New Zealand Shareholders’ Association’s 2021 Business Journalism Awards

Date Released:  December 9th 2021

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Over 60 outstanding business news, features and commentary entries certainly left our three judges with a challenge for the fourth annual NZ Business Journalism Awards!

Proudly hosted by the New Zealand Shareholders’ Association (NZSA) and generously supported by Simplicity, the awards showcase the best of New Zealand Journalism.

These journalists ensure the public is informed and businesses, large and small, are held accountable for their actions and to their stakeholders.

It takes guts to tell difficult stories, intelligence to unravel complicated jargon, skill to provide clarity and determination to follow their passion through a challenging time for the media industry.

“We’re heartened to see the uplift in both the quantity and quality of Business Journalism in New Zealand” says Oliver Mander, NZSA CEO. “There is a clear alignment between the transparency demanded by investors and the investigative capability of our media. Just like NZSA, shining a light on business issues helps to hold our corporate world to account.”

On 9 December 2021, the NZSA’s awards programme culminated in a virtual awards ceremony, complete with clapping emojis and virtual hugs.

Finalists and Winners

Business Features

  • Nikki Mandow,, WINNER
    Small apartments series (one, two, three)

The judges said Nikki’s entry was “a fascinating take on how first home buyers are being shut out of options to buy small apartments by both Govt and banking policy.” The series demonstrated a “dogged approach from a reporter who would not be fobbed off and was prepared to call it as she sees it.” 


Business Commentary

The judges said Maria’s story showed “good use of hard evidence to support an opinion about how the safety of a casualised workforce of courier drivers has been let down by the authorities.” They called it a “highly readable story which made a convincing argument.”


Business News

  • Jonathan Milne, Newsroom
    Evan Price series (one, two, three)
  • Anuja Nadkarni, Newsroom
    McDonald’s and bonded labour series (one, two, three)

The judges said Maria “brought a story to light that otherwise would have been swept under the carpet. She showed perseverance in substantiating claims by staff whistleblowers and raising important questions about governance at the organisation.”


Rising Business Journalist Award

Dan Brunskill, Business Desk WINNER

The judges said that Dan “writes well and excels at explaining difficult concepts.” His editor, Patrick Smellie says Dan is “a calming influence in a tumultuous profession. He’s smart and great to have around – we’re lucky to have him.”


Business Journalist of the Year Award

Maria Slade, National Business Review WINNER

The overall verdict of the judges was that “Maria writes engagingly and tackles important issues. As the winner of two of the three awards – for business news and business commentary – she clearly deserves the top award.”



Three independent judges volunteered their journalism and business expertise to read and evaluate more than 70 entries into the Awards. Three independent judges volunteered their journalism and business expertise to read and evaluate more than 60 entries into the Awards.

Louise Nicholson

Louise Nicholson is the Director of External Communications and Investor Capability at the Financial Markets Authority, where her team is responsible for communicating with industry and equipping investors to make good decisions.

Louise is a former journalist who worked in New Zealand and Australia before moving into a range of communications roles in New Zealand, Australia and Asia.

Gyles Beckford

Gyles has been a journalist for more than 35 years, including stints with provincial newspapers, a ministerial press secretary, a long stint as local bureau chief for Reuters news agency. He has over 20 years reporting on everything business, investment, economics and commerce.

He has worked with Radio New Zealand, presented on Morning Report, participated in the RNZ-Newsroom “Two Cents Worth” podcast, and sis member of the combined RNZ-TVNZ unit that reported on the Panama Papers.

Mary Holm

Mary Holm, ONZM, has written seven books, including two No. 1 NZ bestsellers: Rich Enough? and A Richer You – how to make the most of your money

She writes a personal finance Q&A column in the Weekend Herald, presents seminars, and discusses personal finance with Jesse Mulligan on RNZ every second Thursday.

Mary holds a BA in economic history. MA in journalism, and MBA in finance.  She is a director of Financial Services Complaints Ltd (FSCL), and a former director of the FMA and the Banking Ombudsman Scheme.

Next Year

The 2022 Business Journalism Awards will be back in full force in early November. Entries are expected to close in late September 2022.

NZSA is also hosting the Beacon Awards on 25 February 2022 at the Northern Club, Auckland. This award honours one individual in the New Zealand business community who demonstrates leadership, bravery and respect while championing equitable outcomes, outstanding governance and all shareholders. The NZSA Investor Conference, supported by NZX, will be held the next day at Vodafone Events Centre, Auckland.

Tickets for all events are available at

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