Monday, November 05, 2012

THE POWER OF US

New Zealanders Who Dare to Dream
Foreword by Sir Ray Avery

Royalties to Medicine Mondiale


“We are New Zealanders and have no respect for the status quo. We are not fond of rules and authority. We can dream big and make our dreams come true. This book is about Us” – Sir Ray Avery

We New Zealanders are renowned for ‘punching above our weight’; for our tenacious, maverick, can-do attitude. And New Zealand gifts her people with the latitude to have a go – to strive, create, dream – unfettered by rules and authority, and the limitations of class or ‘appropriateness’ that restrict the rest of the world.

The Power of Us celebrates 54 ordinary New Zealanders who have achieved something extraordinary. In essence, they could be you or me. They hail from across the spectrum – science, business, sport, industry and the arts – and are representative of a diverse cross-section of society. There are some famous faces among them, including Rhys Darby, Sam Neill, Emily Perkins, Neil Finn and Dame Susan Devoy, as well as those who fly below the radar but who are equally talented. Folk like Glenn Martin (inventor), Peter Beck (rocket engineer), Melissa Clark-Reynolds (entrepreneur) and Jan Hunter (winemaker).

What stands out about each and every one of the 54 New Zealanders profiled, and what each has in common is the desire to back themselves, take risks, never give up and to be the very best that they can be. They are also great philanthropists, people who are strongly motivated to help and inspire others; to make a difference in the world. For these reasons, they were hand-picked to appear in The Power of Us.


To interview his subjects, distinguished television journalist and foreign correspondent, Cameron Bennett hit the road along with noted photographer Adrian Malloch. Together, they discovered that their subjects shared much common ground – “the desire to create, the desire to contribute and nurture, the grit to do it their way whether they’re an athlete, engineer or artist.” These qualities shine through in the stories that each shares, as does the recognition of connectedness. In talking, they reveal their motivations, determination and doggedness; they also express their vulnerabilities and frailties. Malloch’s camera captures all these things. And more. Striking, gritty, real black and white images that leap from the page and cause us to look with fresh eyes.

One of Sir Ray Avery’s key philosophies is that ‘nobody is as clever as all of us.’ The 54 New Zealanders who agreed to be interviewed for The Power of Us embody this philosophy. This is what makes them extraordinary; this is what makes them just like Us.

The Power of Us is a striking contemporary portrait of New Zealand and New Zealanders. We are a clever nation and we deserve a global voice. Perhaps we can start by recognising the vital contribution we all have to make.

Royalties from sales of The Power of Us go direct to Medicine Mondiale; Sir Ray Avery’s worldwide charity which manages a global network of experts who donate their knowledge and time to help develop medical solutions, with the reward of helping change the world.


Sir Ray Avery (above) is the author of best-selling autobiography Rebel with a cause which charted his rise from street kid to knighthood. He is the CEO of award-winning development agency Medicine Mondiale. He’s the recipient of the Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year Award 2010, The Blake Leadership Medal 2010 and Knight Grand Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2011 New Year honours list for services to philanthropy. To create the book The Power of Us Avery worked with Cameron Bennett, ex-presenter of TV One’s Sunday programme and noted photographer Adrian Malloch.

The Power of Us
Foreword by: Ray Avery
RRP: $49.99 - Hardback - Random House 

Here is a full list of those included:

Alun Bollinger
Anand Satyanand
Annabel Langbein
Barbara Kendall
Beatrice Faumuina
Bill Buckley
Bill Manhire
Billy Graham
Catriona Williams
Cheung-Tak Hung
David Trubridge
Derek Handley
Eion Edgar
Elizabeth Knox
Emily Perkins
Glenn Martin
Graeme Douglas
Grant Ryan
Hugh Green
Ian Athfield
Jane Harding
Jane Hunter
Jeanette Fitzsimons
Prof. John Boys
John Reynolds
Karen Scott
Kathryn Wilson
Kerry Spackman
Mai Chen
Mahé Drysdale
Melissa Clark-Reynolds
Michael Hurst
Michael Moore-Jones
Nathan Haines
Neil Dawson
Neil Finn
Neil Ieremia
Oscar Kightley
Peter Beck
Peter Hunter
Peter Raos
Phil McCaw
Rhys Darby
Richard Faull
Sam Johnson
Sam Neill
Sean Simpson
Sharad Paul
Stephen Welch
Dame Susan Devoy
Susan Harrison-Tustain
Vincent Ward
Witi Ihimaera

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