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A few weeks out from the 2021 Kea World Class Awards, Kea’s global CEO Toni Truslove emphasises why we need to celebrate our exploring Kiwis now more than ever.

As we embark on another uncertain and challenging year, celebrating and taking inspiration from the Kiwis strengthening New Zealand’s global reputation is more important than ever. 

So says Kea global chief executive officer, Toni Truslove (pictured) ahead of The Kea World Class Awards 2021, to be held on 16th March, at Shed 10, Auckland.

“In any given nation, business sector or charity around the world, there are Kiwis making an enormous impact on humanity, business, science, or the arts. With a new year and many challenges still ahead of us, it’s important we take the opportunity to be inspired by exploring Kiwis and celebrate their important contribution to our nation,” she says.

The Kea World Class Awards has been held every year since 2003 with previous winners including the likes of Rocket Lab’s Peter Beck; choreographer Parris Goebel; Allbirds founder Tim Brown; and actor Cliff Curtis. The annual event honours five World Class New Zealanders, plus The Friend of New Zealand Award, which recognises the significant contribution made to our country by someone who is not born here, and finally, The Supreme Award. 

Judging is done by a formidable panel of leading Kiwi minds, taking into account the work the nominee does to promote a positive image of New Zealand, how the nominee increases New Zealand’s global connectedness and how they exhibit the personal qualities that New Zealanders revere.

“In the past 12 months, New Zealand has had an unprecedented opportunity to demonstrate our unique qualities to the world – of inclusion, empathy and teamwork – and our global reputation has benefited from international recognition of those values,” Truslove says. “With the pandemic continuing to cause disruption in every nation on the planet, we’re seeing more and more Kiwis living offshore putting a hand up and saying, ‘I’m here to help’. 

“These awards are our opportunity to say, ‘thank you’.” 


The Kea World Class New Zealand Awards recognise exceptional global achievers, whose stories inspire and motivate.  We value qualities such as creativity, ingenuity and tenacity and these awards recognise a diverse range of Kiwis who through their work raise New Zealand’s mana globally. The Awards will be held on Tuesday 16 March 2021, 6.30 pm, at Shed 10, 89 Quay St, Auckland. Buy Tickets link:  Information about the Kea World Class network including previous winners can be found here:

Glenn Baker

Glenn is a professional writer/editor with 50-plus years’ experience across radio, television and magazine publishing.


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