New Zealand’s Top Scholars recognised at Parliament

  • Hon Chris Hipkins

Former Macleans College student Yang Fan Yun has been awarded the Prime Minister’s Award for Academic Excellence at the New Zealand Qualifications Authority’s annual Top Scholar Award ceremony.

Education Minister Chris Hipkins also presented Premier Awards to 11 students, each of whom achieved at least three Outstanding Scholarships and additional scholarships in 2018’s New Zealand Scholarship examinations.

“The Prime Minister’s Award for Academic Excellence recognises New Zealand’s top scoring student in 2018’s New Zealand Scholarship Examinations and represents the pinnacle of academic achievement at secondary school,” Chris Hipkins said.

“Receiving five Outstanding Scholarships and five Scholarships, Yang Fan has demonstrated extraordinary abilities.

“In addition to his own academic achievements, Yang Fan took care of others, as a Peer Support leader and volunteer tutor.

“While studying at Macleans College, Yang Fan also participated in arts and cultural groups, as a cellist for the school’s Symphony Orchestra and a member of the Boys’ Choir.

“Yang Fan is already no stranger to representing New Zealand on the world stage, having been a member of the New Zealand Biology Olympiad Team and the New Zealand Economics Olympiad Team, receiving a Gold Medal at the International Economics Olympiad.

“I congratulate Yang Fan and look forward to his continued success.

“I would also like to acknowledge the parents, friends, teachers, schools and loved ones who have supported and encouraged each of these students.

“Whatever career path these talented young people choose, I am excited to see the contribution each one makes to their communities, and to the wider world,” Chris Hipkins said.


More than 9,300 students participated in New Zealand Scholarship Examinations in 2018, with 2,415 students being awarded one or more scholarships.

The Prime Minister’s Award for Academic Excellence was established and presented for the first time in 2011.

More information about 2018 New Zealand Scholarship results is available on the NZQA website: