Actor and director Jennifer Ward-Lealand Te Atamira has won the 2020 New Zealander of the Year Award.
Jennifer Ward-Lealand. Photo: Supplied
She was recognised for her dedication to the performing arts and her unparalleled commitment to and passion for te reo Māori.
She was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit last year for her services to theatre, film, and television, including being an outspoken and determined advocate for actors’ working conditions and pay.
Ward-Lealand, who was gifted the name Te Atamira by Sir Tīmoti Kāretu and the late Dr Te Wharehuia Milroy, is known for her campaigning for te reo Māori me ōna tikanga.