Record Business Awards celebrate success and adaptability in turbulent times


After two postponements over the last six months, the annual Waikato Chamber of Commerce Business Awards, supported by Foster Construction Group, took place recently, with the winners celebrating their success among their peers. A record number of entries showcased the extremely high calibre of businesses operating in the Waikato.

DEC Pharmaceutical was crowned the overall champion on the night, taking out the Foster Construction Group 2021 Supreme Award along with awards for International Trade and Service Excellence. 

DEC Pharmaceutical provides a range of contract manufacturing and laboratory services from its cGMP manufacturing facility in Hamilton, Waikato. DEC Pharmaceutical is another Waikato success story that many may not be aware of. This substantial established manufacturing and export business is a top performer in healthcare and life science products globally.

The judges praised DEC Pharmaceutical’s talented leadership team, highly skilled and diverse staff, uncompromising quality and processes, strong international partners and distribution, and continuous focus on technical innovation and financial improvement as they consistently deliver world class results, in heavily regulated overseas markets.

Tainui Group Holdings chief executive Chris Joblin was named CEO of the Year, acknowledgement of the Group’s impressive work on multiple large-scale projects. 

The judges noted how Chris’s strategies put the collective good above pure financial success. He has created a culture of purpose, inclusiveness and enablement. He works with and leads his team sharing the responsibility to build and improve the organisation through the outcomes they achieve. With clarity of purpose, he articulates his vision and builds a high performing team. 

Momentum Waikato also had an impressive night, winning awards in the Not for Profit and Community Contribution categories for the incredible work they have done in the Waikato over the past few years. Other winners included Fish City Hamilton (Marketing & Social Media), Designwell (Micro Business of the Year), Spring Sheep Milk Co (Innovation), Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari (Social & Environmental Sustainability), Shift 72 (Business Growth & Strategy) and Raewynne Pearson from SVS Laboratories Limited (Emerging Leader of the Year).

Waikato Chamber of Commerce chief executive Don Good was very pleased with the calibre of contestants. 

“After a record-breaking number of entries, followed by two unfortunate postponements of the gala dinner, we are incredibly grateful to finally be able to celebrate our finalists and our winners in a manner befitting the occasion. It has not been an easy two years for the business community and we are so proud of the resolve shown by Waikato based businesses during Covid.”

The recent Omicron outbreak forced the Chamber to push back the already postponed gala dinner from February 9 to March 11 and transition the event from solely physical, to a hybrid physical and virtual event. Representatives from each finalist and core sponsors were invited to two black-tie dinners – one at Claudelands Event Centre, the other at the Atrium at Wintec – with each limited to 100 attendees. This was in conjunction with an exclusive livestream of the event enabling the teams of each finalist to feel a part of the night. 

“After a tough year for everyone it is great to see so many businesses focussing on their customers, staff and the wider community. Congratulations to the winners and a massive thank you to our suppliers, particularly H3, Montana, ACLX and Wintec for helping us transition to a hybrid event. And thank you to our judges and my Chamber of Commerce team for making tonight possible,” Don said.


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