The 2023 New Zealand Rainbow Excellence Awards were held last night in Auckland with the New Zealand Defence Force taking home the top trophy.  
Chief of the New Zealand Defence Force Air Marshal Kevin Short said he was proud of the strides the organisation has made and that the win acknowledged how far the NZDF had come.
“We want our rainbow communities to feel welcome, safe and valued. This award symbolises how far we have come as an inclusive Defence Force that recognises the strengths that a diverse and inclusive workforce brings,” he said.
NZDF have continued to make incremental shifts on their systems, policies, training, and practices building on their previous award-winning programmes. In 2014, NZDF was recognised as the most inclusive force in the world in a global survey and achieved the Rainbow Tick certification in 2019.
Rainbow Excellence Awards organiser Martin King says that all the finalists and winners at this year’s award ceremony are making a difference and this year saw a wide range of new entrants from organisations of all sizes and sectors. 
“We’ve come a long way and have seen incredible progress even in the last 5 years of awards. We’re still working hard every day to combat injustice, discrimination and exclusion, but we hope organisations who were finalists and winners inspire others to follow in their footsteps,” he tells us.

The full list of winners are: 

Craig West from Downer New Zealand won The Newmarket Business Association Executive Leadership Award.


Kendall Farmer from Les Mills International took home The Chorus Ambassadorship Award.

TVNZ won The Rainbow Tick Training and Development Award.   

Foodstuffs North Island won The Pride Pledge Innovation Award.

Ministry for Business Innovation and Employment picked up The Simpson Grierson Impact Award.

Wellington Zoo scored both The Z Energy SME Rainbow Inclusivity Award and the Non-Commercial Sector Award.

Powerco won The ASB Emerging Award. 

Les Mills International won both The Pride Pledge Representation in Marketing Award SkyCity Community and Advocacy Awards.

The New Zealand Defence Force picked up The All-Accor Progress Award and the Partners Life Supreme Award.