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New ZealandArcherDisabled

Eve Rimmer

Eva Marion “Eve” Rimmer, born in 1937 in Whanganui, New Zealand, became one of New Zealand’s greatest paraplegic athletes. Despite facing a life-altering accident at the age of fifteen, Eve’s indomitable spirit led her to become a world-renowned athlete. With an impressive collection of medals and accolades, Eve’s inspiring story continues to empower individuals with disabilities and serves as a reminder of the power of determination. She will be forever remembered as a pioneer in women’s sports, leaving behind an enduring legacy.

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New ZealandRowing

Caroline Evers-Swindell

Caroline Evers-Swindell, born Caroline Frances Meyer, is a former New Zealand rower known for her achievements in the sport. She and her identical twin sister, Georgina Evers-Swindell, achieved great success in the double sculls category, winning gold medals at the 2004 and 2008 Summer Olympics. Caroline’s contributions to rowing were recognized with numerous awards, including being appointed as an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2005.

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New ZealandActivistRowing

Emma Twigg

Emma Kimberley Twigg MNZM (born 1 March 1987) is a New Zealand rower known for her exceptional achievements in the sport. As a single sculler, Twigg has consistently displayed her prowess and determination, becoming a world champion and winning gold at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021. Her remarkable journey in rowing is filled with triumphs, retirements, and comebacks, reflecting her unwavering dedication and passion for the sport.

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New ZealandChemistIntersex

Eliana Rubashkyn

Eliana Rubashkyn is a New Zealand pharmacist and chemist who fought for her rights as an intersex person. Despite facing mistreatment and statelessness in Hong Kong, Rubashkyn demonstrated resilience and worked to support LGBTI asylum seekers and refugees. She eventually sought asylum in New Zealand, where she continues to advocate for the rights of the LGBTQI+ community.

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New ZealandLawyerRefugee

Golriz Ghahraman

Golriz Ghahraman MP is an Iranian-born New Zealand politician, member of Parliament, and author. She became the first refugee elected to New Zealand’s Parliament and has been a prominent advocate for human rights, social justice, and environmental issues. Ghahraman has used her platform to raise awareness about the struggles faced by refugees and advocate for fair and compassionate refugee policies.

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New ZealandLong JumperTrack & Field

Yvette Williams

Yvette Williams, born in 1929 in Dunedin, New Zealand, was a trailblazing athlete who made history as the first New Zealand woman to win an Olympic gold medal and hold the world record in the women’s long jump. Her remarkable achievements and dedication continue to inspire generations of female athletes.

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New ZealandActivist

Meri Mangakāhia

Meri Te Tai Mangakāhia was a prominent figure in the campaign for women’s suffrage in New Zealand. Her dedication to the cause and her advocacy for the rights of Māori women inspired future generations and left a lasting impact on New Zealand society. She made history by becoming the first woman to address the Kotahitanga Parliament in 1893 and played a crucial role in securing Māori women’s right to vote. Her legacy as a trailblazer in women’s suffrage and her influential role in Māori politics and welfare movements continue to inspire generations of New Zealanders.

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New ZealandRugby

Huriana Manuel-Carpenter

Huriana Manuel is a renowned New Zealand rugby union player who has made significant contributions to the sport. Her natural talent and dedication earned her a place in the prestigious Black Ferns, the New Zealand women’s sevens team. Manuel’s exceptional performance and leadership skills were instrumental in securing the victory for New Zealand in the Rugby World Cup. Her induction into the World Rugby Hall of Fame solidifies her place in rugby history for years to come.

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New ZealandRugby

Fiao’o Fa’amausili

Fiao’o Fa’amausili, a former New Zealand female rugby union player, has had a remarkable career that spanned over a decade. She represented the Black Ferns, New Zealand’s women’s national rugby union team, in five Rugby World Cups and was a member of the winning squad in the 2010 Women’s Rugby World Cup. Fa’amausili’s dedication, skill, and leadership have made her an inspiration to women and girls in rugby and beyond, leaving an indelible mark on the sport. She was also appointed an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to rugby in 2018.

