NEXT Woman of the Year

Congratulations Professor Philippa Howden-Chapman - NEXT Woman of the Year 2018!

''Professor Philippa Howden-Chapman is the very definition of an indefatigable talent who won't stop until she's improved the lives of as many people as she can.''

The achievements of incredible Kiwi women are in the spotlight at the 2018 NEXT Woman of the Year Awards, in association with Elizabeth Arden.

Six winners were announced at an event at the Cordis hotel in Auckland, honoured for their work in making New Zealand and the world a better place.

Professor Philippa Howden-Chapman (pictured above) was named the Supreme Winner, for her long-standing crusade for healthy, warm and dry homes in New Zealand.

Housing and unhealthy living conditions have been under the microscope, and the Professor of Public Health at the University of Otago, Wellington has been the powerhouse behind it all.

"I'm privileged to have had good health and I've always wanted to help others who haven't been so lucky," Philippa says humbly.

The judges noted the far-reaching effects of Philippa's work on all Kiwis into the future, with her research influencing policy including the Healthy Homes Guarantee act passed in December, and the Warm Up New Zealand programme.

This month the inaugural Ministry of Housing and Urban Development begins operating, headed by Housing Minister Phil Twyford who earlier this year commissioned Philippa to co-author a report that lay the groundwork for housing policy.

"It's one thing to prove warm, dry homes save both lives and money – it's another thing entirely to campaign for your research to become the new standard here, and then set your sights on the rest on the rest of the world!" says NEXT editor and judge Rachael Russell.

"Philippa is the very definition of an indefatigable talent who won't stop until she's improved the lives of as many people as she can."

Philippa won the Supreme Woman of the Year award, as well as the Health & Science category.

Diane Foreman
Diane Foreman

Entrepreneur and chief executive of The Emerald Group Diane Foreman was named as the recipient of this year's Lifetime Achievement Award, acknowledged for her work in paving the way for women in business.

When asked by NEXT to reflect on her career and role in the New Zealand business community, Diane commented on the importance of learning to trust her intuition and having the confidence to rely on her gut.

"We all know what our five senses are but intuition is a sixth. I am no longer embarrassed to admit its importance. Because at the end of the day it's me – not my advisors, staff or friends – that has to live with my decisions. If it works for billionaires, it's going to work for me and you. Never stop listening to your heart and believing in yourself. I haven't!"

The other category winners for NEXT Woman of the Year 2018 were:

Arts & Culture - Dr Renee Liang

Dr Renee Liang
Dr Renee Liang

Dr Renee Liang is a multi-disciplinary artist, community arts activist and part-time paediatrician who has written plays, poetry, a libretto and more. She also hosts writing workshops for migrant women, and is an advocate for diversity in the arts.

Education - Dr Rachel Williamson

Dr Rachel Williamson
Dr Rachel Williamson

Dr Rachel Williamson established the Summer Learning Journey programme in response to research that showed a "summer slump", helping students at low-decile schools engage their literary muscles.

Sport - Professor Sarah Leberman

Professor Sarah Leberman
Professor Sarah Leberman

Professor Sarah Leberman is a sports researcher and co-founder of Women in Sports Aotearoa, and an advocate for women and gender equality in sport.

Business & Innovation - Sharndre Kushor

Sharndre Kushor
Sharndre Kushor

Sharndre Kushor co-founded Crimson Education with $40 and a Facebook account, and has seen it expand to 24 offices around the world. The company connects students to top university graduates who help mentor them in academics, extracurricular activities and leadership.

Community - Merenia Donne

Merenia Donne
Merenia Donne

Merenia Donne is the founder of Kotuku Foundation Assistance Animals Aotearoa, a charity that connects those with often unseen impairments with specially trained assistance dogs.

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