2021 NZ Hi-Tech Awards - Winners Announced!

Record number attend gala dinner

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare was the big winner at the 2021 NZ Hi-Tech Awards tonight, claiming the PwC Hi-Tech Company of the Year category. The Gala Dinner announcing all the winners was attended by a record crowd of close to 1300 including the Prime Minister and the Mayor of Auckland.

In selecting Fisher & Paykel Healthcare as the PwC Hi-Tech Company of the Year the international judges said, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare was a global leader in respiratory care. When Covid hit, their 5000 employees rose to the occasion and rapidly re-engineered its business to deliver vital products the world desperately needed – addressing, for example, the global shortage of ventilators. All while continuing to innovate and expand its healthcare product offerings, and expand its global reach”.

Other big winners tonight were Halter and Moxion both taking out two Awards each. Halter won the Endace Most Innovative Hi-Tech Hardware Product and the NZTE Most Innovative Hi-Tech Agritech Solution categories. Meanwhile Moxion picked up the Auckland Unlimited Most Innovative Hi-Tech Creative Technology Solution and Punakaiki Fund Hi-Tech Start-up Company of the Year Awards.

The Hi-Tech Awards judges said the calibre of this year’s entrants was at an all-time high, making the job of selecting winners exceedingly challenging for the more than 70 local and international judges. The judges assessed a record number of entries across 14 award categories. Commenting on the 2021 Awards, New Zealand Hi-Tech Trust chair David Downs said it was great to hit so many highs this year despite the impact of Covid-19 in 2020. "Clearly the Covid-19 situation has thrown us a few curveballs in regards to the Awards programme over the last year and it’s fantastic that we can all get out this evening and celebrate the successes of our great tech companies, and the contribution they are making not only to New Zealand’s economy but also how they are leading us out of the pandemic with such innovative solutions.”

In addition to announcing the category winners tonight, Wayne Norrie was recognised with the prestigious Tait Communications Flying Kiwi Award and inducted into the NZ Hi-Tech Hall of Fame. “Wayne is such a deserving recipient of this recognition. He has contributed so much to the New Zealand tech sector over the years and indeed the success of the Hi-Tech Awards. He is without doubt one of the great ambassadors and advocates for our industry” said Downs.

The 2021 NZ Hi-Tech Award winners are:

Xero Hi-Tech Young Achiever
Winner: Maria English

The Judges were impressed with Maria’s storytelling of her journey, the long view strategy she has embarked on and her insightful and considered perspectives on Pacific Trust and the manner in which she is embracing diversity and inclusivity. Her passion, energy and charisma, along with her proven leadership capabilities are truly impressive and the judges are sure that Maria’s path will continue as an inspirational journey over the coming years.

Visa Best Hi-Tech Solution for the Public Good
Winner: Student Volunteer Army & Custom D

In selecting the winner the deciding point for the judges was assessing the commercial nature of each finalist versus their charitable work and investment in long term community good. The winner stood out due to their long term commitment to the community and sole focus on community good over commercial gain.

IBM Most Inspiring Individual
Winner: Craig Hudson

The judges were impressed by Craig's humility and authenticity. He has uniquely used his position of influence for good and made efforts to share his amazing career history for the benefit of others. True authenticity requires the vulnerability to tell the truth about oneself, a skill many leaders do not exhibit. His focus on employees first and making sure their mental health is looked after puts him in a very select group of leaders.

Auckland Unlimited Most Innovative Hi-Tech Creative Technology Solution
Winner: Moxion

In the opinion of the judges, the Moxion Immediates platform represents a paradigm shift in the film and television industry that has already been proven through adoption. They intimately understand their customers’ pain points and problems and have built a secure, scalable platform to meet those needs.

Highly Commended: Alimetry


Callaghan Innovation Hi-Tech Maori Company of the Year
Winner: MB Century

The judges were impressed at the way in which the Tuaropaki Trust had integrated a technology-driven business like MB Century into its overarching kaupapa that places the Whenua and the people at the heart of every decision they make. More than 50 years ago Sir Apirana Ngata said that Māori should take the tools that pakeha have to offer and use them as the lodestar to their creative inspiration. The judges felt that the Tuaropaki Trust and MB Century were a shining example of what Sir Apirana Ngata had envisaged.

