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Fifty-three finalists and nominees have made the final stage of the New Zealand International Business Awards 2021, the country’s most prestigious awards for export businesses.

This year’s Awards finalists and nominees come from around New Zealand and across a wide range of industries and sectors – representing the innovation, resilience and ambition of New Zealand exporters on the world stage.

Winners across the eight award categories, plus a Supreme Award chosen by judges, will be revealed on Thursday 14 October at a gala Awards dinner in Auckland, Alert Levels permitting.

The New Zealand International Business Awards are run by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise – Te Taurapa Tūhono (NZTE). They celebrate the success of New Zealand businesses on the world stage and recognise excellence and innovative practice. 

The Awards have been supported by NZTE and its predecessor organisations since 1964, with many of New Zealand’s most iconic companies celebrated on the world stage. The most recent Awards were held in 2019.

Four new awards are being presented for the first time in 2021: Innovation in Response to COVID-19; Leveraging Investment for International Growth; Excellence in Digital Commerce Transformation; and Excellence in Sustainability.

Convenor of judges David Downs says the number of finalists in this year’s Awards – exceeding the record set in 2019 – is testament to the standards being set by exporters during a uniquely challenging period for businesses.

“Even in normal times becoming a finalist in the New Zealand International Business Awards is no mean feat – entrants have to complete detailed applications, and then present to our judging panels with 20 minutes to explain why their business should be recognised.

“It’s even more impressive to come through that process with flying colours despite all of the challenges of the last two years. We’re genuinely privileged as judges to hear from these remarkable people and businesses.

“We’re seeing a continual evolution and lifting of the bar from our export community, who are leading the way in telling their stories in international markets and deeply connecting with their customers and what matters to them.

“Success in exporting is so much more than the quality of your product or service. It means building strong relationships with customers, investors and partners, having a real grasp of what value you’re delivering, and also the resilience and courage to deliver that value in new ways, as we’ve seen in the last year.

“In 2021 we’ve seen a group of finalists come through that captures these qualities, and also represents the hard work and the contribution that export business make to our economy and the communities we live in.

“New Zealanders should take a lot of pride in in these businesses, and in our export sector in general. Their innovation and ambition will help shape the future of this country.”

This year’s finalists represent a wide range of sectors – spanning aerospace, digital services, agritech, food and beverage, creative industries and more, with a strong showing from regional New Zealand.

NZTE’s ongoing awards partnership with ExportNZ has allowed selected winners and entrants from regional awards programmes to be included in the pitch sessions.

Further details of the awards night can be found at


The finalists and nominees: 

Best Emerging Business

  • Auror
  • Dawn Aerospace
  • Dinosaur Polo Club
  • Enlighten Designs
  • Fix & Fogg
  • Kids Ride Shotgun
  • LawVu
  • MacroActive
  • Moa Holdings NZ Limited

 Best Established Business, sponsored by ANZ

  • Bluelab
  • Education Perfect
  • Golden Bay Fruit
  • J.H. Whittaker & Sons
  • Kami
  • Natural Pet Food Group
  • New Zealand Frost Fans
  • Seequent
  • Wyma Solutions

Excellence in Digital Commerce Transformation

  • Antipodes Skincare
  • Bluelab
  • New Zealand Nature Highlights
  • SalesStar Limited
  • Yu Mei Limited

Excellence in Sustainability, sponsored by ANZ

  • CoGo
  • Heilala Vanilla
  • Maggie Marilyn
  • Nisa Clothing Limited
  • The Better Packaging Co.
  • Yealands Wine Group

He Kai Kei Aku Ringa for Māori Excellence in Export 

  • CCE Group (Anihana)
  • Global Metal Solutions
  • The True Honey Co.

Leveraging Investment for International Growth

  • Eagle Protect
  • Fuel50
  • Mint Innovation
  • Whip Around

Innovation in Response to COVID-19

  • Airways International
  • Animation Research
  • A-Ward
  • Bluelab
  • Canary Enterprises
  • Les Mills International
  • New Zealand Bloodstock
  • RUSH Digital Interactive

Inspiring Women Leaders, sponsored by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade


  • Chantelle Cole (Studio Director & CEO, Dinosaur Polo Club) & Niamh Fitzgerald (COO, Dinosaur Polo Club)
  • Dr Elizabeth Berryman (CEO & Founder, chnnl Ltd)
  • Elizabeth Barbalich (CEO & Founder, Antipodes New Zealand Limited)
  • Jennifer Boggiss (CEO, Director & Co-founder, Heilala Vanilla)
  • Jessie Wong (Founder & Director, Yu Mei Limited)
  • Jo O’Sullivan (Head of Global Marketing, Natural Pet Food Group)
  • Kat Davey (General Manager, SalesStar Limited)
  • Katherine Corich (Chair, Sysdoc Group)
  • Lisa Ebbing (Director, HOTmilk)
  • Sarah Sherriff (Head of Export & Finance, Fix & Fogg)
Glenn Baker

Glenn is a professional writer/editor with 50-plus years’ experience across radio, television and magazine publishing.


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