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Winners Announced At Pacific Business Trust Awards 2020

“An evening to celebrate ‘the people of the Pacific’ and reflect on our community’s many achievements.” is how Mike Pero, Pacific Legacy Award Winner described the Pacific Business Trust Awards hosted in Manukau last night. “I’m humbled to have been recognised, particularly following my retirement just six weeks ago as Chief Executive of Mike Pero Real Estate after 40 years in business. This award is the one that means the most out of all of them.”

Celebrating the achievements of Pacific business and business leaders in Aotearoa, the awards shone a light on impact-led businesses bettering their communities. In a unique year, Pacific Business Trust acknowledged the hard work and sacrifice of the Pacific business community. Businesses that have pulled through in a tough climate are well aware of how different it could have been. The awards were a poignant moment to reflect.

“Tonight not only celebrated Pacific Business, it’s the culmination of the work of so many; from government agencies and service providers to individuals and business leaders that work tirelessly to support and drive the Pacific community forward.” said Chief Executive Pelenato Sakalia from Pacific Business Trust.

Minister for Pacific Peoples Hon. Aupito William Sio spoke about the important contribution of the Pacific business community to Aotearoa’s economy and said “We all have a responsibility in ensuring that we bless our communities; how do we do that? By the decisions that we make and by providing vision and leadership for our communities to follow.

“The New Zealand Pacific economy contributes $8billion; this is important to note because despite the inequalities, despite the barriers Pacific people face, the Pasifika community still make a significant contribution.”

Hon. Aupito William Sio continued “Our task, as ministers, as government agencies and business leaders is to continue to grow that Pacific economy and ensure that the benefits of it flow to the Pacific and New Zealand community. Those that we honour with awards tonight are exceptional, they’re risk takers and put everything on the line for a belief and a vision for a better future.”

The Pacific population in NZ is growing, work undertaken for MBIE by the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) identified that by 2026 Pacific people will make up a significant proportion of the New Zealand labour force, and potentially 30 per cent of the Auckland working population.

“Our aim at the Pacific Business Trust, is to help support the growing population of Pacific people in NZ by supporting the development of businesses which drive meaningful impact for the growing Pacific community and New Zealand. It’s heartening to see the award winners and their determination to generate positive, measurable social or environmental impact alongside a financial return.” said Pelenato Sakalia, Pacific Business Trust CEO.

Stephen Stehlin, Managing Director of Sunpix said “Small business survival and growth contributes to New Zealand’s recovery. Our company does not operate in isolation and we believe that together we will recover from this devastating pandemic. Winning the Pacific Business Enterprise Award is such an honour for the whole team. We take real pride in leading Pasifika representation on television and hope we can continue to make a positive impact for years to come.”

GirlBoss founder Alexei Hilbertidou, Pacific Youth Entrepreneur Award Winner said, “I’m honoured to be recognised alongside this inspirational group of Pasifika businesses and leaders. Incredible Pasifika entrepreneurs have paved the way for a young Samoan entrepreneur like me.

“The support I’ve received from the Pacific Business Trust and the Pasifika community has helped me to develop a platform which supports a network of 13,500 young women and over 100 high schools annually. To have won on behalf of the thousands of young women I work with at GirlBoss New Zealand is incredible.”

Pacific Business Trust Award Winners:

  • Pacific Business Enterprise Award Winner: SUNPIX – awarded to a business that demonstrated innovation, strategic thinking and a track record of sustainable growth.
  • Pacific Social Enterprise Award Winner: Le Va – awarded to Pacific organisations that are led by an economic, social, cultural, or environmental mission consistent with a community benefit, such as reinvesting profits back into the community.
  • Pacific Innovation Award Winner: MYRIVR – awarded to a business that has delivered a positive outcome, whether it is tangible value, creation of a new market or competitive advantage.
  • Pacific Woman in Business Award Winner: Elena Ikenasio, Bethel Hair & Beauty – recognises successful Pacific women who own their own business.
  • Pacific Youth Entrepreneur Award Winner: Alexia Hildertidou, GirlBoss NZ – awarded to Pacific young people between the ages of 18 to 24 who successfully runs their own business.
  • Pacific Business Entrepreneur Award Winner: Saia Latu, TROW – awarded to Pacific entrepreneurs who own their business.
  • Pacific Legacy Award Winner: Mike Pero – acknowledges and honours Pacific business leaders and Pacific businesses that have consistently been successful in their business.

To find out more about Pacific Business Trust visit


Issued on behalf of Pacific Business Trust by Bright Sunday

Media pack and detailed winner profiles available here.

For further information and to interview the Pacific Business Trust award winners please contact: Gabby Brunton on / 022 090 7377.

Notes to editors

About Pacific Business Trust

Connected through shared culture, values and vision for their communities, Pacific Business Trust (PBT) is made up of a team of experienced, knowledgeable professionals and network partners who are passionate about supporting business growth and success in the Pacific community. Established in 1985, PBT have helped thousands of Pacific business owners access new opportunities and realise their goals.

Pacific people are strong, determined and resilient, but their journey as a business owner is not one they should have to take alone. Through education, financial support and mentorship, PBT want to ensure that business owners have access to the tools they need to confidently launch, grow and scale their business.

About The Pacific Business Trust Awards

The Pacific Business Trust Awards celebrates the leading lights in Pacific Business and aims to spotlight Pacific businesses and entrepreneurs who’ve been successful consistently over a number of years.

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