The Communicator of the Year award was reinstated in 2007 after a ten-year lapse. It was awarded to Dr. Pita Sharples at the Awards Dinner. He is co-leader for the Maori Party and was elected to Parliament in 2005 as the Member of Parliament for Tamaki-Makaurau.
In announcing the Award, outgoing PRINZ President, Lisa Finucane said that Dr Sharples, who is renowned for his honest and direct communication style, encapsulated the qualities the Institute wanted to recognise. These include honesty and openness, two way communications listening and hearing as well telling and, while acting as an advocate for a particular group or organisation, always bearing in mind the greater public good.
Certainly Dr Sharples has made a huge contribution to increased understanding of Maori issues amongst non-Maori but importantly he challenges both communities to shun rhetoric in favour of hard solutions and effective dialogue.