The recipients of New Zealander of the Year awards for 2022 were announced tonight and among them are an ecologist, a healthy lifestyle champion, an innovator.

Tā Tipene O'Regan named New Zealander of the Year 2022Tā Tipene O’Regan. Photo: Supplied

Here’s a list of the winners tonight:

2022 New Zealander of the Year: Tā Tipene O’Regan

Tā Tipene O’Regan is known for his work in Ngāi Tahu’s Treaty Settlement, as an educator and as a public figure whose life has been dedicated to building an inclusive, bicultural nation.

Local Hero of the Year: Dave Letele

Dave Letele is the founder of the not-for-profit Brown Buttabean Motivation programme – a free, gym-based weight-loss programme that has inspired thousands of New Zealanders to get fit and get healthy.

Environmental Hero of the Year: Charmaine Bailie

Described as a force of nature, Charmaine Bailie is an ecologist overseeing numerous large-scale environmental restoration projects. She uses her skills, humour and energy to support people and the whenua.

Innovator of the Year: Mark Sagar

Soul Machines chief executive Mark Sagar is leading the way for intelligent, AI design. From his R&D lab in Auckland he is generating an international reputation as a pioneer in the field.

Senior New Zealander of the Year: Rereata Mākiha

Rereata Mākiha believes in the power of sharing knowledge and using oral traditions – korero-tuku-iho to connect and educate the next generation.

Any member of the public can nominate an individual or community organisation for the awards.

Nominations were open from 19 July till 31 August.