Kristine Bartlett named as New Zealander of the Year

NZ 23/02/2018

Equal-pay campaigner Kristine Bartlett has been named Kiwibank 2018 New Zealander of the Year for helping secure a pay rise for 55,000 low-paid, mainly female care and support workers.

Ms Bartlett argued her employer, Terranova Homes, violated the equal pay for equal work legislation by paying her less, due to the fact she was in a female-dominated industry.

The Government signed a $2 billion settlement on the case on April 18, 2017.

Chief judge Cameron Bennett said she deserved the award due to the selflessness and courage she showed through the pay-equity case.

"At enormous personal sacrifice, Kristine Bartlett spearheaded the equal-pay movement for caregivers in the aged-care sector," he said.

"In doing so, she has changed the lives of thousands of New Zealand's lowest paid workers, people providing vital health and well-being services to many vulnerable Kiwis.

"Kristine embodies the values of fairness, decency and equity that New Zealanders have long held dear.

"She didn't seek out admiration or special recognition for what she helped achieve. She saw a need and had the courage of conviction to take action.

"That makes her a thoroughly worthy recipient of this year's supreme award."

Check out the other awards over at Newshub.