2021 PR judges swamped

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AUCKLAND, Thursday: The Public Relations Institute (PRINZ) has unveiled a record 69 finalists in the 2021 annual industry awards. The selection follows rigorous judging by more than 80 senior public relations and communications professionals.

The previous record for finalists was in the 2017 PRINZ Awards where 29 finalists were selected from 98 entries. This year a total of 136 entries were received across all categories.

Chief judge (and PRINZ Fellow Kate Woodruffe said: “A newly implemented three-stage judging model ensured the judging process was even more robust, considered, and transparent than in previous years.

“This time we are returning to an in-person gala – fingers crossed!

“This year’s judging was both truly enjoyable and incredibly challenging.

“The work submitted was of a high standard and I was really impressed by the results our industry achieved for our clients and employers in 2020. Whether an entry made the finalist list was largely dependent on how well the entrant articulated the project and why it was a standout.

“Those that didn’t make it through will receive quite comprehensive feedback from the judges.

“Eight-two PR professionals were involved in judging the awards – the sheer volume of entries, combined with the revamped judging format, has lifted the operational scale to another level.”

Winners will be announced at the PRINZ Awards Gala Dinner at Auckland’s Aotea Centre on Friday 28 May.

“The winners will be announced at the PRINZ Awards Gala Dinner in Auckland on Friday 28 May.”


