On Thursday evening, Dame Anne Salmond was named New Zealander of the Year, at a ceremony in Auckland.
Dame Anne has won many awards for her books. She is a sponsor of a project to encourage low income children, especially Maori and Pacific Islanders, to develop their talents. She was on the board of the Museum of New Zealand and was chairperson of the Historic Places Trust for 6 years.
She is Professor of Maori and Anthropology at the University of Auckland and she is a writer. She has written 7 books. When she was a child, she was influenced by two famous Maori elders, Eruera and Amiria Stirling who lived near her. She wrote about them and about Maori life in early New Zealand. She then wrote about Pacific people and early European explorers including Captain Cook. Throughout her life she has tried to build bridges between Maori, Pacific and European cultures.
She says she sees wonderful young people, full of talent, and this makes her feel that the future of our country is bright.
To see a photo of her and of last year’s winners, go to the New Zealand awards website.
• awards – prizes
• sponsor – main person who takes responsibility for the project or gives money for it
• project – plan
• Historic Places Trust – an organisation which protects historic buildings and places
• Anthropology – scientific study of behaviour and culture in different societies