Datacom Hawke’s Bay Business Awards – Announcing the Winners

Napier War Memorial’s newly reopened Ballroom on Marine Parade was the perfect backdrop for the eagerly anticipated Datacom Hawke’s Bay Business Awards Dinner.

The Datacom Hawke’s Bay Business Awards is a prestigious awards process celebrating successful businesses across the region from Wairoa to Central Hawke’s Bay.

Entrants are presented with a rare opportunity to take a step back from day-to-day operations and review their business from a fresh perspective. The awards process is regarded as highly rewarding, motivating and of immense strategic value in positioning businesses for long-term, sustainable growth. Presented annually by the Hawke’s Bay Chamber of Commerce, the awards celebrate resilience, community connections, innovation, leadership, emerging business, and sustainability.

The Hawke’s Bay Chamber of Commerce as part of its many functions, look after Young Enterprise in Hawke’s Bay. The audience were treated to a presentation by YES Hawke’s Bay Company of the Year for 2023, Posie Papers. Their environmentally friendly product is designed to reduce paper-waste, with the intention of increasing the number of native plants grown from seed in New Zealand. Their paper products contain seeds of native plants, and flowers, developed with a lot of market research, validation, and experimenting. A special mention goes out to their CEO Esta Chaplin, who has been named the New Zealand YES CEO of the Year for the entire country. Posie Papers will be representing Hawke’s Bay at the YES National Awards in December – this start-up is one to watch!

Over 170 businesses were nominated for the prestigious Hawke’s Bay Business Awards this year, and from those, the independent judging panel was tasked with the challenge of whittling down to the top 19 finalists.

The competition was fierce, and each winner stood out for their dedication, creativity, and commitment to excellence in their respective categories. Check out the video of all finalists on Hawke’s Bay Chamber of Commerce’s Facebook page. Join us in congratulating the category winners and the Supreme Award Winner for 2023.

Best Emerging Business, presented by Hastings District Council – Kahu Scaffolding

Kahu Scaffolding is commended for its outstanding progress in recent years. Their remarkable growth is a testament to their dedication and hard work, establishing a strong presence in the industry. What truly sets them apart is their profound commitment to their staff. Serving as mentors and leaders, they go beyond providing employment opportunities, offering guidance and friendship to their team members, fostering both professional and personal development. Furthermore, their exceptional brand values and unwavering customer focus have built trust and loyalty within the community. They prioritise delivering top-notch service and consistently exceed customer expectations. Kahu Scaffolding sets a remarkable standard for excellence in their industry.

Outstanding Social Impact Award, presented by The Breeze & MediaWorks – Topline Contracting

At the heart of Topline’s success is their unwavering dedication to creating a brighter future for people in their community. Their Academy program, established to address the shortcomings of traditional education, is transforming the lives of over thirty individuals annually. By providing essential skills for employment, Topline is not only changing the trajectory of individual lives but also making a substantial difference to their families and the broader community.

Excellence in Sustainability, presented by Hawke’s Bay Regional Council – Your Decal Shop

Your Decal Shop is an amazing business that is clear on its vision and market. The judges were impressed by how Antony and the team ensure that sustainability is at the heart of their product, processes and customer experience. Products feature QR codes for instructions on how to hang, sustainable packaging solutions and by-products are reused for fencing. Overall, the judges were delighted to see a small business be incredibly successful in a competitive market, punching well above its weight, but at the same time ensuring that in every possible aspect sustainability was a key focus.

Resilient Business Award, presented by Unison – Tākaro Trails Cycle Tours

The judges were impressed by the well rounded and dedicated approach to the business’ day to day operations. In addition to comprehensive business planning, including a commitment to personal, professional, and staff development during difficult trading times, the owners invest in technology to improve research, and automated processes. This preparation helped them to adapt when required during Covid-19 and following Cyclone Gabrielle. The resilience and adaptability shown over the last few years to overcome market shifts, including the sudden and complete loss of its customer base, was remarkable. To grow the business amongst the disruption was impressive. Tākaro Trails is an exciting business that has great prospects for the future.

Excellence in Innovation Award, presented by EIT Te Pūkenga – Wayfinder

Wayfinder is a firm that is in the business of selling innovative solutions. The judges were impressed with the examples of Wayfinder’s ability to challenge their clients – the Waiaroha project being a standout. What started as a brief to mitigate the visual impact of a new water treatment and storage plant, Wayfinder turned into an opportunity for Hastings District Council to create an interactive, educational, water treatment facility – the first of its kind in the world. Wayfinder’s ability to engage with the community, tangata whenua, and stakeholders across its various projects has given it a unique ability to transform its projects into story telling opportunities – rethinking otherwise vanilla infrastructure solutions and turning them into projects with purpose woven into the design.

Ultimate Visitor Experience Award, presented by Napier City Council – OBriasco Bridal Boutique

At OBriasco our mystery shopper had an outstanding experience with business owner Olivia. She was blown away by the warm and friendly customer service and range of dresses and alteration services offered at the little bridal boutique located in Westshore. Planning a wedding can be a daunting and stressful experience, some of which can be alleviated with offering brides a local dress making service. Olivia not only makes wedding dresses, but she also creates beautiful custom-made occasion gowns. Our mystery shopper was openly confident that if she is one day lucky enough to find love and have a wedding, she would not hesitate to use OBriasco as her dressmaker.

Leader of the Year Award, presented by 2degrees – Waylyn Tahuri-Whaipakanga

Originating from modest roots in Wairoa, Waylyn Tahuri-Whaipakanga progressed over time into influential positions within Iwi and District Health Boards, showcasing outstanding leadership and resilience. Waylyn’s impact extends beyond professional boundaries, where she has played a role in shaping policies as both a member and Chair of the Hōhepa Hawke’s Bay/Wellington Board, as well as contributing to organisations such as the NZ NGO Council.

As CEO of one of the largest Māori providers in the country, Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga, her exceptional leadership shone during crises, mobilising resources during the COVID-19 pandemic, and organising relief efforts post-Cyclone Gabrielle. Waylyn’s crisis management showcased empathy, decisiveness, and a deep sense of duty to the community.

Beyond crisis response, Waylyn fosters a supportive workplace for up to 500 staff, emphasising cultural values and creating a sense of belonging. Actively participating in community initiatives and serving as a Trustee of Rangiahua Marae, Waylyn has exhibited dedication and the ability to balance professional and community responsibilities.

This unique leadership journey is characterised by passion, resilience, and an unwavering commitment to community well-being, making her an exceptional role model for aspiring leaders everywhere.

Supreme Business Award, presented by Datacom – Topline Contracting

Topline Contracting impressed the judges with their customer centric culture, community focus, attention to safety and wellbeing, growth, and above all the positive impact in the lives of the people that undertake the Topline Academy intensive program that gives skills and confidence to enter the workforce.

Topline’s journey began with a strong emphasis on mentorship and guidance, which laid the foundation for their socially responsible approach. They have actively sought opportunities for improvement and collaborated with experts, like KPMG, displaying a genuine commitment to enhancing their community.

Central to their triumph is Taurus Taurima, a leader who inspires and leads by example, building key relationships in the market and exceeding customer expectations.

Their story is a testament to the power of strategic vision, compassionate leadership, and unwavering commitment to social impact. Congratulations to Topline Contracting, the deserving winner of the Datacom Hawke’s Bay Business Awards Supreme Award.


Media Release – Hawke’s Bay Chamber of Commerce