Communicator of the Year

The Communicator of the Year award recognises individuals who each year best demonstrate what effective communication looks and sounds like.



Congratulations to Greg O'Connor who was named the BlacklandPR Communicator of the Year for 2016.


Congratulations must all go to the category winners:

  • Business communicator: Simon Moutter
  • Political communicator: Bill English
  • Local Government communicator: Chloe Swarbrick
  • Science communicator: Michelle Dickinson
  • Sports communicator: Liam Malone
  • Public Services communicator: Greg O’Connor
  • Commentator: Jordan Watson (How to Dad)
  • Communicator of the Moment: Duane Major & Adam Gard'ner
  • BlacklandPR Communicator of the Year: Greg O’Connor

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'The Kōauau'



The award recognises the achievements of a communicator in the 12 months prior to the awards announcement.

The winner is selected by BlacklandPR and students at Massey University’s School of Communication, Journalism, and Marketing, from New Zealanders who have illustrated communication skills at the national level over the previous year.

Nominees are ranked out of 10 points for the following communication traits;

  1. Presence (mana, prestige, visibility, regularity)
  2. Turn of phrase (ability to capture attention and encapsulate an idea)
  3. Information and explanation (selection of information, and ability to educate succinctly)  
  4. Passion (persuasiveness of their commitment)
  5. Empathy (extent to which they relate to and reflect the interests, needs and ability of their audience)

There are eight sector winners, and from them BlacklandPR chooses an overall winner of the Communicator of the Year title.



Presented with the title of Communicator of the Year is a bespoke Māori kōauau trophy designed and carved by Wellington based Māori craftsman and designer Sam Hauwaho.


The koauau is a traditional Māori flute instrument. Historically it has been used to welcome people into life and assist the spirit as it leaves, to attract birds, to heal bones and to help memorise knowledge.


Throughout history, cultures worldwide have used instruments to communicate. From drums to conch shells, instruments have been used send messages of importance, emit emotion and create a presence.


The koauau honours this history and the spirit and purpose of communication.