William Pike


William Pike is an inspirational kiwi who is on one hell of a journey – from losing his leg in a volcanic eruption, to starting a nationwide youth development programme, to recently mountaineering in Antarctica.

It’s easy to see that William has an infectious enthusiasm for adventure, life and fun. His character and outlook on life are nicely summed up by the title of his popular autobiography, Every Day’s A Good Day. William is an accomplished inspirational speaker who doesn’t retell stories, he relives them. 10 years ago, William almost lost his life in a volcanic eruption on Mt. Ruapehu. Doctors noted William’s survival as a miracle.

William’s obsession for the outdoors, education and seeing life’s challenges as opportunities to try again have helped him overcome adversity more than once.

William’s stories are wrapped with relatable message that challenge audiences to be explorers in THEIR world – to think big and be more successful. Be prepared to relive this gripping, tear jerking, and hilarious journey on the edge of your seat.

As well as inspiring adults, William is the inspiration behind the William Pike Challenge Award, a youth development programme with a vision to grow a world of explorers. Since 2013 the programme has made a positive impact on thousands of youth and over 100 communities across the country.

As a 2015 Young New Zealander of the year finalist, 2017 Blake Leader Award recipient and a national role model – William is a leader and an achiever who resonates passion and success without limits.



Ricky Houghton

Ricky Houghton, 57, who is chief executive of He Korowai Trust in Kaitaia, has saved more than 550 houses from mortgagee sales in the Far North, keeping more than 6400 people in their homes. The trust has also turned the old Kaitaia hotel into emergency housing, has opened a trades academy and provides a number of free social services. 

Ricky’s mission has always been to free people from adversity and give them love, hope, and a pathway to a better future. He wants to see whānau in the Far North move from state dependence to independence.

“I was institutionalised as a very young man and all those years ago I promised myself that if ever I got a chance to make a difference, then that is how I wanted to spend my life” He wants to be remembered as someone who had always advocated for the downtrodden and less fortunate. He Korowai Trust sites are drug, alcohol and violence free.

Ricky was inspired to help those less fortunate and his work has seen him named New Zealand Local Hero of the Year at the 2018 Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year Gala. 



Naomi Ballantyne

Naomi Ballantyne (ONZM), Managing Director, Partners Life, has over​ 30 years of experience in the New Zealand life insurance industry. She is one of the most well-known and respected executives in the market today and has unprecedented experience in starting companies and then leading them to significant long-term success. Naomi was awarded the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) for services to the insurance industry. Naomi was also the recipient of a Paul Harris Fellow and made an honorary member of Rotary North Harbour in March 2018. She has been a strong supporter of the Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) by sponsoring the attendance of a number of delegates.



Karim Rostami

As an 18-year-old Karim Rostami fled from Afghanistan and the Taliban and sought asylum in New Zealand. He had no English, no friends, no money and also had to deal with polio which he had been inflicted with since infancy and had to learn to walk. He overcame those disadvantages and made a life for himself in Auckland. Karim swam the 2.9 kilometre Harbour Crossing State Ocean Swim series in Auckland without using his legs, which he ties together for the swim, and is planning other ocean swims. He is the General Manager of Delicious Holdings Ltd, with a café and catering business success story too!


Eliza McCartney

Eliza McCartney is a New Zealand track and field athlete who competes in the pole vault and won the bronze medal in this event at the 2016 Summer Olympics. She is the current New Zealand and Oceania record holder at 4.94 m, and is the outdoor world junior record holder at 4.64. Eliza attended Takapuna Grammar and as a 13-year-old high jumper had ambitions to be a netball international when she first discovered pole vault after following a friend to a training session.