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Gisvin among finalists for annual ExportNZ Hawke’s Bay awards

Businesses in Wairoa and Gisborne have been named finalists in the 2021 ExportNZ ASB Hawke's Bay Export Awards.

Wairoa's NZ Mecates is a finalist for the ContainerCo Best Emerging Business Award, along with Wood Mallets (Otane), Kiwigarden (Hastings), National Distillery Company (Napier) and Nibblish (Havelock North).

Gisborne contract winery GisVin is a finalist in the T&G Global Best Established Business Award, along with NZ Frost Fans (Hastings) and Mt Erin Group (Hastings).

The winners of each category will be up for the supreme award of ASB Exporter of the Year and will automatically go to the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) International Business Awards in Auckland in November.

Also up for grabs is the Napier Port Unsung Heroes Award, which reflects the hard work done by people within their business.

This award is based on nominations from businesses and will be presented on the awards night.

Entries for the HB awards were open to exporters from Gisborne to Pahiatua.

All winners will be named at a gala dinner on July 29 at Toi Toi Hawke's Bay Arts and Event Centre.

The judges were ASB head of international trade Fergus Lee, NZTE director Wayne Norrie, Callaghan Innovation specialist Jenny Brown, Napier Port chairman Alasdair Macleod, and NZTE regional manager Katrina Buscke.

Mr Lee said the quality of the entries was high, so judges had a challenge on their hands.

“The companies we've visited here in Hawke's Bay and Gisborne have been really impressive. We know the overall winner will be a serious contender when it comes to representing the region at the national awards.”

ExportNZ Hawke's Bay executive officer Amanda Liddle said there were a record number of entries this year.

“Companies of all shapes and sizes have faced enormous challenges over the past 15 months and these awards give us the opportunity to show how much we value what they've gone through.”

ExportNZ Hawke's Bay chairman Stuart Ainslie said the awards continued to show it didn't matter how big or small companies had to be to succeed.

“There was a real mix of smaller exporters who entered and who are well placed to scale and grow on the global stage.

“We love watching that happen and this event helps them prepare for that.”

ExportNZ Hawke's Bay is overseen by Business Central, which represents about 3500 employers across the lower North Island.

It provides employer, health and safety, and human resources advice, and advocates policies that reflect the interest of the business community.