27 Nov 2020

Best of 2020: Inspiring Kiwis

11:34 am on 9 January 2021

Meet the diverse group of New Zealanders who made us want to dig a little deeper.

Mountaineering widow Jan Arnold on the film Everest

Nelson doctor Jan Arnold's mountaineer husband Rob died in a brutal storm on Mount Everest in 1996. The 2015 film Everest told the story of Rob and his fellow climbers.

Jan Arnold

Photo: Radio NZ / Tracy Neal

Te Kehukehu Butler: 'My cancer is my mōkai [pet]'

Te Kehukehu, who has prostate cancer, believes that the illness is a part of his body, and therefore he takes care of it with good kai, exercise, and mindful thinking. 

Te Kehukehu at his home in Matapihi.

Te Kehukehu at his home in Matapihi. Photo: RNZ/Justine Murray

Pio Terei and Nicola 'Nix' Adams on Terei Tonight

Facebook star Nicola 'Nix' Adams' and comedian Pio Terei chat about their new show on Māori TV.

No caption


Writing romance bestsellers from a Te Puke orchard

Rural mother-of-four Joanne Wadsworth has been writing romance stories since 2009 and her books feature on the New York Times bestseller list.

Author Joanne Wadsworth

Author Joanne Wadsworth Photo: Supplied

Warrior Kid Tim Tipene

As a white boy with a Māori name, Tim Tipene constantly faced suspicion. But his adoptive Tipene whānau gave him the love that would later save his life.

No caption

Photo: Supplied

High school mums (and their inspirational teacher)

Dru Brown and Cierrah Puke are two of the teen mums featured in the new TVNZ series High School Mums. Lee Marchioni is one of their inspirational teachers.

Cierrah Puke and her son Jonah

Photo: High School Mums / TVNZ

Mo Muse: a first-generation Somali-NZ rapper

Auckland musician Mo Muse's latest project First Generation is an ode to his fellow immigrant kids.

No caption

Photo: Supplied

Asking for spare change, landing a job instead!

Domino's pizza franchise owner Rishi Sharma was on his way to work one day when he saw a man using a pizza box to ask for spare change. Instead of giving him a few coins, he ended up giving Brian 'Sooty' Wallace a job.

Rishi Sharma (R) and Brian "Sooty" Wallace

Rishi Sharma (R) and Brian "Sooty" Wallace Photo: supplied

Golriz Ghahraman: finding her place in Aotearoa

Iranian-born Golriz Ghahraman arrived in New Zealand with her parents as a 9-year-old, making history in 2017 when she became the first New Zealand MP with a refugee background.

Golriz Ghahraman

Golriz Ghahraman Photo: supplied / Todd Henry Photography

Whaitiri Poutawa: The "Māori Thor" taking kapa haka online

Kapa haka teacher Whaitiri Poutawa loves his job and had a "mini freak-out" when he couldn't visit schools during lockdown. He decided to take his classes online, attracting thousands of viewers from around the world.

Wellington Kapa haka teacher Whaitiri Poutawa

Wellington Kapa haka teacher Whaitiri Poutawa Photo: YouTube screenshot

Get the RNZ app

for easy access to all your favourite programmes