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Winners announced - NZ HR Awards 2020

HRNZ, in conjunction with Principal Partner Lee Hecht Harrison, are pleased to announce the winners of the NZ HR Awards for 2020...

2020 NZ HR Awards Winners

Individual Awards:

  • Emerging HR Practitioner of the Year: Sophie John - Cedenco Foods NZ
  • HR Generalist of the Year: Amanda Herron-Quan - Building & Construction Industry Training Organisation (BCITO)
  • HR Specialist of the Year: Andrew Dennan - Synlait Milk Ltd
  • Leadership Award, in association with AskYourTeam: Debbie Kirby - Downer New Zealand

Organisational Awards:

  • Christian Dahmen Memorial Award for HR Innovation, in association with Cornerstone OnDemand:  Canterbury District Health Board
  • Technology Award, in association with Ceridian: McDonald’s Restaurants (NZ) Ltd
  • Best Wellness Programme, in association with Southern Cross: Livestock Improvement Corporation (LIC)
  • Diversity & Inclusion Award, in association with Edvance:  Downer New Zealand
  • Learning & Development Capability Award, in association with Open Polytechnic: McDonald’s Restaurants (NZ) Ltd.
  • Talent Acquisition Award, in association with Aims Global Immigration: 2degrees
  • Organisational Change & Development Award, in association with Lee Hecht Harrison: Livestock Improvement Corporation (LIC)
  • HRNZ Branch of the Year: Hawkes Bay

Supreme Awards:

  • Lifetime Achievement Award, sponsored by Strategic Pay: Geoff Summers DistFHRINZ
  • HR Person of the Year: Debbie Kirby – Downer New Zealand

The Awards were held at The Cordis, Auckland on Wednesday 26 February in front of 400 leading HR professionals, business leaders, industry partners and their guests.

The NZ HR Awards, organised by HRNZ, is the only event on the industry calendar which truly celebrates the great contribution of people in the HR profession across New Zealand.

“We all know that it’s the people that power the success of our NZ workplaces. It’s the HR professionals that make sure we remember the “human” in Human Resources”.  HRNZ Chief Executive Nick McKissack commented. a“We’re honoured to play a part in recognising our members outstanding contribution in their workplaces and in unlocking the potential of their people”.

The prestigious HR Person of the Year went to Debbie Kirby from Downer New Zealand. The winner was selected from the winners of the Emerging HR Practitioner of the Year (Sophie John), HR Generalist of the Year (Amanda Herron-Quan), Leadership Award (Debbie Kirby) and HR Specialist of the Year (Andrew Dennan).

Another highlight of the evening was the presentation of the Lifetime Achievement Award to Geoff Summers DistFHRNZ. Geoff has made an outstanding contribution to the New Zealand HR profession over the past 30 years as a subject matter expert and consultant specialising in Human Resources.

HRNZ National President Denise Hartley-Wilkins CFHRNZ outlined the importance of these Awards. “The NZ HR Awards are an important part of HRNZ’s vision to share member success stories from throughout Aotearoa and to shine the light on those who demonstrate a dedication to excellence that can act both as inspiration to others and as a standard to which we should all aspire.”

Chief Judge Geoff Summers 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 the winners from so many deserving applications."


For more information, to arrange interviews or photos please contact:

Steve Sheppard
Communications & Sponsorship Manager
027 863 1246