A Dunedin paramedic has been named as a semifinalist in
the New Zealander of the Year Awards.
Todd Balogh (22) is the youngest Rescue 3 instructor in the
world and the youngest to achieve the national certificate in
specialist rescue (rope instructor).
Mr Balogh was deployed to the 2011 Christchurch earthquake as
part of urban search and rescue operations and worked
alongside the Taiwanese Special Task Force.
In 2012, he was sponsored to attend the Rescue 3
international instructor conference in Texas and this year he
was sent to Abu Dhabi to train the police rescue unit in
specialist rope rescue.
Mr Balogh is now studying towards a postgraduate diploma in
emergency management. Mosgiel self-employment adviser Cecilia
Sullivan-Gran was named as a semifinalist in the Kiwibank
local hero award, for more than a decade of helping people
with disabilities find employment.
The annual local hero awards were an opportunity for the
community to nominate people they thought had made a powerful
impact on the lives of others, chief judge Cameron Bennett
''These 10 people are exceptional individuals who followed
their passions and contributed to improving the lives of many
New Zealanders. In their own way, each of these people is a
revolutionary. They are all Kiwis of whom we can be very
The semifinalists are:
Young New Zealander: Todd Balogh (Dunedin), Brando
Yelavich, Parris Goebel, Andrew McDaid, Kristina Cavit,
Ludwig Wendzich and Lydia Ko (all Auckland), Sophie Pascoe
and Jason Pemberton (both Christchurch) and Dale Stewart
Senior New Zealander: Ian McLean (Rotorua), Bob
Kerridge and Julie Bartlett (both Auckland), Francis Denz
(Tauranga), Tom Clarkson (Westland), Billy Graham (Lower
Hutt), Michael Mudford (Dargaville), Vi Cottrell
(Christchurch), Frank Lowry (New Plymouth) and Barry Lucinsky
Community: NZ Council Victim Support (Wellington/NZ),
Cranford Hospice (Hastings), KidsCan (NZ wide), UN Youth
(Wellington), NZ Cadet Forces (NZ wide), ToughLove
(Auckland), Magnet (Christchurch), Ronald McDonald House
(Auckland), Starjam (Auckland) and Otanewainuku Kiwi Trust
Innovator: Dr Sean Simpson (Auckland), Andre Prassinos
(Rotorua), Christopher Rodley (Nelson), Dr Craig Radford
(Warkworth) and Stuart Dennis (Rotorua).
Local heroes: Cecilia Sullivan-Grant (Mosgiel), Dale
Smith (Gisborne), Juping Zhou (Wellington), Janice Byford
(Taihape), Dr Lance O'Sullivan (Kaitaia), David Lean
(Wellington), Tim Davies-Colley (Porirua), Soteria Mareko
(Auckland), Katrina Mitchell (Wellington) and Simon Park
The finalists will be announced on January 20 and the winners
announced at the New Zealander of the Year gala awards in
Auckland on February 26.