A kids' social-networking site, cricket-scoring startup, and manufacturer of sustainable coffins are among the finalists in this year's Wellington Gold Awards.
The awards, in association with The Dominion Post, recognise the region's best businesses across a range of sectors, and have been running since 1999.
The 38 entrants shortlisted to win the nine categories were announced at an event last night hosted by Jeff Gray BMW.
They also include NZX-listed Xero in the export category, hi- tech start-up GreenButton in the "cyber" category, and skincare firm Antipodes, a finalist for both the research and development and export gongs.
Awards director John Dow said the finalists showed Wellington businesses were confident and resilient in a tough environment.
The high New Zealand dollar was putting "enormous pressure" on exporters and had cut expenditure by visitors to the region.
Public service cuts had hurt many local businesses, and Government indecision and a lack of clarity about local government reform in the region had also created uncertainty for them.
"However the Gold Awards finalists reflect a very creative, innovative and hard-working group of people who are still prepared to take risks, generate new and interesting products, while finding unique ways to successfully take them to world markets."
This year is the first that Wairarapa companies and organisations have been able to enter the awards and three have been named as finalists. They are Toast Martinborough and Tora Coastal Walk in the events category, and Pukaha Mt Bruce National Wildlife Centre in the sustainable business category.
Winners will be announced at the Wellington Gold Awards dinner at the TSB Arena on May 31.
Wellington Gold Awards Finalists
- Creative Gold - film, media and creative content industries: Awa Press, Clemenger BBDO, MiniMonos, Studio of Pacific Architecture.
- Cyber Gold - technology sector: 8interactive, CricHQ, GreenButton, Splice Group.
- Discovering Gold - R&D projects: Aura RedEye Security, Black Gold by GNS Science, Nuenz, Saviour Skin Balm by Antipodes.
- Emerging Gold - smaller businesses: Carrello del Gelato, Empathy, Guistina's, Greenkeeper Systems, Im-Able, TenderRest.
- Global Gold - exporters of products and services: Antipodes New Zealand, Radiola Aerospace, Sanpro Industries, Xero.
- Supporting Gold - professional services and infrastructure: Crombie Lockwood, Dash Tickets, Dews Construction, NZ Diving & Salvage.
- Vibrant Gold - events, visitor facilities and hospitality: Adrenalin Forest, Carter Observatory, NZ Affordable Art Trust, Toast Martinborough, Tora Coastal Walk.
- ACC Workplace Safety Award - workplace safety practices: Interislander, KiwiRail Hutt Workshops, NZ Bus, Sealed Air Corporation.
- Green Gold - positive sustainable practices: Mana Recovery, Pukaha Mt Bruce National Wildlife Centre, Silaca Glass Crushers, Sustainability Trust.
- The Dominion Post
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