Central Otago Awards

Our Awards

The Central Otago Awards are presented biennially to businesses and individuals that are achieving great things and that exemplify the spirit of the region.

The Awards programme has been running now since 2007 and has been an opportunity to celebrate excellence, innovation, big hearts and the amazing contribution many make to our region.

There are a range of Award categories including:

Business Excellence
Young Professional
Community Service

Our regional values underpin the Awards and it’s about honouring businesses and individuals that integrate these values into their everyday lives.

The Awards are presented to both businesses and individuals at a special ceremony before invited friends, family and special guests.

Guest Speaker

At the Awards Ceremony on Friday 8th September, finalists, community award recipients, invited friends, family and special guests will have the opportunity to listen to our guest speaker.

This year we are fortunate to have Sam Johnson as our guest speaker.

Sam Johnson

Sam Johnson is the co-founder of WeVisit and Adjunct Fellow in the School of Education and Leadership at the University of Canterbury. Most well-known for founding the Student Volunteer Army after the Christchurch earthquakes and for his work in the international disaster risk community, Sam returned home in 2016 to develop a company that can connect generations and end social isolation in New Zealand.

WeVisit matches a young person to regularly visit elderly, on behalf of families, especially popular with expats and for older people after their spouse passes away. WeVisitors share time and help out with odd jobs around the house like fixing the computer, naming photos and building family trees.

Sam has been previously named a Young New Zealander of the Year, Communicator of the Year and is #17 on the Readers Digest Most Trusted New Zealanders list. He is a member of the Ministry of Youth Development Partnership board, Westpac Sustainability Advisory Board and current Secretary of the International Association of Volunteer Effort.