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New ZealandEducator

Pat Hond

Patricia Laura Te Waikapoata Hond (née Mathieson; 31 March 1927–18 November 1989) was a New Zealand tribal leader, teacher, soldier, policewoman, and community worker. She made history as the first female Māori to join the New Zealand Police force and founded the Taranaki Activity Centre, an alternative education system for at-risk youth. Hond passed away in 1989 due to heart problems.

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New ZealandDancer

Lusi Faiva

Lusi Faiva, a New Zealand-Samoan stage performer and dancer, has overcome significant challenges throughout her life. Born with cerebral palsy, she was placed into an institution before being fostered by a loving couple at the age of two. Faiva’s passion for performance grew under their care, and she later became a founding member of Touch Compass. Her career has spanned over 30 years, making her a role model for disabled and non-disabled artists alike. Throughout her journey, Faiva has shattered stereotypes and made lasting contributions to the performing arts scene in New Zealand.

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New ZealandBalletDancer

Rowena Jackson

Rowena Othlie Jackson MBE, a former New Zealand prima ballerina, began her ballet journey in Invercargill. She went on to join the Sadler’s Wells Ballet in London and became a renowned prima ballerina. After retiring, Jackson returned to New Zealand and served as the artistic director of the Royal New Zealand Ballet company, leaving behind an enduring legacy.

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New ZealandActivist

Whina Cooper

Dame Whina Cooper, a respected kuia (Māori elder), fought for the rights of her people, working tirelessly to improve the lives of Māori women. She led the historic 1975 Māori land march, covering over 1,100 km at the age of 79. Recognized for her national influence, she received prestigious awards in both the British and New Zealand Royal Honors Systems, and was honored by her own people as “Te Whaea o te Motu” (Mother of the Nation).

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New ZealandPolitician

Naida Glavish

Dame Rangimārie Naida Glavish, a prominent New Zealand politician and Māori community leader, made a lasting impact on indigenous politics. Of Croatian and Māori descent, Glavish overcame challenges and became a staunch advocate for the Māori language and culture. She played a significant role in the recognition and acceptance of Māori greetings, marking a turning point in New Zealand society. Glavish’s dedication to Māori rights and cultural revitalization has been crucial in raising awareness and promoting inclusivity for all. She was honored with the Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (DNZM) for her contributions.

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New ZealandRowing

Kerri Williams

Kerri Leigh Williams, a New Zealand rower, is a decorated athlete with numerous achievements. She has won national championships, Olympic gold and silver medals, and multiple world championships. Williams, who is of Māori descent, began her rowing career in high school and soon became a key member of the New Zealand national team. She continues to excel in her sport and is recognized as one of New Zealand’s top rowers.

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New ZealandRowingSwimmer

Grace Prendergast

Grace Elizabeth Prendergast, born in 1992 in Christchurch, New Zealand, is a former New Zealand sweep rower known for her outstanding talent and numerous accomplishments in the sport. As the highest ranked female rower in the world in 2019 and 2021, Prendergast’s remarkable success and unwavering dedication have made her a true legend in women’s rowing history.

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New ZealandRugby

Anna Richards

Anna Mary Richards MNZM, born on December 3, 1964, is a former New Zealand rugby union player who has left a lasting impact on the sport. Representing New Zealand at four World Cups (1998, 2002, 2006, and 2010), Richards displayed remarkable talent and dedication throughout her career.

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IrelandNew ZealandSailing

Naomi James

Dame Naomi Christine James, DBE, made history as the first woman to sail single-handedly around the world via Cape Horn. Overcoming obstacles and defying the odds, she completed her incredible voyage in 1978, solidifying her place in sailing history and bringing attention to women’s capabilities in solo sailing. Her pioneering spirit and remarkable achievements continue to inspire generations of women around the world.

