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Online auction site, has starred in this year’s NetGuide Web Awards, the premier competition for recognising the best websites produced in New Zealand. The site has scooped Best Trading Site and has claimed the awards’ top prize, Site of the Year.

Editor of NetGuide magazine Nigel Horrocks said that the site’s success in the NetGuide Web Awards is consistent with its outstanding performance over the last few years.

“Trademe’s achievement reflects its exponential growth in a booming web-sector. New Zealanders are taking to online trading like ducks to water. Trademe’s scoop is what you would expect from New Zealand’s fastest growing company, and demonstrates strikingly how the internet can create a career.”

Started in 1999 by 23 year-old Sam Morgan, took two and a half years to become profitable. Since then it has experienced growth on a massive scale, and was named New Zealand’s fastest growing company of 2004 in the Deloittes/Unlimited Fast 50.

Trading sites account for a huge proportion of online traffic. In July alone Trademe attracted 952,244 unique visitors with 250 million page views – around 30 to 40 percent of all traffic on the domain. In this context, its win in the NetGuide Web Awards is even more impressive.

“Our decision to separate trading from the e-tail category in this year’s NetGuide Web Awards recognises New Zealand’s growing obsession with a global phenomenon – but it also lets us monitor the competition more closely. This is a hotly contested market – it’s just a matter of time before names like Trademe become as well known in New Zealand as sites like eBay in the US.”

Other finalists in the Best Trading Site category included,, and

Winners were selected based on an overall ranking, a combination of the number of votes registered for each site on NetGuide’s website ( and their average rating out of 10 by voters. Special categories such as Most Innovative Use of the Web, Best Personal Blog, Best News Service and Best New Website or Relaunch were decided by an independent panel of judges, including international expert Kevin Maney, one of America’s top technology writers.

Other independent judges included Susanna Stuart, a Senior Financial Advisor for PriceWaterhouseCoopers, and Warwick Roger, award-winning journalist and current editor at large for North & South.

Winners in 16 different categories in the NetGuide Web Awards will receive their prizes at an awards evening at the Hyatt Regency Auckland tonight, hosted by Jaquie Brown from TV channel C4 and featuring guest speaker Ralph Norris, Managing Director and CEO of Air New Zealand.

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