2017 Blake Leader Awards

Sir Peter Blake remains one of New Zealand’s greatest heroes. He expressed through his actions what is best in all of us – the propensity to dream wonderful adventures, the courage to pursue them, the ability to turn the vision into reality and the will to succeed.

The annual Sir Peter Blake Leadership Awards are the premier awards for leadership achievement in New Zealand. By highlighting the contribution of these Blake Leaders, the Sir Peter Blake Trust hopes to turn the spotlight on leadership in New Zealand, inspiring and motivating all Kiwis to make a difference.

2017 Blake Leadership Award Winners

On Friday 16 June 2017, The Governor-General, Rt Hon Dame Patsy Reddy, presented prestigious Blake Medal and Blake Leader awards at a black-tie evening hosted at Government House, Wellington, in front of 120 New Zealand leaders, friends, family and supporters of Sir Peter Blake and the Sir Peter Blake Trust.

Above: 2017 Blake Leadership Award winners Dr Te Maire Tau, Lieutenant Commander Kerry Tutty, Rukumoana Shaafhausen, Rt Hon Dame Patsy Reddy, Sir Mason Durie (Blake Medallist), William Pike, Aaron Fleming, and Paul Blackwell (absent)

Blake Medallist 2017

Professor Sir Mason Durie KNZM, FRSNZ, FRANZCP

Professor of Maori Studies and research academic at Massey University

The 2017 Blake Medallist, Sir Mason Durie, has made a lifelong commitment to making a difference in the health and wellbeing of New Zealanders, and to ensuring that Maori play a significant part in the future of New Zealand.Sir Mason is one of the country’s most respected academics, and an outstanding contributor to public, indigenous, and mental health.

While most of his career, spanning almost half a century, has been focused on improving Maori health outcomes, he has also garnered respect for championing higher education for Maori. His philosophies around the wellbeing of New Zealanders have influenced a generation of policymakers, politicians and, in turn, the education, health and social sectors.

His work has had a significant influence on those delivering care on the frontline of New Zealand’s health services. The model he created for New Zealand healthcare, Te Whare Tapa Wha – the four cornerstones of Maori health - successfully challenged the notion that health is the same for people of all cultures.

He has also made momentous strides with his work in mental health, and played a significant leadership role in Waka Hourua, the national programme focused on the prevention of suicide in Maori and Pasifika communities.

A graduate of Te Aute College and the University of Otago, Sir Mason practiced in psychiatry before becoming an academic. He established and headed Te Putahi-a-Toi, the School of Maori studies, at Massey University. He became Chair of Maori Research and Development at the university, before being appointed Deputy Vice-Chancellor, roles he held until his retirement five years ago. In 2010, Sir Mason was appointed as a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to Maori and public health.

Blake Leaders 2017

Image of William Pike

Blake Leader 2017

William Pike

Director, The William Pike Challenge Award

Blake Leader Award 2017

Image of Rukumoana Schaafhausen

Blake Leader 2017

Rukumoana Schaafhausen

Director of Genesis Energy Ltd and Regional Facilities, Auckland

Blake Leader Award 2017

Image of Paul Blackwell

Blake Leader 2017

Paul Blackwell

Owner, Pak n Save Albany and NZ Breakers

Blake Leader Award 2017

Image of Aaron Fleming

Blake Leader 2017

Aaron Fleming

Director of National Library at Department of Internal Affairs

Blake Leader Award 2017

Image of Te Maire Tau

Blake Leader 2017

Te Maire Tau

Director, Ngāi Tahu Research Centre

Blake Leader Award 2017

Image of Kerry Tutty

Blake Leader 2017

Kerry Tutty

Executive Officer, HMNZS PHILOMEL at Royal New Zealand Navy

Blake Leader Award 2017

BLAKE LEADER AWARD: The Blake Leader Award is presented to up to six mid-career leaders each year. It recognises inspirational leaders who have determination, a will to succeed, and a belief in achieving extraordinary things. Past recipients have been people such as Tim Alpe, Michelle Dickinson, and Beatrice Faumuina.

BLAKE MEDAL AWARD: The Blake Medal is our premium award for outstanding leadership achievement in New Zealand. This prestigious award helps us to identify, acknowledge and celebrate the top echelon of New Zealand leaders who have made an outstanding contribution to this country over their lifetime. We make one award each year. Past recipients have been people such as Sir Peter Jackson, Sir Stephen Tindall, and Dame Margaret Bazley.


To be considered for a Blake Leader or Blake Medal Award, our Selection Panelists will take into consideration the following:

  • Show outstanding leadership
  • Demonstrate the ability to build and lead successful teams
  • Display some or all of the characteristics that Sir Peter Blake himself demonstrated:
    • determination and the will to succeed
    • belief in achieving extraordinary things
    • a willingness to learn
    • a desire for constant improvement
    • the initiative to pursue an idea
    • trusting and empowering teammates
    • integrity
    • working hard
    • having fun
  • Demonstrate a commitment to New Zealand (and be a New Zealand citizen)

Peter was the consummate team leader - absolutely loyal, inspirational and able to encourage in his team a conviction that they would ultimately win through commitment, ability, and tenacity - tempered with a modicum of patience and a whole lot of enjoyment. Sir Ron Carter