Lady Alexandra Smith - UK New Zealander of the Year   6 Feb 2017

 

Lady Alexandra Smith has been named the UK New Zealander of the Year 2017 at the New Zealand Society’s Waitangi Day Charity Ball on the evening of 3 February 2017.

The award recognizes the outstanding contribution that a New Zealand or British national has made in promoting the interests of New Zealand or New Zealanders in the United Kingdom.

Alexandra has expanded New Zealand’s connections in the United Kingdom through building extensive networks spanning literature and the performing arts, academia, the legal profession, politics, business and diplomatic world.

Her charitable work with Breast Cancer Haven included negotiating generous ongoing sponsorship for BLUSH, the Haven’s top yearly fundraising event.

She has worked tirelessly for FANZA, the Foundation for Australian and New Zealand Arts, not just as a Board Member but in organising fundraising concerts showcasing New Zealand and Australian performers, hosting most at the Residence and catering for the events personally.

Alexandra has actively supported the New Zealand Women’s Association as Patron and as a member spent hundreds of hours, almost singlehandedly, embroidering a large panel for the Mount Felix Tapestry, part of the WW100 commemorations at Walton-on Thames, the place of New Zealand’s WW1 No2 hospital. The panel shows the hospital ward where Alexandra’s grandfather was nursed back to life after severe shrapnel wounds suffered at the 2nd Somme.

Involvement in other organisations include being a Board member of NZ-UK LINK Foundation and a member of the UK Parliament Choir singing in the UK, at Notre Dame Cathedral and joining with Italian choirs in Anghiari, Tuscany, for their music festival.

When seeking to extend its own reach for a special event, the High Commission itself turned to Alexandra’s extraordinary network. She has been a strong supporter of the New Zealand Society UK and her generosity, grace and charm will be missed in London.

The Award, which was established by the New Zealand Society in 1999, was presented to the winner at the annual New Zealand Society’s Waitangi Day Charity Ball in The Ballroom of The Jumeirah Carlton, Knightsbridge,  London on Friday 3th February 2017.  

Robyn Allardice-Bourne, President of the New Zealand Society (UK) commented:

“It is with great pride that the New Zealand Society (UK) in association with Air New Zealand, presents this prestigious award.  Lady Alexandra Smith is an outstanding individual not only in her role as wife of our New Zealand High Commissioner to London but in her support of the London New Zealand Community and enhancing the reputation of New Zealand within the London diplomatic scene. Rarely, do you find an individual with such passion and energy who goes well beyond the call of duty to make positive change for the benefit of us all.”

Previous winners have included: Mark Wilson, Katherine Corich, Eric Tracey, Bronwen Horton, Kent Gardner, Terry Smith, Anna Hansen MBE, Esther Kerr Jessop QSM, Dr Ian Conrich, Jonathan Rennie, Tom & Susan Glynn, Peter Leslie, Dame Judith Mayhew Jones, The Rt. Hon Don McKinnon, (The late) Harry Mahon OBE, Michael Campbell CNZM, Sir Mark Todd and Peter Gordon ONZM.

 

Photo credit: Peter Livingstone Photography

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