New Zealand Communicator of the Year

BlacklandPR’s New Zealand Communicator of the Year award recognises individuals who each year best demonstrate what
effective communication looks and sounds like.

2022 Communicator of the Year                   

Ross Taylor

Congratulations to Ross Taylor, who was named the BlacklandPR Communicator of the Year for 2022 for his calmness, measured authority and plain speaking during the Gib shortages.

“His composure and resolve steadied the company under extraordinary pressure in public. Ross Taylor’s performance embodies what good communication looks and sounds like: clear, evocative and unmistakable in its meaning.” – Director Nick Gowland

Previous winners:

Nicole edit 1 - B&W

2020 Communicator of the Year

Nicole McKee


2019 Communicator of the Year

Sir Peter Gluckman

mike king

2018 Communicator of the Year

Mike King


2017 Communicator of the Year

Greg O’Connor


2016 Communicator of the Year

Shamubeel Equib

History and selection process

The BlacklandPR communicator of the year award began in 2016, established to recognise the achievements of a communicator in the 12 months prior to the awards announcement. The award has been re-established after a COVID-prompted hiatus.

The winner is selected by the team at BlacklandPR 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;

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

The koauau

Previously, the title of Communicator of the Year was also presented with a bespoke Māori kōauau trophy designed and carved by Wellington based Māori craftsman and designer Sam Hauwaho.

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

The kōauau was given to award winners during 2016 – 2020