Mental health awareness campaigner and New Zealand of the Year finalist Mike King has been named winner of the 2017 Communicator of the Year Award for his ability to communicate directly and openly about mental health.
BlacklandPR director Mark Blackham said Mike King was the outstanding communicator over 2017 due to his clarity and assertiveness when speaking about mental health issues.
“2017 was a watershed year for mental health in New Zealand, primarily because of Mike.
“His passionate and forceful position reached ordinary Kiwis, and particularly young people. They responded to his straight talking, uncontrived and unfiltered compassion, and good humour.
“Through the late-night radio show The Nutters Club and The Key to Life Charitable Trust, Mike has helped others express themselves, and to deal with troubles in their lives.
“The clarity of his message and advice appeals. There is no ambiguity, no trite happy talk – he speaks as people speak naturally to each other,” Mark said.
BlacklandPR established the award to promote clarity of communication in public life. It is awarded for those who demonstrate the value of using clear and persuasive communication.
Runners-up for the 2017 Communicator of the Year Award were Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and film director Taika Waititi.
“Jacinda Ardern’s embodiment of the Labour Party electoral campaign ‘Let’s do this’ was the defining difference in the election.
“Taika Waititi used his unique style to spotlight the topics of racism and water quality very effectively,” Mark said.
The Communicator of the Year receives a bespoke Māori kōauau, designed and crafted by Wellington based Māori craftsman and designer Sam Hauwaho.
The kōauau is a traditional Māori flute, reflecting the art and history of human communication.
Winner of the BlacklandPR 2016 Communicator of the Year was Labour Party MP Greg O’Connor.