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A judging panel of nationally recognised and skilled heritage experts will decide the winners across eight award categories.


James Blackburne

James Blackburne, a Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Architects, is a passionate advocate for the protection of heritage in his tūrangawaewae – Tairāwhiti. After graduating from the Auckland School of Architecture in 1993, James worked briefly for the Tairawhiti Branch Committee of New Zealand Historic Places Trust as a researcher of heritage places, before embarking on his career in architecture. James is a founding member and current President of Historic Places Aotearoa and in 2022 was appointed to the Board of Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga. 


Nigel How

Nigel is Ngati Kahungunu living at Iwitea Pa just north of Wairoa. He has been heavily involved in traditional Maori arts for over 30 years and was a voluntary marae-based wananga tutor for 16 years. Nigel has authored several historical papers, reports and booklets, including co-authoring the ‘Te Rauwa’ cultural and historical assessment of the central Wairoa business district. His current roles include Registrar of Wairoa Museum, Chair of Wairoa Taiwhenua, Board Member of Ngati Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated, and trustee of Hawke’s Bay Museums Trust.


Elizabeth Pishief 

Dr Elizabeth Pishief is a heritage consultant and passionate advocate for heritage values, which she believes are significant to people’s sense of place, identity and overall well-being. Elizabeth is a member of ICOMOS New Zealand, the New Zealand Archaeological Association, the Professional Historians Association of New Zealand Aotearoa, Museums Aotearoa, Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga, Historic Places Hawke’s Bay, and currently serves on the executive of Historic Places Aotearoa.


Jana Uhlirova

Jana hails from the Czech Republic, where she completed a Masters Degree in Art History and Museology, before immigrating to New Zealand in 2005. Since 2011 Jana has been working as Curator and Manager at Central Hawke’s Bay Museum in Waipawa. “Learning about New Zealand history and Maori culture, working with the community to make art, history, and education available to the public is one of my great passions.”

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