NZOIA Outdoor Excellence Awards

    These awards recognise the highest achievements of individuals involved in outdoor recreation, education and guiding in New Zealand.

    There are five awards: Emerging Instructor, Emerging Guide, Wahine Toa, Tall Tōtara, and Life Member.       


    1 April 2024: Nominations open

    30 June 2024: Nominations close

    28 September 2024: Awards are announced and presented at the NZOIA Outdoor Excellence Awards Dinner at the Symposium.  


    Emerging Instructor

    Awarded to an instructor who displays great potential for the future, and who demonstrates strong commitment to professional development and qualification acquisition.  The ideal recipient will have at least one NZOIA qualification and be recognised as a talented instructor who stands out from the crowd.

    • An instructor in their first 5 years of employment in the outdoor industry
    • A 3 or more year commitment to working as an instructor or outdoor educator
    • Current NZOIA qualification holder
    • Two referees
    • Outstanding amongst their peers
    • Demonstrated commitment to personal outdoor recreational participation and a high achiever (relative to age and experience)
    • Role models a commitment to sustainable environmental practices
    Emerging Guide
    Wahine Toa
    Tall Tōtara
    Life Member


    Judging Period: 1 July - 30 June

    Judging Panel: NZOIA is privileged to have many skilled and generous people within our membership. The judging panel is made up of three NZOIA Life Members. From the NZOIA Board, thank you so much to our Life Members for the efficiency, commitment and knowledge that you continue to bring to this process.


    Nominations are now open!

    30 June 2024: Nominations close

    It is important you refer to the criteria above in your nomination. Each nominee must have a minimum of two referees. This can be included in the same nomination form or in separate nominations. Please include photos. Anybody can make a nomination, you don't need to be a NZOIA member. However, the person you nominate for the Award must be a NZOIA member.

    Photo credits: Andy Thompson Photography

    Past Award Recipients

    Emerging Instructor
    2023 - Michaella Wills & Matt Hanson
    2022 - Paddy Tucker
    2021 - Grace Robertson
    2020 - Sam Aldrich
    2019 - Lacey Beadle
    2018 - Mark Parfitt
    2017 - Rata Lovell-Smith
    2016 - Jon Harding
    2015 - Tim Shaw
    2014 - Alan Haslip
    2013 - James Geddes
    2012 - Sophia Mulder
    2011 - Cameron Walker
    2010 – John Hannam
    2009 – Jye Mitchell
    2008 – Samuel Langridge
    2007 – Vashti Duncan
    2006 – Ben Barlow
    2005 – Rebecca Wylie
    2004 – Nicci Mardle
    2003 – Regan Edwards
    2002 – Holly Thompson
    Emerging Guide
    Wahine Toa
    Tall Tōtara
    Life Member
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