NEXT’s most inspiring women

The magazine celebrates the achievements of some great Kiwi women.
Loading the player...

New Zealand’s most inspiring woman has been named at the NEXT Woman of the Year Awards.

This year, expat Claudia Batten was named Supreme Winner, as well as winner of the Business and Innovation category, for her pioneering work in digital advertising and entrepreneurship.

“It’s wonderful to be associated with these awards, which are such a powerful celebration of women, and women doing amazing things in New Zealand,” she said.

By age 41, Claudia had successfully created and sold two digital start-ups; Massive, a ground-breaking network for advertising in video games, and Victors & Spoils, an advertising agency. She is now based in California as the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise’s head of North America, where she helps launch Kiwi businesses into the North American market.

“Claudia embodies the ethos of these awards – she truly is a trailblazer who looked at the world differently and backed herself. That she now uses her talent, passion and critical thinking to enable others to follow their dreams is testament to the woman she is” says NEXT Editor Sarah Henry.

The celebrations didn’t stop there. Ruth Money, a selfless volunteer advocate was named winner of the Community Category, for helping hundreds of victims of crime and giving a voice to those in need.

The judges said: “In probably the toughest area of community life she stands up, she fights and she makes it better for all of us. When our system fails us, there comes some restoration in faith in humankind, from Ruth”.

The winner of the Education Category was Frances Valintine, for her commitment to innovative learning and her creative technologies teaching centre, The Mind Lab by Unitec. Frances was recognised for bringing the world of science and technology alive for kiwi kids, and innovating tomorrow’s influencers.

Fiona Samuel was awarded the title of Arts & Culture winner, for her decades of work as a writer and director in telling women’s stories in New Zealand for TV, film, radio and theatre.

“Her persistence in this field has meant we get to share and live among richer, more real stories,” said the judges.

Marcia Petley took home the prize for the Sport category, for 30 years of outstanding sporting achievements. The incredible athlete holds 22 medals, including three medals from this year’s World Masters Athletics Championships where she competed at age 86.

The Health & Science Winner was Catherine Mohr, a trail blazer in the male-dominated field of surgical robotics. Based in Silicon Valley, Catherine is vice-president of medical research at Intuitive Surgical where she leads the strategic planning of new developments and technologies.

The judges said “She’s a real role model and proof Kiwi women can do anything.”

Words by: Sinead Corcoran

Related stories