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Nicole McKee named NZ Communicator of the Year

Nicole McKee, spokesperson for the Council of Licensed Firearm Owners, has been named 2020 Communicator of the Year for the way she presented her members’ case on the contentious issue of firearms law.

Nicole’s passionate yet cordial presentation of arguments against a firearms ban and new Arms Act was critical to being heard in the febrile political environment created by the Mosque shootings in March 2019.

The issues were contentious and emotive. Nicole was a regular presence in national media.

BlacklandPR director Mark Blackham said “at a tumultuous time, Nicole kept her cool, retained her reasoning, and treated the media and others with respect.

“She spoke the everyday language and arguments of New Zealanders to help them see the complexities, when others were trying to win by simplifying.

“She kept a smile and a light manner when others were trying to win by denigrating people,” he said.

Runners-up for the 2020 Communicator of the Year Award were Maori land rights activist Pania Newtown and online agricultural influencer Tangoaroa Walker.

“Pania Newton’s leadership for Ihumatao saw her become the main face of the dispute, passionately articulating a strong case.

“Tangoaroa Walker’s ‘Farm 4 Life’ social platform is a great resource for those in the agri sector. His videos and posts cut through into mainstream, entertaining and educating a much wider audience,” Mr Blackham said.

The Communicator of the Year receives a bespoke Māori kōauau, designed and crafted by Wellington based Māori craftsman and designer Sam Hauwaho. The kōauau is a traditional Māori flute, reflecting the art and history of human communication.

The award is now in its fifth year. Previous winners are Sir Peter Gluckman (2019), Mike King (2018), Greg O’Connor (2017), and Shamubeel Equib (2016).

This is the first time the winner is a client of BlacklandPR. “We’ve been meticulously impartial in the awards judging process and used external moderation. We take no credit for her ability – her communication skills are innate.”

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