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North & South New Zealander Of The Year Announced

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

North & South's January 2010 issue, on sale on Monday, December 14, profiles a man whose maverick style and ability to inspire the passion of those around him saw him claw back from the brink to rebuild his company exporting Kiwi ingenuity to the world.

Dunedin high-tech innovator Ian Taylor is North & South's New Zealander of the Year 2010. He is the14th supreme winner in these longstanding annual awards, which salute New Zealand's real achievers - not high-profile celebrities and not always names that are widely recognised, but people who embody the qualities and values that Kiwis admire.

Eighteen months ago, Taylor was on the verge of bankruptcy. A world leader in computer graphics for two decades, he arrived at his Dunedin office to tell his team that the company would have to close. As he walked past, his receptionist showed him the front page of that morning's newspaper announcing the closure of a local factory with the loss of hundreds of jobs. "I can still remember her saying, 'God, how awful that would be,'" says Taylor. "And I thought, 'Well, I can't do it today.'"

Not only did Taylor turn the company around, he and his creative team capped a comeback year by landing a multi-million dollar contract with the BBC to provide graphics for international coverage of the 2009 Formula One series.

As well as the supreme winner, North & South's New Zealander of the Year special features winners and "honourable mentions" across 10 categories, traversing business, sport, science, arts and entertainment and the environment, plus a Young Achievers award to salute the next generation of high-flying New Zealanders.

Last year's North & South New Zealander of the Year was Murray Burton, principal of Auckland's Elim Christian College, awarded for the leadership and humanity he showed when a teacher and six senior students were drowned in a flash flood in the Mangatepopo Gorge, near Turangi.

Other previous North & South New Zealanders of the Year include former Minister of Treaty Negotiations Sir Douglas Graham; Auckland University leader turned-Oxford University head John Hood; philanthropist, businessman and Hawke's Bay tourism guru Graeme Avery; Christchurch-based international sustainable business doyenne Peri Drysdale; outspoken economist and philanthropist Gareth Morgan; and Dr Philip Bagshaw, founder and champion of Canterbury Charity Hospital.

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