In an interview with NEXT magazine just hours before she was announced Woman of the Year, a nervous Kristine Bartlett told us that her greatest role model in life has been her mum.
"Mum fought hard to bring us children up and she really fought hard for everything she had to get," Bartlett said.
Bartlett went on last night to take out the Community category and Supreme Award for campaigning for and winning equal pay rights for herself and 55,000 care and support workers in New Zealand. She received a standing ovation.
Having worked in residential care for 24 years earning only $14.46 an hour she said she felt "we were so undervalued and unrecognised that I had to do it".
Her five-year battle took her all the way to the Supreme Court and was hailed by the Human Rights Commission as an "historic step forward for gender equality".
Bartlett urges women to support their communites: "Stand talk, speak up and justice will be served."