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New ZealandAstronomer

Beatrice Tinsley

Beatrice Muriel Hill Tinsley, a British-born New Zealand astronomer, made significant contributions to the understanding of galaxy evolution. Despite facing numerous challenges throughout her career, including struggling to secure a permanent academic position, Tinsley became the first female professor of astronomy at Yale University. Tragically, her promising career was cut short when she passed away from melanoma in 1981. She left behind a lasting legacy in the field of astronomy.

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New ZealandActivist

Kate Sheppard

Katherine Wilson Sheppard, better known as Kate Sheppard, was a prominent figure in the women’s suffrage movement in New Zealand. She dedicated her life to advocating for women’s rights and was instrumental in achieving universal suffrage in New Zealand in 1893. Her tireless efforts and persuasive abilities paved the way for future generations of women. Though her political activity waned in later years, Sheppard’s legacy lives on as a pioneer for gender equality. Her portrait adorns the New Zealand ten-dollar note, a fitting tribute to her lasting impact.

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New ZealandArcher

Neroli Fairhall

Neroli Susan Fairhall MBE (1944–2006) was the first paraplegic competitor at the Olympic Games. After a motorbike accident left her paralyzed, Fairhall turned to archery and achieved remarkable success, including representing New Zealand in the 1984 Olympics. Her groundbreaking achievements and dedication to her sport paved the way for greater inclusivity and recognition for disabled athletes. Fairhall’s legacy continues to inspire individuals to overcome adversity. She was honored with the Member of the Order of the British Empire in 1983.

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New ZealandDancerIndigenous

Amanaki Prescott-Faletau

Amanaki Lelei Prescott-Faletau, a multi-talented artist of Tongan descent, has left a significant mark on the world of performing arts. From her early experiences in church events to competing in national and international dance competitions, Amanaki has showcased her exceptional talent and passion for performing. With a deep connection to her cultural roots and her commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion, she continues to inspire and uplift others within the industry. Her journey as an artist and trailblazer is truly remarkable.

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New ZealandActivistDancer

Rona Bailey

Rona Bailey, a prominent drama and dance practitioner in New Zealand, was a driving force behind the development of contemporary dance and professional theater in her country. She also played a crucial role in the anti-apartheid movement and contributed to anti-racist education in New Zealand. Bailey’s commitment to teaching and her contributions to drama and dance education continue to have a lasting impact.

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New ZealandCricketer

Suzie Bates

Suzie Bates, born in 1987 in Dunedin, New Zealand, is a prominent cricketer and former captain of the New Zealand women’s cricket team. With numerous accolades and records to her name, she has established herself as one of the most accomplished players in the sport. Bates’ skills extend beyond cricket, as she has also represented New Zealand in women’s basketball and ventured into coaching. Her remarkable achievements and leadership have made her an inspiration for aspiring cricketers globally.

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New ZealandCricketer

Debbie Hockley

Deborah Ann Hockley CNZM (born 7 November 1962) is a New Zealand former cricketer who played as a right-handed batter and right-arm medium bowler. Hockley was the first woman to become President of New Zealand Cricket. Hockley played 19 Test matches for New Zealand, with a high score of 126 not out and an impressive batting average of 52.04. She also captained the New Zealand team in six of these matches, resulting in six draws. In ODIs, Hockley appeared in 118 matches for New Zealand, averaging 41.89 with the bat. Her accomplishments include being named Player of the Match in the 1997 World Cup final in India.

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New ZealandCanoeing

Lisa Carrington

Dame Lisa Carrington, born in 1989, is New Zealand’s most successful Olympian with five gold medals and one bronze. Hailing from Tauranga, she has made a lasting impact in the world of canoeing, showcasing her incredible talent and unwavering dedication.

