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Meet The Winners Of The New Zealand International Business Awards 2023

A business providing crime-fighting software to retailers and police forces around the world has been crowned Supreme Winner at the New Zealand International Business Awards 2023, held last night (23 November) at a gala awards ceremony in Auckland.

The Supreme Award winner, Auror, provides a crime intelligence software platform targeted at reducing retail crime – a problem costing businesses more than $150 billion a year globally.

Auror’s online platform is built around a digital reporting process that makes it easier for retailers and police to collaborate, helping to reduce in-store losses and promoting a safer environment for retail staff and their customers.

Auror was selected by the Awards panel of judges to receive the Supreme Award for 2023, which was presented by Hon Todd McClay, New Zealand National Party Spokesperson for Trade.

They also won the Best Medium Business category earlier in the night.

Auror’s success at this year’s Awards follows a Highly Commended mention in the Best Emerging Business category in 2021, and a category win for Leveraging Investment for International Growth in 2022.

Judges commended Auror for their business planning and discipline, a strong growth track record, and building a competitive advantage around a strong and loyal network of customers, with one commenting that the business “is on the cusp of something huge”.

Fifty finalists made it through to the final stage of this year’s New Zealand International Business Awards, following a rigorous application and judging process – with representation from across Aotearoa New Zealand, and spanning industries from food and beverage, consumer products and digital services to cleantech, advanced composites and boatbuilding.

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Winners were chosen across ten award categories by an independent panel of judges with extensive experience in growing businesses internationally.

The gala ceremony in Auckland was held at the Viaduct Events Centre in downtown Auckland and was attended by more than 550 guests including finalists, business leaders and VIPs.

The Awards welcomed two new sponsors for 2023 – Kiwibank, sponsoring the Excellence in Sustainability category won this year by Marlborough-based Lawson’s Dry Hill Wines, and New Zealand Export Credit, who sponsored the Best Emerging Business Category won this year by nutraceuticals exporter SRW Laboratories.

They join existing sponsors He kai kei aku ringa, New Zealand Story, Invest New Zealand, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade | Manatū Aorere, as well as awards partners ExportNZ and KPMG.

The New Zealand International Business Awards are delivered by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise | Te Taurapa Tūhono (NZTE), New Zealand’s international business development agency. The Awards have been run by NZTE and its predecessor organisations since 1966.

David Downs, convenor of judges for the Awards, said: "We were delighted to see another strong field of contenders for this year’s awards and it’s a privilege to hear from them and explore their stories as we went through the judging process.

“There’s so much effort that goes into growing an export business from Aotearoa New Zealand, around the world and literally around the clock in some cases, and I think as a country we should take a lot of pride in what our exporters achieve and the benefits they bring back for all of us.

"This year’s winners are hugely impressive businesses and they show what is possible with hard work, determination and a strong understanding of what buyers and customers offshore are looking for. If you look at what our winners do and what they’ve achieved, they’re all great examples of the potential that exists across our business and export community.

“We think it’s important to recognise the best of the best at these awards to help inspire our export community, and to put their achievements up in lights for everyone in Aotearoa New Zealand, because when our businesses succeed internationally that’s a win for all of us.”

For more information on the awards visit www.nziba.co.nz .

The winners of the New Zealand International Business Awards 2023 are:

Supreme Award, chosen from the winners of all categories

Winner: Auror (Auckland)

See profile below under Best Medium Business.

Best Emerging Business, brought to you by New Zealand Export Credit, from Te Tai Ōhanga - The Treasury

Winner: SRW Laboratories (Auckland)

SRW Laboratories is a nutraceutical company pioneered by New Zealand biotechnologist Greg Macpherson. SRW crafts premium supplements that address the cause of cellular-level aging using research-backed, natural ingredients. SRW is supported by a science advisory board whose members come from scientific backgrounds in cellular health, biochemistry, biotechnology and more.

SRW Laboratories has seen such accelerated growth that judges thought it almost felt out of place in an emerging business category. The judges were equally impressed by SRW Laboratories’ excellent execution of their market launch into China, impressive utilisation of partnerships, and incredible job of commercialising research in a challenging market.

Best Medium Business

Winner: Auror (Auckland)

Auror is a crime intelligence software platform, helping retailers and police to prevent retail crime globally. The digital reporting process creates an efficient and accurate process, while aiding collaboration between retailers and police, and creating a safer shopping environment for customers.

Auror wowed the judges with their excellent level of business planning and discipline, growth in the business and strong network of support. The judges praised Auror’s alignment from goals to execution and said they were left with a strong feeling that Auror is on the edge of big things.

Best Large Business

Winner: Taylor Preston (Wellington)

Established in 1991, Taylor Preston is an export meat processing plant, handling over 1 million small stock (sheep, lambs, and goats) and 62,000 cattle, roughly 5% of New Zealand's stock. Those exports reach 50 countries, including China, America, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Netherlands, and the Middle East. With 740 staff at peak seasons, Taylor Preston is the largest private employer in Wellington and has achieved 40% growth in export revenue in the past decade.

