Dame Lisa Carrington wins Supreme Halberg Award

Dame Lisa Carrington (Ngāti Porou, Te Aitanga a Māhaki) has received New Zealand’s highest sporting honour, named the recipient of the Supreme Halberg Award at a ceremony in Auckland on Wednesday evening.

The five-time Olympic gold medalist kayaker - named most influential Māori sportsperson of the last 30 years in 2021 - claimed her 15th Canoe Sprint World Championship title in Germany in August 2023, with victory in the K1 200m on the final day of competition. The win provided her third title of the regatta, after the K4 500m and the K1 500m, just 24 hours earlier.

@thenzteam Your Supreme Halberg Award Winner… Dame Lisa Carrington 🏆 #Halbergs #awards #canoe #kayak ♬ original sound - 🧍🏾‍♀️🧍🏾‍♀️

In a highly competitive field, 34-year-old Carrington was named New Zealand Sportswoman of the Year earlier in the evening, taking the honour ahead of fellow finalists, including swimmer Erika Fairweather (Ngāi Tahu), last year’s Supreme Halberg Award recipient Zoi Sadowski-Synnott, cyclist Ellesse Andrews and motocross rider Courtney Duncan.

Track cyclist Aaron Gate won New Zealand Sportsman of the Year for his results at the world championships in Scotland, which included a gold and two bronze medals. Fellow finalists included All Black Ardie Savea, New Zealand Warrior Shaun Johnson, squash player Paul Coll, golfer Ryan Fox and race car driver Shane van Gisbergen.

Dual New Zealand representative Cameron Leslie (Ngāpuhi) was named Para Athlete of the Year following his medal haul at the world championships in England last year, where he won a gold medal, two silver and a bronze. Leslie also co-captained the Wheel Blacks at the Wheelchair Rugby World Cup in France in 2023.

The Black Ferns Sevens won Team of the Year for their world series success (in which they went 36 games undefeated), ahead of fellow finalists including Rugby World Cup runners-up the All Blacks, and the New Zealand Warriors.

The Warriors did, however, scoop the award for New Zealand’s Favourite Sporting Moment with more than 10,000 public votes for their performance in reaching an NRL preliminary final.

Sir Wayne Smith was recognised with a Leadership Award.