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New ZealandMountaineer

Lydia Bradey

Lydia Pounamu Bradey ONZM is a New Zealand mountaineer who made history in 1988 by becoming the first woman to summit Mount Everest without supplemental oxygen. She has since gone on to summit the mountain five more times.

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New ZealandCanoeing

Teneale Hatton

Teneale Hatton is a New Zealand flatwater canoer who has achieved great success in her sport. She has won multiple medals in various competitions and even made history by becoming the second non-European to win the K-1 1000m event at the World Championships. Hatton’s dedication and talent have made her an inspiration to aspiring athletes around the world.

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New ZealandSnowboarder

Zoi Sadowski-Synnott

Zoi Katherine Sadowski-Synnott is a New Zealand snowboarder who has made a significant impact on the sport at a young age. Born in Sydney, Australia, she discovered her passion for snowboarding in Wānaka, New Zealand, and quickly rose in the ranks. She has achieved remarkable success, including winning a gold medal at the 2022 Winter Olympics and becoming an inspiration to aspiring athletes worldwide.

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New ZealandRugby

Farah Palmer

Dame Farah Rangikoepa Palmer is a renowned professor at Massey University and former captain of New Zealand’s women’s rugby union team, the Black Ferns. Known for her exceptional talent and leadership abilities, Palmer led the team to multiple victories, including the 1998 Women’s Rugby World Cup. In addition to her sporting achievements, she also excelled in academics, completing her PhD while pursuing her rugby career. Palmer’s significant contributions to the sport have been recognized with several prestigious awards and honors.

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New ZealandRowing

Georgina Evers-Swindell

Georgina Emma Buchanan Earl, formerly known as Georgina Evers-Swindell, was a retired New Zealand rower who achieved remarkable success in the sport. Alongside her twin sister Caroline Evers-Swindell, she dominated the world of rowing and became a symbol of excellence. Georgina’s career included multiple gold medals at world championships and Olympics, as well as breaking the indoor rowing world record. Her contributions to rowing were widely recognized, and she continues to make an impact on the world of sports.

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AustraliaCanadaNew Zealand

Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-reigning British monarch, ruled for over 70 years. She ascended to the throne in 1952 and became queen of multiple Commonwealth countries. Throughout her reign, she navigated significant political changes while maintaining the monarchy’s popularity. Her death in 2022 marked the end of an era, and she was succeeded by her eldest son, Charles III.

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New ZealandActivistIndigenous

Eva Rickard

Eva Rickard was a prominent activist for Māori land rights and women’s rights within Māoridom. Known for her tireless advocacy for the return of ancestral lands, she gained public attention through her protests and civil disobedience, leading to the return of the land and the empowerment of Māori communities. She also challenged traditional Māori protocol by calling for Māori women to have a voice in official gatherings, inspiring generations of Māori women to demand recognition and rights. Her impact on indigenous rights and gender equality in New Zealand is significant.

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New ZealandActivistIndigenous

Heni Materoa Sunderland

Heni Materoa Sunderland, also known as Nanny Heni, was a Māori kaumātua (community leader) in New Zealand who dedicated her life to fighting for women’s rights. She grew up in difficult circumstances but was fortunate to be raised by her grandparents, who instilled in her a strong sense of cultural identity. Sunderland’s determination and courage set an example for future generations and challenged traditional gender roles within her community. She was recognized for her exemplary community service and was posthumously awarded an honorary doctorate for her impact and recognition as a leader and champion for the rights of her community.

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New ZealandCricketer

Pearl Dawson

Pearl Howard Dawson BEM was a pioneering New Zealand veterinarian and sports administrator. Despite facing opposition to her dream of becoming a doctor, she became the first woman veterinarian in Auckland. Pearl’s impact on women’s sports in Auckland was significant, as she excelled in hockey, founded the Auckland Girls’ Cricket Association, and played a vital role in establishing women’s sports grounds in the city. Her tireless efforts were recognized with the British Empire Medal in 1968, and her legacy continues to inspire athletes and advocates for gender equality.

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