The judges praised Taylor Preston for their excellent growth journey over the last 10 years - experiencing more than 40% growth. They said they are a strong industry leader and demonstrated a strong care for their people.

Excellence in Brand Storytelling, brought to you by New Zealand Story

Winner: Legend Story Studios (Auckland)

Auckland-based Legend Story Studios is a game design, development, and publishing studio on a mission to transform the global Trading Card Game (TCG) industry, bringing together game stores and collectors into trading communities transcending age, race, gender and language.

Legend Story Studios has an amazing story, with the company creating a brand and product that is completely unexpected. The judges loved how they effectively used market hype and influencers to promote and grow their brand, leveraging their engaged community to achieve outstanding market penetration.

Excellence in Growing Online Sales

Winner: The Conqueror (Tauranga, Bay of Plenty)

Health and fitness app The Conqueror encourages users to get and stay active via challenges that guide them virtually through varied virtual landscapes, from Mount Everest to Angkor Wat. The app has been used by nearly 1 million people worldwide, and brought together a social media community of 300,000 members.

The judges were blown away by The Conqueror’s business model and growth in one year from $2 million to $77 million. The judges said The Conqueror showed a very clear understanding of their customer which they used to their marketing advantage and they enjoyed that this business is very uniquely Kiwi.

Excellence in Innovation

Winner: Alimetry (Auckland)

Alimetry is a digital health company delivering gastrointestinal care solutions. Its flagship product, Gastric Alimetry, is a wearable medical device that diagnoses gastric disorders using advanced electronics to monitor stomach movements through the skin – replacing more invasive methods. It generates a diagnostic report to guide personalised treatment, cuts diagnosis time by 90%, reduces unnecessary tests by 60%, and decreases care costs by over 50%.

The judges found it incredibly inspiring to hear from this New Zealand business making such an impact on the global stage. They were impressed by Alimetry’s journey from university project into a polished product in a highly regulated market, their excellent integration between hardware, software, clinician, patient and therapy, and Alimetry’s demonstration of how their product can play a much broader role in society.

Excellence in Sustainability, brought to you by Kiwibank

Winner: Lawson’s Dry Hills Wines (Marlborough)

Established in 1992, Lawson's Dry Hills produces 140,000 cases of wine from its vineyards and select growers in Marlborough. 85-90% of its wine is exported to 20 overseas markets and Lawson's is the only New Zealand producer with independent ISO14001 and ISO14064 certifications for environmental management and carbon neutrality.

Judges said: “Lawson's Dry Hills Wine are leaders of sustainability in their industry and it makes them stand out from the pack. Sustainability is clearly embedded throughout the business. Lawson's Dry Hills Wine demonstrated clear maturity and understanding of the different drivers of verification and certification. Lawson's Dry Hills Wine knew what they were doing and they did it for the industry.”

Leveraging Investment for International Growth, brought to you by Invest New Zealand

Winner: Phoenix Metalman Recycling (Auckland)

Phoenix Metalman Recycling is New Zealand's largest privately held metal recycler. It recovers, processes, packages and exports metals which are infinitely recyclable, diverting them from landfill to help build a sustainable, net-zero circular economy. Phoenix is Toitū Envirocare Net Carbon Zero certified and between FY21-FY23 went from shipping 27 to 1,942 containers, an impressive 7,093% growth.

Phoenix Metal Recycling was recognised for their excellent use of investment to bring in new investors and knowledge. The judges noted that Phoenix Metal Recycling has built a strong platform with its newly acquired expertise helping to level-up the thinking of their organisation.

He kai kei aku ringa for Māori Excellence in Export

Winner: AWWA (Blenheim, Marlborough)

AWWA creates period underwear, reducing the environmental impact of single use period products. AWWA promotes inclusivity for all who menstruate or experience minor bladder weakness, reconnecting with traditional wisdom and practices. Co-founders Michele (Tainui, Ngati Paoa) and Kylie celebrate the menstruation connection to whakapapa and whenua, champion sustainability, and actively combat period poverty.

AWWA impressed judges with their deep understanding of their customers and genuine relationship-building through social media. They demonstrated an approach to international business that unifies sustainability, financial, social and cultural benefits, towards a purpose that can improve lives worldwide through sharing and embodying the values of te ao Māori.

Inspiring Women Leaders, brought to you by Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade | Manatū Aorere

Winner: Carmen Doran (Auckland)

Carmen Doran is the CEO of Helius Therapeutics, a biotechnology company focused on medicinal cannabis research. Carmen is passionate about empowering leadership and driving an environment of continuous improvement. She has a background in biomedical engineering, a career in pharmaceutical operations, and a Lean-Six-Sigma Black Belt, which all contribute to her hunger for excellence and having an impact on the world around us.

The judges commended Carmen on her phenomenal generosity of collaboration, saying she brings everything she has to the table, shares it, then multiplies it. She shines with her process-driven style and ability to unite her team to reach joint goals. She goes against the grain even when going up against adversity in a difficult industry. Judges praised Carmen as the future of female leaders.

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