Duncan Cotterill Most Innovative Hi-Tech Software Solution
Winner: Rocos

The judges were highly impressed by what the team at Rocos have achieved in the past 12 months. Despite the impacts of Covid, the team have progressed from a product, a partnership and a team perspective. Every day there is more awareness of the applicability of Robots to industrial settings and Rocos purpose, to build a platform-agnostic operating system for Robots of all types is an idea whose time has come. After being a finalist last year, Rocos has matured greatly and truly deserves to be the winner of the Most Innovative Hi-Tech Software Solution this year.

Endace Most Innovative Hi-Tech Hardware Product
Winner: Halter

Halter was chosen as the winner from a pool of extremely high-quality finalists. The technology they have developed is almost magical in the way it controls the movement of cows without fences.  This saves not only labour and fencing costs, but provides significant value to the farmer in terms of pasture management, along with environmental and animal welfare benefits. They have overcome challenges to make the technology rugged while focusing on miniaturisation and smart power management. The resulting offering has significant commercial opportunities and the judges are excited to see Halter succeed globally.

Kiwibank Most Innovative Hi-Tech Service
Winner: chnnl

The Judges were impressed by Chnnl’s passion, skills, and academic rigor in delivering critical mental health service to organisations. Their data-driven approach and proven experience provide quantifiable benefits to all participants from the Boardroom to individual employees. Having a well-defined path and clear strategy, they are well placed for growth and embody, for themselves and their customers, “He Tangata, He Tangata, He Tangata”

NZTE Most Innovative Hi-Tech Agritech Solution
Winner: Halter

In 2021 Halter stood out in an exceptionally strong set of finalists. While the company is at a slightly earlier stage, it demonstrated customer focus, strategic financial resourcing, and an innovative approach to addressing key challenges in livestock management. The judges hope the emergence of companies like Halter signals the transformation of age-old farm practices with fresh technological insight.

Halo Consulting Best Contribution to the NZ Tech Sector
Winner: NZTech

Created by the tech sector, for the tech sector, NZTech is a purpose-driven and member-funded organisation. It brings together over 20 tech associations and over 1000 member organisations that collectively employ more than ten percent of the total NZ workforce. NZ Tech is also a founder of TechWeek that showcases our best technology, its contribution to the NZ economy and inspires the next generation into a  career in the tech sector.

Punakaiki Fund Hi-Tech Start-up Company of the Year
Winner: Moxion

In the opinion of the judges, Moxion is a perfect example of a Kiwi startup. Not only have they solved a challenging technical problem by enabling secure global collaboration with vast numbers of high-quality video files, but they also operate in the film sector, a domain where NZ excels and enjoys a global reputation. With a clear product-market fit, Moxion has already signed many of the major film studios. Their challenge now is to stay the course and build New Zealand's next billion-dollar company.

Pacific Edge Hi-Tech Emerging Company of the Year
Winner: Whip Around

The Judges were really impressed with WhipAround’s growth focus. They have a scalable SaaS platform whose growth is accelerating and they have built a real platform of talent and technology to take advantage of a large niche opportunity.

Highly Commended: LawVu

Soul Machines Most Innovative Deep Tech Solution
Winner: NanoLayr (previously known as Revolution Fibres)

The judges were impressed by how the Nanolayr has overcome true technical complexities to scale up their solution from first principles, with deep connections to the research ecosystem. This combined with a clever intellectual property strategy, sound productisation of their technology, and an ambition to grow more high-value opportunities in Aotearoa is what set them apart.

PwC NZ Hi-Tech Company of the Year Award
Winner: Fisher & Paykel Healthcare

In the opinion of our international judges - Fisher & Paykel Healthcare was already one of the most successful healthcare companies New Zealand has produced, becoming a global leader in respiratory care.  And then when Covid hit, their 5,000 employees rose to the occasion and rapidly re-engineered its business to deliver vital products the world desperately needed -- addressing, for example, the global shortage of ventilators.  All while continuing to innovate and expand its healthcare product offerings, and expand its global reach.  For stepping up when New Zealand and the world needed them, we are awarding the NZ Hi-Tech Company of the Year Award to Fisher & Paykel Healthcare.

Tait Communications Flying Kiwi Award
Recipient: Wayne Norrie

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