Nominations Announced for Surf Life Saving New Zealand National Awards of Excellence

Friday, 11 September 2020

September 11, 2020

Press Release

Nominations announced for Surf Life Saving New Zealand National Awards of Excellence

Dedicated volunteer Surf Lifeguards, officials, instructors, coaches and athletes have been nominated for this year’s Surf Life Saving New Zealand (SLSNZ) National Awards of Excellence.

SLSNZ Chief Executive, Paul Dalton, says the charity’s volunteer Surf Lifeguards saved 577 lives and assisted 1,543 people to safety in the 2019/20 season, despite the fact that the season was cut short by Covid-19 lockdown.

“The National Awards of Excellence are an opportunity for us to acknowledge the incredible dedication and skill that our volunteers put into making sure Kiwis make it home safe after a day at the beach. This is a chance for us to say ‘thank you’ and to honour some of the outstanding New Zealanders, from all walks of life, who patrol our beaches and coastlines.”

Lifeguards from across Aotearoa New Zealand have been nominated for this year’s awards. To view the digital flip book with the full list of nominees, click HERE.

The SLSNZ Awards of Excellence are held every year in each SLSNZ region to recognise and celebrate the many club members putting in considerable time, effort and skills at a grass-roots level to make sure Kiwis who head to the beach get home safe.

The regional awards then culminate in the National Awards of Excellence, which will be held online this year due to Covid-19 restrictions.

The 2020 SLSNZ National Awards of Excellence winners will be announced on the SLSNZ Facebook page throughout the weekend of September 19 & 20.

National Awards of Excellence 2020 Nominees


NZ Lottery Grants Board Lifeguard of the Year Award

  • Aaron Wansbrough, Fitzroy SLSC
  • Callum Mckenzie, Foxton Beach SLSC
  • Jackson Aluisi, St Clair SLSC
  • Julia Conway, Mt Maunganui LS
  • Kail MacKenzie, Waimarama SLSC
  • Luke Smith, Taylors Mistake SLSC
  • Max Jones, Whangamata SLSC
  • Rhys Lloyd, Piha SLSC
  • Sonia Keepa, Wainui SLSC


bp Rescue of the Year Award

  • Kariaotahi SLS
  • Mt Maunganui LS
  • Otago Search and Rescue Team
  • Spencer Park SLSC & Waimairi SLSC 
  • Taranaki Seasonally Employed Surf Lifeguards
  • Waihi Beach LS


Surf Official of the Year

  • Alistair Thorpe, Waikanae SLSC
  • Anna Harding, Foxton Beach SLSC
  • Doug Henderson, Kaka Point SLSC
  • Greg Rieger, Mt Maunganui LS
  • Lance Cleeve, Waimairi SLSC
  • Malcom Heke, Fitzroy SLSC
  • Mike Brown, Mairangi Bay SLSC
  • Trina Wills, Westshore SLSC

Coach of the Year

  • Bertie Bassett-Foss, Waimarama SLSC
  • David Smith, Taylors Mistake SLSC
  • Dion Williams, Wainui SLSC
  • Joel Meuli, East End SLSC
  • John (Spindles) Bryant, Mt Maunganui LS
  • Mark Hastie, Warrington SLSC
  • Shane Edwards, Sunset Beach LS
  • Walter Maxwell, Ōtaki SLSC


Innovation of the Year

  • Kariaotahi SLSC
  • Lyall Bay SLSC
  • Otago SAR Team
  • Sophie Davies, East End SLSC
  • Southern Challenge
  • Tony Pattison, Waimarama SLSC


Instructor of the Year

  • Alex Beggs, Pauanui SLSC
  • Alexandra Campbell, Mairangi Bay SLSC
  • Antony North, East End SLSC
  • Georgina Tagg, Worser Bay LSC
  • Jamie Troughton, Mt Maunganui LS
  • Jason Broome, Waimarama SLSC
  • Kirsty Cullen, New Brighton SLSC
  • Sarah Ball, Oreti SLSC
  • Sonia Keepa, Wainui SLSC

Volunteer of the Year

  • Boyd Harris, Pukehina SR
  • Dave Wells, Worser Bay LSC
  • Faron Turner, Orewa SLSC
  • Garry Christofferson, Whiritoa LS
  • Joanne Hobson, Sunset Beach LS
  • Matthew Newell, Wanganui SLS
  • Max Corboy, St Kilda SLSC
  • Mike Smith, Taylors Mistake SLSC
  • Rama Robertson, Midway SLSC
  • Tony Pattison, Waimarama SLSC


For more information please contact:

Mackenzie Koppel

Media & Communications Manager

Phone 021 757 433