21 January 2021

2015 NZAMI Immigration Awards – RESULTS


Awards Winners From left to right: Latu Talu, June Ranson, Toni Alexander, Hongyan (Judy) Zhu and Richard Small (AWARD WINNERS)

The Business/Investor Award is unique as it recognises a migrant whose business achievements and capital investment have made a significant contribution to the growth of New Zealand. The personal achievements of the migrant can also be taken into account when the Judges review Nominations for this Award.

Hongyan (Judy) Zhu (AWARD WINNER)
Hongyan was nominated for the Business/Investor Award for developing a business that makes a significant contribution to the growth of New Zealand. Hongyan has revamped a derelict service station in Palmerston North to become a full Challenge Service Station with other client services under her business Qianhong International Trade. She has expanded her business to take orders for NZ produce to be exported overseas, after recognising that fellow migrants wanted to send NZ products to family and friends in their home countries. Hongyan has revitalised a dying enterprise, is providing employment for two people plus herself and is exporting NZ produce around the world.

The Migrant of the Year Award recognises a migrant whose personal efforts and achievements make them an exceptional migrant. The Finalists are:

Fabian Amor (FINALIST)
Fabian Amor is an international gymnastics coach from Argentina who brought specialised international skills and experience to the New Zealand gymnastics community. He is a Gymsport Programme Manager at the Bruce Pulman Park Gymsport & Recreation Centre in Papakura overseeing 20 coaches. Fabian has made significant contributions to Gymnastics in New Zealand and since 2014 has produced two National Champions, with one gymnast obtaining a Gold medal in Beam and another gymnast awarded the Bronze medal in Bars in the WOGA Classic in the USA.

Charl Haasbroek (FINALIST)
Charl arrived in New Zealand in 2008 with Yolanda and their two children, with no experience in the dairy industry. He lost 23kg’s in the first 5 months on his first NZ dairy farm!
Charl was promoted to Farm Manager/Contract Milker in three years, and has become a leader in best practice in the dairy industry.
Farm Adviser Bruce Thomas says of Charl “he one of the most professional guys I have ever worked with – easily one of the best pasture managers even against New Zealand farmers who have been farming their whole lives”.

Latu arrived here with his family from Tuvalu as a young boy and came to the attention of immigration services when he needed a work visa for his afterschool supermarket job. It was discovered that his parents had mistakenly left him off their visa applications.
In 2006, Latu walked into the Naenae Boxing Academy and was taken under the wing of the academy’s famous patron, Billy Graham. What began as a hobby turned into a pathway for personal development and under Billy Graham’s coaching Latu became Naenae’s first NZ champion in 2007, and went on to win the North Island Golden Gloves title, Wellington/Hutt Valley titles and travelled to the USA in 2012 to demonstrate his boxing skills at the US Airforce Academy. Latu was eventually selected for trials for the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, but because he did not have NZ citizenship he could not apply. In fact it wasn’t until February 2015, Latu was finally granted NZ permanent residency.
Latu continues to give back to the community that brought him up. He is head coach at the Cannons Creek Charitable Trust boxing academy, works with at-risk youth, speaks at schools and is involved with the local Rotary club.

Immigration Adviser or Lawyer of the Year Award recognises the outstanding professional individual who enhances the migration profession, and has contributed to the industry by their notable work in assisting migrants. The Finalists are:

Toni Alexander (FINALIST and AWARD WINNER)
Toni operates A1 Immigration Services on Auckland’s North Shore and was nominated for her commitment to her clients, especially those in need of medical waivers, and it has been said by her peers that the Medical Waivers she works on are real case work triumphs! Toni goes above and beyond for these clients and has spent hours with specialists in NZ and gathering information from doctors overseas. She has made herself an expert on the costs of treatments and likely prognosis for severe illnesses (including kidney failure and Ischemic heart disease). As a result, her clients’ applications have been successful and they have been able to migrate and contribute to New Zealand.

Adeeb Ibram (FINALIST)
Adeeb migrated to NZ in 1998 with his family and in 1999 started working as an independent interpreter and translator with the Refugee Status Branch and the former Refugee Status Authority (now the IPT). After several years working in various roles within the immigration sector, in 2007 Adeeb established his company Fernz Migration Ltd and has been working independently as an Immigration Adviser since then.
Adeeb’s main areas of practice are SMC and family categories, but also assists with LTBV, Entrepreneur Residence, refugee claims, refugee appeals, residence and humanitarian appeals and a large number of temporary visas. He has also served three terms as the elected Chairperson of the Afghan Association of New Zealand and has a strong love of football … including refereeing!

Graydon Sharratt (FINALIST)
Graydon operates Greenstone Global and has enhanced the migration profession by taking on seemingly impossible applications on behalf of his clients and working doggedly for positive outcomes, sometimes on a pro bono basis. His efforts have earned him the greatest of respect amongst migrant groups, with many clients contacting Greenstone Global to speak only to “Mr Graydon”.
Graydon’s personable nature, empathy, attention to detail and willingness to advocate on behalf of vulnerable migrants earns him glowing references, and he has a natural ability to create a connection with migrants from any country, culture or background.

