Co-founder recog­nised for in­no­va­tion

Central Leader - - NEWS -

Chief sci­en­tific of­fi­cer and co-founder of sus­tain­able fuel com­pany Lan­za­Tech, Dr Sean Simp­son, has won the in­au­gu­ral San­i­tar­ium In­no­va­tor of the Year at the Ki­wibank New Zealan­der of the Year awards.

Lan­za­Tech has an of­fice in Par­nell and Dr Simp­son lives in Mt Al­bert.

The com­pany ‘‘uses a novel bi­o­log­i­cal ap­proach to trans­form car­bon rich waste gases and residues from in­dus­try into fu­els and chem­i­cals’’ it says on its web­site.

He led his com­pany into China and em­pha­sises the im­por­tance of in­no­va­tion for New Zealand’s fu­ture.

‘‘In­no­va­tion is crit­i­cal in our econ­omy. New Zealand has a long his­tory of in­no­va­tion, we are in­no­va­tors,’’ Dr Simp­son says.

Prime Min­is­ter John Key pre­sented the awards at a cer­e­mony on Fe­bru­ary 26.

The over­all win­ner was in­flu­en­tial North­land gen­eral prac­ti­tioner Lance O’Sul­li­van, who was named New Zealan­der of the Year.

The Kaitaia-based doc­tor was hon­oured for his lead­er­ship, vi­sion and ad­vo­cacy in health­care.

Mr O’Sul­li­van and his wife, Tracy, es­tab­lished low­cost health clinic Te Ko­hanga Whakaora (The Nest of Well­ness) to make ba­sic health­care more ac­ces­si­ble for people in the Far North.

He also set up North­land’s first full­time, school-based health clinic, which pro­vides med­i­cal care to 2000 chil­dren across the re­gion.

Chore­og­ra­pher and dancer Par­ris Goebel won Ki­wibank Young New Zealan­der of the Year. She and her Pen­rose­based Palace Dance Com­pany have ap­peared in the Cen­tral Leader be­fore, hav­ing show­cased New Zealand dance on the in­ter­na­tional stage.

Miss Goebel ded­i­cated the award to her par­ents.

‘‘I never thought chas­ing my dreams could lead to such a pres­ti­gious award,’’ the 22-year-old says.

Sean Simp­son

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