  • Auckland Transport keeps customers front of mind during Covid-19 lockdown | Teresa Burnett, Nahri Salim, Steph Hill and Josh McConnell, Auckland Transport
  • Bin good and gold star recycling campaign | Diane Keenan, Roz Rickerby and Kim de Leijer, Christchurch City Council
  • Borrow Eden Park: ASB gives small businesses a boost, one national stadium at a time | Marise Hurley, ASB Bank; Joanna James and Charlotte Jackson, Anthem
  • Cadbury Donate Your Kit | Adelle Keely, Alysha MacLean, Marissa Kirkham, Desmond Nash, Steffen Rusten, Renee Ji, Hayley Smith and Sean Ryan, Acumen NZ; Jennifer Evans, Mondelez New Zealand
  • Communications Emerging From Covid-19 | Michele Hider, Priority Communications; Theodora Despotaki, Emerge Aotearoa
  • Community engagement on the Proposed Selwyn District Plan: Because it matters | Katrin Johnston, Stephen Hill, Stephanie Murphy and Robin Raymond, Selwyn District Council
  • Connecting our staff, protecting our city | Natalie Palmer, Nicole Nooyen, Lauradanna Radesic, Simone van Asbeck, Dan Silverton and Tracey Wood, Hamilton City Council
  • Covid-19, digital acceleration, and new ways of working; enhancing Vodafone’s reputation while responding to the global pandemic | Kirstin Te Wao, Rich Llewellyn, Rebecca Huang and Nicky Preston, Vodafone New Zealand
  • Crisis communications response during the forced closure of the Auckland Harbour Bridge | Sarah Azam, Lucie Timmers, Darryl Walker and Kaity Alexander, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency
  • Deciding on the future of Waipā’s premier parks | Charlotte FitzPatrick, Karen Cousins, Regan Schoultz, Bethany Rolston and Natalia Pepperell, Waipā District Council
  • Develop an identity and experience for the new Christchurch hot pools He Puna Taimoana | Diane Keenan, Dan Terris and Roz Rickerby, Christchurch City Council
  • Emerson’s Tiny Pub | Brianna Elder, Patricia Greig and Sean Brown, Mango Communications Aotearoa
  • Enabling our workforce to stay safe, keep calm and carry on during Covid-19 | Anusha Vishnampet, Watercare Services Limited
  • Fees Free 2021 Campaign | Janryll Fernandez and Bronwyn Bannister, Tertiary Education Commission
  • Fonterra’s Covid-19 Response | Helen Moore, Louise Kattera, Philippa Norman and Isabel Gailer, Fonterra Co-operative Group
  • FPP or STV: What’s Your Choice? | Dan Silverton, Nicole Nooyen and Natalie Palmer, Hamilton City Council
  • Keeping a nation fed through Covid-19: a how-to guide | Kiri Hannifin, Kate Porter, Charlotte Haycock, Kath Klouwens, Monique Vallom, Charlotte Mee, Ally Orr and Daniel Chasemore, Countdown
  • Keeping it positive – the Christchurch motorway with a turbulent history comes to a successful opening | Melanie Williams, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency; Norma Kloosterman, Fulton Hogan
  • Keeping our team safe through Covid-19 | Kiri Hannifin, Kate Porter, Charlotte Haycock, Kath Klouwens, Monique Vallom, Charlotte Mee, Ally Orr and Daniel Chasemore, Countdown
  • Keeping the real estate profession moving through Covid-19 | Dee Crooks and Kim Thompson, Real Estate Institute of New Zealand
  • Look Up! Power Line Safety in Orchards Campaign 2020 | Rochelle West, Sarah Lilly, Renate ter Beek, Sarah Semenoff and Jemma Richardson, Powerco
  • Metlifecare Virtual Village | Claudia Macdonald, Jill Dryden and Max Burt, Mango Communcations Aotearoa
  • NZ Police bring Creative Genius and a bit of Paranormal activity to their Covid19 response | Helen Flannery and Jane Archibald, NZ Police
  • Papatūānuku is Breathing: The video that provided hope and kept Auckland top of mind in the middle of a global pandemic | Selena Adams, Auckland Unlimited
  • Smart water management through Waipā’s worst drought | Charlotte FitzPatrick, Karen Cousins, Regan Schoultz, Natalia Pepperell and Bethany Rolston, Waipā District Council
  • Stamping out COVID with a digital handshake | Eruera Keepa, Hīkina Consultants; Jacky James, Stacey Main, Meg Jones, Shae Skellern, Julie McGlashen and Ally Armstrong, The Shine Collective
  • Tackling period poverty in Aotearoa | Tanya Henderson, The Warehouse Group
  • Te Wā Tuku Reo Māori | The Māori Language Moment | Christine Ammunson, Betty Hauraki, Kiriana Hautapu, Nikkira Booth and Makere Carroll, Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori
  • Thanks From Iso, by Accor Hotels | Claudia Macdonald and Max Burt, Mango Communcations Aotearoa
  • The Big Phish | Emma Rowe, FMG (Farmers Mutual Group)
  • The campaign to end silence | Lisa-Marie Richan and Katie Moore, Convergence Communications
  • The Need for Change | Erin Jamieson and Jessica Cartwright – caring for Canterbury’s taonga | Convergence Communications
  • The New Zealand Garden Bird Survey – Help make our birds count | Nicolette Dellow, Dan Park and Kim Triegaardt, Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research
  • The Time Is Right – Return of Ownership of Panepane Purakau | Luke Balvert, Rachael Davie and Chris Nepia, Western Bay of Plenty District Council; Scott Campbell and Kerri Jones, Campbell Squared Communications
  • Toasting the 18th annual New World Wine Awards in NZ media | Sandy Trigg, Megan Green and Harry Willis, Network Communication
  • Toi Ohomai Covid-19 Response: United towards a shared purpose | Jessica Barnett, Jenna Waite-Leonard, Clarissa Van Emmenes and Trilby Bagshaw, Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology
  • Transforming Ways of Working at Contact Energy | Luise Boss, Contact Energy
  • Water is precious: Appealing to Aucklanders to change their habits in the face of a drought | Rachel Hughes, Watercare Services Limited
  • Water Woes: How we rallied our community to prevent Palmy running out of water | Olivia Wix, Palmerston North City Council
  • Westpac NZ Internal Communications Covid-19 Response | Lauren Lau, Westpac New Zealand Ltd
  • Whārikihia – weaving Vodafone closer to Aotearoa and engaging with Māori | Kirstin Te Wao, Rich Llewellyn, Rebecca Huang and Nicky Preston, Vodafone New Zealand
  • Where’s Willie? Launching the new Samsung Galaxy S20 | Sean Brown and Liz Holt, Mango Communications Aotearoa
  • Sally Logan-Milne Young Practitioner of the Year Finalists
  • Joel Rowan, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency
  • Ryan Willoughby, Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR)

Entrants of the BusinessDesk PR Consultancy of the Year and PR In-house Team of the Year categories are considered finalists due to the high calibre of the entries and the nature of these special categories.

Gold winners of all categories (except BusinessDesk Consultancy of the Year, PR In-house Team of the Year, Sally Logan-Milne Young Practitioner of the Year, and Paul Dryden Tertiary Award) are eligible for the Supreme Award, which will be revealed at the Gala Dinner.

  • View the full finalists’ list here
  • Buy awards show tickets here

The Public Relations Institute of New Zealand was established in 1954. Today it has 1300 members working in public relations and communication management across all sectors of business, consultancy, academia, government and not-for-profit organisations.

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