Women in Security Awards Aotearoa – Terms

This page features the terms of the Women in Security Awards Aotearoa 2023-24 as well as information relating to the criteria against which the judging panel will assess nominations. If you require further information in relation to the below terms and information, please email awards@defsec.net.nz.


  • Nominations are to be no longer than 1,000 words and no shorter than 600 words in length and are not to contain images or other non-textual media.
  • Nominations should address the judging criteria (see below under ‘Judging’). Only activities undertaken by the nominee in the 18 months prior to the nomination submission date will be taken into account.
  • Nominations should include the first and last name of the nominee, their position, their organisation, their email address (if possible), their LinkedIn address/handle (if applicable), the nominator’s name and contact details, and the award category for which the nominee is nominated.
  • In some circumstances there may be grounds for the redaction of the name, position, and contact details of the nominee (e.g. where there is a need to protect their identity). Where such circumstances exist, it is recommended that the nominator inform the awards organisers prior to the submission deadline via email: awards@defsec.net.nz.
  • Nominators must provide accurate and honest information, otherwise the nomination will be disqualified.
  • A nominator may nominate themselves.
  • A nominator may seek clarification on the nomination process from the awards organisers at any time prior to the submission deadline via email: awards@defsec.net.nz.
  • A nominee must have more than three years of experience in any occupation within either the physical security, personnel security, information security, cybersecurity, investigations, intelligence, risk management, emergency management or resilience domains.
  • A nominee must be an individual working/practising in Aotearoa New Zealand or working/practising overseas in a New Zealand focused role.
  • The initiative(s), activity(ies), role(s), or project(s) for which the nominee is nominated could be operational, analytical, administrative, promotional, educational, managerial, research-based, technology-based, policy-based, journalistic, academic, legislative, representative, or a combination of any of these.
  • A nominee may be the subject of nominations submitted in more than one award category.


  • Nominations are to be submitted by 4:00pm (New Zealand Summer Time), Friday 08 March 2024, via email to awards@defsec.net.nz.
  • Nominations submitted after the above time/date will not be accepted. No changes may be made to nominations after they have been submitted
  • Nominations may be contained in the body of an email or as an attachment (.doc, .docx, or .pdf only).
  • Any caveats or handling instructions should be stated in the email. This may include the marking of any commercial-in-confidence content or content that is otherwise not cleared for dissemination beyond the awards organisers and judging panel. Submitted nominations will be assumed to have been cleared for public dissemination unless where stated otherwise.


  • The awards organisers will conduct an initial vetting of submitted nominations in order to (i) identify and disqualify nominations that do not meet the awards terms, (ii) identify and resolve any obvious inaccuracies, and (ii) identify and re-categorise any nominations where the category in which the nomination has been submitted is not the most appropriate category.
  • Upon completion of vetting, the awards organisers will forward the vetted nominations to the members of the judging panel.
  • The outcome of the vetting process is final and no correspondence will be entered into.


  • The judging panel will be comprised by a membership of no less than three individuals who have been selected by the awards organisers on the basis of their professional status.
  • No less than two-thirds of the membership of the judging panel are to be women or identify as women.
  • Judging panel members are to declare any potential real or perceived conflict of interest prior to appointment to the judging panel.
  • Judging panel members are disqualified from being considered as a nominee in any award category.
  • Judging panel members operate in accordance with a Code of Conduct that includes non-disclosure requirements.
  • Judges will assess nominations against three equally weighted criteria, including: (i) the extent to which the individual has gone above and beyond to achieve an outcome/impact; (ii) how thoughtful, innovative, and/or unique the individual’s approach to the problem, opportunity, or situation was; and (iii) the extent to which the individual’s actions/involvement has achieved positive outcome(s).
  • Nominations will be scored against the above criteria to the extent to which the nomination evidences its claims via examples, testimonials, metrics, etc.


  • The top scoring nominee in each category will be awarded category winner and Award Recipient.
  • Where the scoring of the judging panel results in more than one nominee top scoring in a category, all top scoring nominees will be awarded category co-winners and will each be an Award Recipient.
  • At the awards organisers’ discretion [and with the agreement of a majority of the judging panel], the second, or second and third, placed nominees in a category may be conferred a highly commended citation. Factors such as the total number of nominations in a category, the quality of nominations, and the scoring proximity of the top three placed nominations will be considered in the exercise of this discretion.
  • The assessment of the judging panel is final and no correspondence will be entered into. The discretion to award a highly commended citation is also final and no correspondence will be entered into.
  • The award organisers reserve the right to not award a category if they deem this necessary [eg. where a category fails to attract more than one competitive nomination].


  • All nominations become the property of the WiSAAs upon submission.
  • The award organisers reserve the right to use information within a submitted nomination for the purpose of promoting the awards. Parts of a nomination that are marked commercial-in-confidence or otherwise not cleared for public dissemination will not be published.
  • Under no circumstances will the award organisers be held responsible for the payment of royalties or other charges for the use of materials provided in a submitted nomination.
  • The award organisers will ordinarily only seek to publish details of a nomination where that nomination has resulted in a category winner, co-winner, or highly commended citation.
  • The award organisers request each category winner and highly commended nominee to submit a portrait image of themselves or to otherwise refuse the publication of their image prior to potential publication of an image.
  • Category winners and highly commended nominees will be announced online via the www.defsec.net.nz website and associated social media. A winning or highly commended nominee who is the subject of a nomination in which their name and position details have been redacted will be listed via a pseudonym and an ambiguated organisational designation as agreed with the nominator.
  • There is no in-person or online event associated with the announcement of category winners and highly commended nominees.
  • Category winners and highly commended nominees are entitled to use the WiSAA2023-24 category winner and highly commended badges respectively. They will also receive a WiSAA2023-24 category winner or highly commended certificate. A winning or highly commended nominee who is the subject of a nomination in which their name and position details have been redacted will receive an editable version of the certificate enabling them to complete the name details.
  • Individuals and organisations that submit a nomination accepted following nomination vetting are entitled to use the WiSAA2023-24 supporter badge.
New Zealand Security Sector Network