Young New Zealander of the Year award winner announced

Choreographer and dancer Parris Goebel has won Coca Cola Amatil Young New Zealander of the Year, at the New Zealander of the Year ceremony held in Auckland on Wednesday, 26 February 2014.

Choreographer and dancer Parris Goebel has won Coca Cola Amatil Young New Zealander of the Year, at the New Zealander of the Year ceremony held in Auckland on Wednesday, 26 February 2014.

Presented by the Minister of Youth Affairs, Nikki Kaye, Goebel dedicated the award to her parents.

“I’m so overwhelmed. This is such an honour. I never thought chasing my dreams could lead to such a prestigious award,” the 22-year-old said.

Parris and her Palace Dance Company have showcased New Zealand dance on the international stage.  She has benefited dancers in New Zealand through training Gold medallist teams to compete at the World Hip Hop Dance Championships since 2009 and has brought back over 80 gold medals including back to back championship wins. Parris' dance company The Palace Dance Studio supports and contributes to their local communities through performance based activities that inspire people of all ages. She works with young South Aucklanders by helping them gain confidence through dance - six of her dancers are currently performing with Cirque de Soleil.

The New Zealander of the Year awards recognise the achievements of local heroes from all walks of life.

In their fifth year, they are a “celebration of the pure Kiwi spirit,” said the award’s patron, former Prime Minister Jim Bolger. A complete list of awards can be found here.