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Entrants to WestpacTrust Hi Tech Awards


Decision to Announce Finalists Early Provides Profile Opportunity For Entrants to WestpacTrust Hi Tech Awards

With little over a week to go till the 7 October deadline pressure is on for New Zealand's Hi Tech companies to be in to win one or more of the 11 awards up for grabs at this year's WestpacTrust Hi Tech Awards. The Awards ceremony and gala dinner will take place at the International Antarctic Centre in Christchurch on Saturday, 2 November 2002.

Judging by the latest web stats organisers of the Awards are anticipating a good number of entries to come in this year. The visitor interest to the website has increased by 30% - up from 58,000 hits this time last year to 75,000.

As further encouragement for companies who are yet to submit their entries to the Awards, the NZ Hi Tech Association will, for the first time ever, announce names of the finalists two weeks prior to the Awards ceremony.

In previous years judges kept secret all details of the highly commended and award category winners until the night of the ceremony. For those that didn't quite make it, merit was short-lived or lost in the shadow of the Award winners.

This year the panel of judges will announce finalists prior to the ceremony to recognise the high calibre of entries submitted by the many inspirational organisations that form part of NZ's growing hi tech industry.

The Awards attract entries from organisations that focus on research, development and/or delivery of technology, biotech and engineering products. It includes New Zealand subsidiaries of offshore companies.

"You don't need to forage deep within New Zealand's hi tech industry to discover that there is a wealth of innovative companies that are achieving incredible things," said Phil Holliday, Chairman of the NZ Hi Tech Association. "These companies are our future and their efforts deserve to be valued and nurtured."

"We are very proud of the fact that a number of past winners of the Awards have gone on to achieve great success. Yet these companies are at the tip of the iceberg. In spite of the enormous effort evident in all of the entries submitted to the awards only 10 win the recognition they deserve. And only one of these will win the WestpacTrust Supreme Award for Excellence."

"Leaving the announcement of the Award winners to the presentation ceremony meant that few would get the chance to see any of the entries that came so close to winning. We made the decision to announce finalists early in recognition of the many outstanding examples of effort and achievement. We believe that all excellence deserves recognition."

Once the judging process is complete details of all finalists will be announced in a media statement and available on the website at


About the WestpacTrust Hi Tech Awards for Excellence 2002

Now in its ninth year, the WestpacTrust Hi Tech Awards 2002 have become one of the most prestigious accolades in New Zealand's business community. They are a reflection of the tremendous achievements, innovation and export triumphs increasingly evident within our hi-tech industry.

The WestpacTrust Hi Tech 2002 Awards are celebrating this excellence by providing the opportunity for New Zealand based businesses to win one or more of the 11 sponsored awards.

Every year the awards get more and more popular and so far 2002 is proving no exception with the introduction of new award categories: Hi Tech Exporter of the Year, Small Business of the Year and the Young Achiever Award.

In total there are ten award categories plus the ultimate prize of the WestpacTrust Supreme Award for Excellence. The Award categories are:

Electronic Company of the Year Award sponsored by Avnet New Zealand Software Company of the Year Award sponsored by Microsoft New Zealand Biotech Company of the Year Award sponsored by Biolab Biosciences

Young Achiever Award sponsored by Adilam Electronics Hi Tech Export Company of the Year Award sponsored by Trade New Zealand Most Innovative Product of the Year Award sponsored by Precision Australia Deal of the Year Award sponsored by Tyco Electronics High Growth Company of the Year Award sponsored by Morel & Co Small Business of the Year Award sponsored by Navman Investment in People Award sponsored by Arrow Components

The organisers of the Awards is the NZ Hi Tech Association, an incorporated society that this year is represented by eleven companies that include iTouch Business Mobility, Philips, Arrow Components, TMP Worldwide, Sparks Ventures and Tyco Electronics. This shows the level of commitment to this industry event and to its continuous improvement, ensuring a wide awareness of the Awards and the need to deliver value to all sponsor partnerships.

"Recent complements of new industry clusters, incubators and government business support initiatives throughout New Zealand have inspired progress and elevated a national pride synonymous with our famous 'can do' attitude," said Phil Holliday, Chairman of the NZ Hi Tech Association. "Often regarded as the Silicon Plains of New Zealand, with new ventures forming around every corner, each creating world-class innovations and many with enormous export potential, we are pleased that Christchurch is again hosting these national Awards."

This year the Awards comprise three events kicking off with the Bright Sparks Awards and cocktail function on the evening of Friday 1 November held at and sponsored by The Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology.

The next morning, on Saturday 2 November, there will be an Industry Forum and lunch with four prominent speakers at the Rydges Hotel. This excellent learning and networking opportunity, which is jointly sponsored by Industry New Zealand and the Canterbury Development Corporation, will be followed by the Awards dinner at the Antarctic Centre.

The deadline for completed Award entries is 5pm, 7 October 2002. Further details and entry forms can be found at

Last Year's Winners:

1. Start-Up of the Year Award....................... Protemix Corporation (Auckland)
2. Most Innovative Product Award....................... Right Hemisphere (Auckland)
3. Deal of the Year Award....................... Peace Software (Auckland) High Growth Company Award....................... Ericsson Data Services (Napier)
4. Project Management Award....................... R&D Solutionz (Palmerston North)
5. Investment in People Award....................... Tacit Group (Auckland)
6. Electronic Company of the Year Award....................... Ericsson Data Services (Napier)
7. Software Company of the Year Award....................... Orion (Auckland)
8. Biotechnology Company of the Year Award Genesis Research and Development Corporation (Auckland)
9. The Hi Tech Company of the Year Award....................... Orion Systems (Auckland)

For information and/or event reservations call 0800 500 263 or visit


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