World champion rugby player Ruby Tui and the Topp Twins have been announced as one of four finalists for the New Zealander of the Year award.
The other two finalists are Sir John Kirwan and Professor Rangi Mātāmua AKA 'the man behind Matariki'
Ruby, the twins, and the other contestants have all done immense amounts of mahi in their field and beyond so tu meke and good luck.
According to their website, The New Zealander of the Year is awarded to a Kiwi “for their contribution to the wellbeing of our country. Proven, inspirational and passionate, these are the people that New Zealand is proud to call their own.”
The Topp Twins, "Jools and Lynda Topp have made us laugh, made us think, advocated for good and ultimately made a deep and lasting impact on Aotearoa and the world," the New Zealander of the website says.
They've been performing as country/folk musical duo over five decades now, with political protests and advocating being at the core of what they do.
Still going strong nearly fifty years after beginning, they are a true testament to the Kiwi spirit and it's awesome to see them recognised for their work.
On the announcement page, Ruby has been commended for being an “athlete, author, and advocate for mental health … igniting the nation with her natural charisma, talent, and passion for the games.”
Ruby playing a massive role in the Black Ferns winning the World Cup was just the start of her stardom. As soon as she was given her winner’s medal, she gave it to a young fan who beat leukaemia.
She also led the sold-out Eden Park crowd in a singalong to the classic waiata ‘Tutira Mai Nga Iwi’ during her post-game interview, visited a fan’s home to sign her copy of Tui’s book, and joked around with former Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
Above all that though, she has broken barriers and shown the next generation that you can dominate in your field of choice no matter what, and have fun doing it. Ngā mihi Ruby, you’ve earnt it.