The NZAMI Service Award marks a special contribution being made by a member or member’s company to NZAMI and its membership. It is offered for service provided voluntarily to advance the migration profession and the objects of the Association.

June Ranson (AWARD WINNER)
June Ranson is Managing Director of Woburn International in Lower Hutt. She is Board Director and Chair of NZAMI and took over the role of Chair of NZAMI mid-term and was ‘thrown in the deep end’ without the usual year in waiting. Since then she has consistently worked to raise the profile of NZAMI through liaison with government and other official bodies. June was nominated for the Service Award for her work provided voluntarily to advance the migration profession and NZAMI and was nominated by more than one of her peers for this Award, which is a great honour and achievement.

The Community Outreach Award is presented to an individual or group who provides pro-bono advice or whom represents clients in cases where the client has no other access to advice or the client’s case raises a wider issue of public interest. The Finalists are:

Vaninder Bassan (FINALIST)
Vaninder’s first passion has always been to help people. Her Immigration work complements her work as a Justice of Peace and she is all about human needs and helping people to achieve their goals in life while ensuring that they have quality advice and representation of their individual circumstances. As a Justice of Peace, Vaninder held various senior positions within the Waikato Association, and this encouraged her to start her business, New Start NZ Ltd. Helping and serving people is the ethos in which Vaninder has been brought up with and something that she enjoys, and it is a way to give something back to the communities she is involved in.

Adeeb Ibram (FINALIST)
Adeeb has been involved in representing refugees and their families since 2001 and prior to that he was an interpreter working with the Refugee Status Branch and the then Refugee Status Appeal Authority. Since becoming an adviser he has represented a large number of refugee applications and appeals, and a number of refugee applications and appeals on a pro bono basis.
Adeeb has served three terms as the elected Chairperson of the Afghan Association of New Zealand, and also served the wider community as a Justice of the Peace since 2009. He is married and has four children.

Richard Small is a Director and senior lawyer at Pacific Legal Ltd in Lower Hutt. He was nominated for the Community Outreach Award for his dedication to supporting and representing people in New Zealand unlawfully. In particular, Richard has represented many clients from Pacific communities who often lack resources and present complicated issues.
Built on a social service ethic, the firm has broadened its client base to include migrants from every region and category. They are known to take on hard cases.
Richard and the team at Pacific Legal are humbled to be finalists for the NZAMI Community Outreach Award.

The Hall of Fame Award is a rare acknowledgement of a worthy recipient within the immigration industry and is presented to an individual who has provided continuing service and participation in a field which contributes to New Zealand immigration and which should be recognised by the peers and the wider community. The Finalists are:

Arunima Dhingra (FINALIST)
Arunima is the Director of Aims Global Education & Immigration Services Ltd and specialises in working with international students and workers to smooth their path to residency in New Zealand.
Arunima has been making valuable contributions to the industry for several years by working alongside and influencing key changes in student policies and working tirelessly to avoid roadblocks that affect lives of many wanting to migrate to New Zealand.
She is extremely passionate about her work and finds immense satisfaction in achieving results for her clients. Along with being a successful entrepreneur, family is very important to Arunima and she is the mother of two young children. In what little spare time she gets she loves to spend time with her family, travel, shop and hopefully catch up on her sleep.

For over two decades, June Ranson has provided consulting services to New Zealand and the international mobility industry, and is the founder and Managing Director of her own company, Woburn International Group.
June has lived and worked in a number of countries and worked in many industries and with a solid background experience in Business and Immigration, a Bachelor of Business Studies and a Diploma in HR Management shows she knows what it takes to build a strong organisation. June also provides business mentoring to both migrants and emerging New Zealand entrepreneurs.
June is a unique person and worthy of recognition as an adviser and business leader, and believes that one can achieve anything that you believe in and prepared to work for.

From left to right: Vaninder Bassan, Charl Haasbroek, Adeeb Ibram, Fabian Amor, Graydon Sharratt and Arunima Dhingra (FINALISTS)

NZAMI would personally like to thank our 3 independent Judges for their time and effort in reviewing each and every Nomination and providing their scores to identify the Finalists for each Award and the Winner announced at such a wonderful event!

We were very privileged to have the Hon Paula Bennett MP and Dr Parmjeet Parmar MP to present the Awards, along with a very talented and incredibly funny Urzila Carlson as a Master of Ceremonies for the Awards evening. The enthusiasm they brought to the evening was wonderful and thank you for making our night so special!

The physical Awards themselves were newly designed and very well received, and of course the wonderful Eden Park – what a venue and such lovely food! Everyone looked lovely and it was a great opportunity to sit back and relax and enjoy a wonderful evening with entertainment, great food and a reason to celebrate our industry!

Thank you everyone for your support of these Awards. These are the only Awards of this type in New Zealand, recognising such an important part Immigration plays in our country’s growth and development.

And finally, a special thanks to our sponsor of the Immigration Awards, Migration Cover Ltd, and their delegate Brett Murdoch who came all the way from Australia to join us for the evening!

2015_immigration_awards_dinner2015 NZAMI Immigration Awards
2015_urzila_carlson_mcUrzila Carlson – the Awards MC
2015_paula_bennett_mpHon Paula Bennett MP

Photos from the Awards evening: