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Entries Open For 2021 Wellington Export Awards

Wellington export successes will be celebrated at the region’s fourth annual Export Awards in August.

Details of the 2021 ExportNZ ASB Wellington Export Awards were announced today by ExportNZ Wellington Executive Officer Joseph Pagani.

Entrants must be based in the wider Wellington region, which includes Horowhenua, Manawatu, Tararua, and Wairarapa down to Wellington.

They will compete for the Southeast Asia Centre for Asia Pacific Excellence Best Emerging Business Award, the Centreport Best Established Business Award, the WellingtonNZ Excellence in Innovation Award, and the Excellence in Sustainability Award. There is also the Judge’s Choice Award, which is sponsored by the Wellington School of Business and Government.

The winners of the first four categories will contest the supreme award of ASB Wellington Exporter of the Year.

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise are a strategic partner for the Export Awards, and the winners of the Best Emerging and Best Established Business awards will automatically go through to the NZTE International Business Awards, held in Auckland in November, while other entrants will also have the opportunity to be nominated.

Entrants must describe their operation and export achievements, and will receive site visits by the judges.

Entries close on 21 June, with site visits held between 1-9 July. Finalists will be announced on 19 July, with the Awards Gala Dinner on 19 August at Te Papa. Journalism legend, Linda Clark, will MC the evening and Nile-rafting adventurer, Cam McLeay, is the keynote speaker.

The judges are NZTE Customer Director, Ann Clifford, ASB International Trade Consultant, Paul Gestro, and President of BusinessNZ and Business Central, Vaughan Renner.

ExportNZ Wellington is run by the Wellington Chamber of Commerce, which represents around 3500 employers across the central and lower North Island. The Wellington Chamber provides employer, health & safety, and human resources advice, and advocates policies that reflect the interest of the business community.

Wellington Chamber Chief Executive Simon Arcus acknowledges the strength of the region’s export businesses.

"Exporters have faced enormous challenges over the past 12 months in the wake of COVID-19 - many are still struggling to get back to normal.

"What has been inspirational is how they coped with those challenges, in some cases having to change focus to keep their business viable. They deserve our ongoing congratulations, and we hope these awards will show how much we appreciate their work.

"These awards have become a much-anticipated event on Wellington’s business calendar, and after they couldn’t be held last year, we’re expecting the usual high number of entries.

ASB Executive General Manager for Corporate Banking Nigel Annett said, "Since the emergence of COVID-19, kiwi exporters have faced some enormous hurdles. Despite this, international trade is increasingly important to local businesses and New Zealand’s economic prosperity more broadly. At ASB, we’re delighted to once again support the ExportNZ Awards which not only celebrate successful exporting businesses but encourage innovative ways of doing business on the global stage."

ExportNZ executive director, Catherine Beard said "it is great to see these export awards return this year and I encourage exporters to enter. Previous entrants tell us entering awards is great for team morale and that the judges’ feedback, is really valuable."

Simon Arcus says the Wellington Chamber of Commerce supports the awards because they recognise excellence in a sector that is vital to both the regional and national economy.

"Without their ongoing resilience and success, particularly over the past year, we wouldn’t have the benefits to support the Wellington region, so it’s great to be able acknowledge and encourage that."

Entry forms, criteria details, and registration forms for the awards dinner are available on the ExportNZ website or by emailing Wellington Executive Officer Joseph Pagani at

The winner of the last Wellington ASB Exporter of the Year Award was cancer screening company, Volpara, in 2019.

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