New Zealand's Hi-Tech Industry bucks the trend

Winners of the 2009 PricewaterhouseCoopers New Zealand Hi-Tech Awards show Kiwi innovation succeeding in global market

The winners of this year's PricewaterhouseCoopers New Zealand Hi-Tech Awards were announced tonight at the Gala Awards dinner in Christchurch. The Awards recognise excellence across New Zealand's software, electronics, biotechnology, telecommunications and creative technology industries and this year saw a record 160 entries.

"Both the quantity and quality of entrants this year reinforce the fact that New Zealand's Hi-tech sector is the way forward for our economy. The hi-tech industry contributes more than $2 billion in exports to New Zealand and has forged a global reputation for innovation. Many companies are continuing to achieve double digit growth but this is only a fraction of what they are capable of given the right environment in which to prosper. These companies demonstrate that Kiwi entrepreneurship and technical innovation can compete successfully on the international stage and as a country we need to take greater advantage of that fact," said Wayne Norrie, Chairman of the NZ Hi-Tech Association.

These sentiments were mirrored by Dell Inc. founder Michael Dell, who was an international judge this year.

"I've been hearing about the great ideas coming out of New Zealand for a long time. The opportunities for your ideas to scale and grow has never been greater and never been more global. Every new wave of growth and success has been driven by new ideas and new technology. And there's no reason why New Zealand can't be the home to the next Dell or Salesforce.com. Embrace your entrepreneurs and give them every encouragement," he said.

This year's PricewaterhouseCoopers Supreme Award went to Fisher & Paykel Healthcare. As a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of innovative healthcare devices, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare's products are sold in more than 110 countries and the company has sales and marketing operations located in 25 countries.

The Judges commented that, "even in a strong group of finalists, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare is an outstanding company. It has achieved sales of over $400 million in 110 countries, with sustained profitability. The company has 250 people in R&D developing new products for its target respiratory medical device market and files 50 to 60 patents per year. All this is the result of an impressive leadership team and high standards of governance, making them a clear leader in the New Zealand tech sector."

The IRL Emerging Company Award went to human resource software developer Sonar6. Online accounting system Xero won the HiFX Innovative Service Product Award. The high quality of entries this year saw the judges awarding joint winners in the hardware and software categories, with NextWindow and Vesper Marine taking the Enatel Innovative Hardware Product Award and Biomatters Ltd and Massive Software sharing the Recruit IT Innovative Software Product Award.

PricewaterhouseCoopers Partner and lead sponsor spokesperson Scott Kerse says the firm is pleased to be trusted advisors to some of New Zealand's most innovative and influential emerging businesses.

"We're proud to be the lead sponsor for this year's PricewaterhouseCoopers New Zealand Hi-Tech awards, particularly when we see the high calibre of tonight's winners and the entrants overall. This year's winners are all testimony to the talent and ambition of the Hi-tech sector. The fact that they include new and established, public and privately owned businesses and come from a range of industries proves that this is a very important part of our economy."

2009 PricewaterhouseCoopers New Zealand Hi-Tech Awards Winners

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