2008 Sir Edmund Hillary
"In some ways I believe I epitomise the average New Zealander: I have modest abilities, I combine these with a good deal of determination, and I rather like to succeed."
One of New Zealand’s best loved national heroes, Sir Edmund Hillary’s life was filled with many great achievements that earned him worldwide fame.
While he shot to International fame after being the first man to conquer Mount Everest in 1953, he is equally renowned for his subsequent achievements in mountaineering and Antarctic expeditions, his devotion to the Nepalese people through his founding of the Himalayan Trust and his support of the great outdoors.
In 1992 Sir Edmund became the only living New Zealander to appear on a banknote and it is fitting that, following his passing on 11 January this year, he should also become the first to appear on a commemorative coin.