At a glitzy evening yesterday that brought together the who's who of the ICT industry in New Zealand, winners of the NZ Hi-Tech Awards 2014 were announced.
Orion Health, Vend and Vmob were prominent winners of the year, winning two awards each, with Vmob also being singled out for a special commendation in a third category.
Orion Health won the PwC Hi-Tech Company of the Year Award for 2014, and also took home the NZMEA Hi-Tech Exporter of the Year Award for companies over $5 million.
"Tonight marks a particularly special milestone for the Hi-Tech Awards itself,” said Wayne Norrie, chair of the Hi-Tech Trust. “Not only is this the 20th anniversary of the Awards, but we’re also thrilled to be able to host the Gala Dinner in Christchurch this year."
“I’d also like to extend a huge thank you to all our local and international judges for helping to make this Awards such a success. We are incredibly fortunate to attract judges of the calibre that we do. These are highly successful, busy people. For them to devote considerable time and energy to judging these awards says a huge amount about their commitment to this industry.
"It also says a lot about the calibre of entries we receive. Judges have been full of praise for the outstanding companies participating in this year’s Awards," he said.
The more than 50 local and international judges who assessed entrants across the 12 categories included a generous number of commendations, besides choosing winners, in multiple categories. According to the Awards team, commendations are only given in exception circumstances when results are particularly close and the judges consider a runner-up entrant is worthy of recognition.
Animation Research, finalist for the Hi-Tech Exporter of the Year Award for companies under $5 million, was given a special award by the judges in recognition of the company's work. Vaughan Rowsell, CEO of Vend, the winner of the award, said he hoped this would be the last time they collected the award for that category.
There were some first-time winners at the Awards as well including companies such as Delta Strike International, Vigil Monitoring and Smart Water Technology.
Read more: Finalists for NZ Hi-Tech Awards 2014 named
The Awards ceremony, held at the Air Force Museum in Christchurch, brought together more than 600 people, including Amy Adams, minister for communications and information technology, and marked its 20th anniversary. The gala event for 2015 will be conducted in the capital city of Wellington, according to the NZ Hi-Tech Trust, governing body of the Awards.
NZ Hi-Tech Awards 2014 winners
Hi-Tech Young Achiever Award Winner: Guy Horrocks – Co-founder of Carnival Mobile
Best Contribution to the New Zealand Hi-Tech Sector by an Internationally Headquartered Company Winner: Microsoft
Hi-Tech Exporter of the Year Award - Under $5 million Winner: Vend
Special Lifetime Achievement Award: Animation Research
Hi-Tech Exporter of the Year Award - Over $5 million Winner: Orion Health
Innovative Software Product Award Winner: Mindscape
Highly Commended: VMob
Innovative Hardware Product Award Winner: Delta Strike International
Highly Commended: Dairy Automation
Innovative Service Product Award Winner: VMob
Highly Commended: Mindscape
Innovative Mobile Technology Award Winner: VMob
Pre-commercialisation Company of the Year Winner: Vigil Monitoring
Hi-Tech Start-up Company of the Year Winner: Smart Water Technology
Highly Commended: Timely
Hi-Tech Emerging Company of the Year Winner: Vend
Highly Commended: Movio
NZ Hi-Tech Company of the Year Award Winner: Orion Health