Waipā Businesses shine at awards


The Waipā Networks Business Awards celebrated a variety of diverse local businesses from across the Waipā region recently at a night of celebration and glamour.

This year has seen a strong field of entrants, both in quality and number of entries, doubling the number from 2021.

From new and emerging, small, medium and large businesses – each were judged on their own merit across a range of 16 award categories.

A judging panel of experienced industry professionals were led by two head judges Howard Davey and Heather Connelly of the University of Waikato – Management School.

“The level of innovation and adoption of technology often in more ‘traditional’ businesses was outstanding. The strategic thinking and application were very impressive, ie ‘walking the talk’, taking time out to think about future directions and choices. Nurturing and developing workers and building resilient teams came across strongly. Finally, a dominant theme was the client relationship and understanding customers’ needs. Overall, the level of innovation, energy, and commitment, as well as outright success bodes well for the future of the district,” Davey says.

Cambridge Business Chamber CEO Kelly Bouzaid says the chamber was delighted at both the diversity and calibre of applications for the 2023 awards.

“We are in a privileged position to peek into businesses of all ages and stages and see the calibre of leadership, innovation, culture and sustainability. We have seen resilience and robustness within our business community, and we are inspired and proud of their achievements.”

Winners of the 2023 Waipā Networks Business Awards

  • Supreme winner – Treadlite NZ Ltd
  • Customer Choice – The Smoke Collective Barbecue – Cambridge, Fresh Choice Supermarket – Te Awamutu
  • Employee of the Year – Emily Hudson – Homebrew Coffee – Cambridge, Darryl-Lynn Wilken – Varntige – Te Awamutu 
  • Leader of the Year – Peter Nation – NZ National Fieldays Society
  • Community Contribution – Grinter’s Funeral Home and Rosetown Funeral Home
  • Excellence in Large Business – Treadlite NZ Ltd 
  • Excellence in Medium Business – Resolution Retreats 
  • Excellence in Small Business – Grinter’s Funeral Home and Rosetown Funeral Home
  • Excellence in Emerging/New Business – Maple and Stone
  • Innovation and Knowledge – Squoodles Educational Resources 
  • Digital Strategy and E-Commerce – Squoodles Educational Resources 
  • Waste Minimisation – Environmental – Rotary Cambridge Urban Miners 
  • Contribution to Toursim and/or Hospitality – Riverside Adventures Waikato
  • Judges Choice – Ignite Arts Academy

Fieldays CEO Peter Nation and APL Window Solutions manager Danielle Stowers-Boon

University of Waikato Pro Vice Chancellor Matt Bolger and Ignite Arts Academy Raymond and Maxine Nelson


Rocketspark co-founder Jeremy Johnson and Tracy Morgan from Squoodles Educational Resources

Waipā District Council Deputy Mayor Liz Stolwyk and Emily Hudson from HomeBrew Coffee


About Author

Waikato Business News

Your source for local business news in Waikato