As the face of the Student Volunteer Army in the wake of the Christchurch earthquakes, Sam Johnson was an obvious candidate for the title of Young New Zealander of the Year. And now he can add Communicator of the Year to that, with PRINZ honouring him at an event for senior PR pros last week.
"Sam is passionate about what he does and galvanised an army of volunteers during the aftermath of the Christchurch earthquake through his ability to communicate and link with people," says Jane Dodd, president of PRINZ.
“His ongoing commitment, and even his latest ‘The Concert’ and the Ministry of Awesome, demonstrates his exceptional contribution to raising awareness of the plight experienced by Christchurch residents."
Johnson says the response of students and the community to the ongoing events in Christchurch has been remarkable.
“We have seen people young and old bind together to create a stronger fabric in communities,” he says.
It's the second year running that a Christchurch leader has been given the award.
Bob Parker was named Communicator of the Year in 2011 and previous recipients include Judge Andrew Becroft, Hon Pita Sharples, Alan Duff, Dame Cath Tizard, Bruce Slane and Sir Peter Blake.
The work done for the Student Volunteer Army by PRINZ members Louis Brown of Social Innovation and Daniel O’Regan of Convergence Christchurch was also awarded joint Supreme Award winner at this year’s annual PRINZ awards in May.