Generalist of the Year: Amanda Herron-Quan - Building & Construction Industry Training Organisation (BCITO); Ester Nicolay - TPT Group; Adelyn Wischnowsky - Summerset Group Holdings Ltd.
  • HR Specialist of the Year: Andrew Dennan - Synlait Milk Ltd; Rochelle Price - Fonterra Co-operative Group Ltd.
  • Leadership Award - in association with AskYourTeam: Amanda Herron-Quan - Building & Construction Industry Training Organisation (BCITO); Debbie Kirby - Downer NZ; Naomi Heap - Waitemata District Health Board.
  • Diversity & Inclusion Award - in association with Edvance: Auckland District Health Board; Downer NZ; Sudima Hotels.
  • Learning & Development Capability Award - in association with Open Polytechnic: Canterbury District Health Board; Farmlands Co-operative; Higgins Group; McDonald’s Restaurants (NZ) Ltd.
  • Organisational Change & Development Award - in association with Lee Hecht Harrison: Livestock Improvement Corporation (LIC); NZ Trade & Enterprise; Unitec Institute of Technology.
  • Talent Acquisition award - in association with Aims Global Immigration: – 2Degrees; St John New Zealand; University of Otago.
  • Technology Award - in association with Ceridian: Canterbury District Health Board, McDonald’s Restaurants (NZ) Ltd, NZ Customs Service, The Warehouse Group.
  • Best Wellness Programme - in association with Southern Cross – Coca-Cola Amatil (NZ) Ltd; Livestock Improvement Corporation (LIC); Xero.
  • Christian Dahmen Memorial Award for HR Innovation - in association with Cornerstone OnDemand: Canterbury District Health Board; Xero.
  • HRNZ Branch of the Year: Hawkes Bay, Otago, Taranaki.

HRNZ Chief Executive Nick McKissack commented "It’s important we celebrate the efforts of the leading HR Professionals that are shaping the profession. It's pleasing to see such a diverse range of individuals and organisations as finalists.”

Chief Judge Geoff Summer DistFHRNZ summarised … "The numerous high-quality applications are testament to the great work happening in the field of human resources here in New Zealand. It took much deliberation and consideration to decide on finalists from so many deserving applications."

24 organisations are represented as finalists across the individual and organisational awards… 2Degrees, Auckland District Health Board, Building & Construction Industry Training Organisation (BCITO), Canterbury District Health Board, Cedenco Foods NZ, Coca-Cola Amatil (NZ) Ltd, Downer NZ, Farmlands Co-operative, Fonterra Co-operative Group Ltd, Higgins Group, Livestock Improvement Corporation (LIC), McDonald’s Restaurants (NZ) Ltd, NZ Customs Service, NZ Trade & Enterprise, St John New Zealand, Sudima Hotels, Summerset Group Holdings Ltd, Synlait Milk Ltd, The Warehouse Group, TPT Group, Unitec Institute of Technology, University of Otago, Waitemata District Health Board and Xero.

Winners announced 26 February 2020
Winners of the Awards will be announced during the Awards Ceremony Dinner, at The Cordis Auckland, on Wednesday 26 February 2020.

The prestigious HR Person of the Year title will be awarded to one of the winners of the Emerging Practitioner or HR Generalist or HR Specialist or Leadership awards.

A special Lifetime Achievement Award - in association with Strategic Pay will also be presented to a person to acknowledge their outstanding and ongoing contribution to the Human Resources profession in New Zealand.

HRNZ would like to acknowledge the support of Principal partner Lee Hecht Harrison and Award Sponsors... Aims Global Immigration, AskYourTeam, Ceridian, Cornerstone OnDemand, Edvance Workplace Training, Open Polytechnic, Southern Cross and Strategic Pay.

Ceremony Dinner
The NZ HR Awards programme culminates in the prestigious, black tie Awards Ceremony Dinner at which finalists are recognised, winners are announced and the recipient of the coveted title of HR Person of the Year is revealed. Importantly, it is also an opportunity for the New Zealand HR community to come together and celebrate the successes of the profession.

The Awards Ceremony is open for all to attend, so please join HRNZ in supporting and congratulating your peers on their fine achievements. For further details of the ceremony and to purchase tickets please visit

About NZ HR Awards
The NZ HR Awards, organised by HRNZ, recognise excellence in human resources practice – the HR leaders who are helping shape the profession and celebrate people powered success.The Awards provide individuals and HR teams with the opportunity to take part in a process of discovery, awareness, acknowledgment and achievement which highlights the value that HR adds to organisations.




For further information or to arrange an interview please contact

Steve Sheppard
Communications & Sponsorship Manager
(04) 802 3954
[email protected]