2019 Bay of Plenty ExportNZ Awards Winners

24 June 2019

2019 Bay of Plenty ExportNZ Awards Winners

A tour operator with our national game at heart; an innovative agri-tech company; a General Manager of Sales and Marketing for an organic spice exporter; and a specialist in automation in solid wood processing were the big winners at the ExportNZ Bay of Plenty Awards for 2019.

The 29th annual awards were presented on Friday Night at a glamorous ‘A Night with the Stars’ gala dinner in Tauranga.
Photos from the evening are up on our facebook, check them out and tag your team!

You Travel Best Emerging Business Winner Manaaki Adventures offer customised packages to suit the student market for education, adventure, service, culture and sports tours, as well as rugby tours for teams of all ages. Touring parties get the opportunity to tap into some of the best educational and rugby brains the country has to offer, while getting an authentic insight into Maori culture. Judges commended them for leveraging existing experience, learning from others and upskilling themselves to set themselves up for success, which has paid off with 100 per cent growth in turnover year on year.

Page Macrae Engineering Excellence in Innovation Winner Bluelab lives and breathes innovation in order to develop technology that unlocks the potential in plants while equipping growers with the freedom to pioneer in the plant-age. Judges commented that innovative techniques and approaches had been applied across the product, service and user experience, contributing to Bluelab now exporting to the USA, Netherlands and Spain.

Beca Export Achievement Award Winner Ruby Grant, General Manager Sales and Marketing, Heilala Vanilla, has challenged convention and developed new channels to market, including Amazon, where it has been the top selling vanilla on the US site. Judges said she was a modest leader who demonstrated real passion and skill, particularly in informing product development. Over the last three years Heilala has achieved more than 40 per cent annual growth, and is now available in 1800 stores, every state in Australia, and in the two biggest Australian supermarket chains.

Employers and Manufacturers Association (EMA) Service to Export Award Winner Murray Denyer of Cooney Lees Morgan is known to many for the integral part he has played in the development of the kiwifruit industry, and his support particularly of the region’s start-up businesses through his role as Chairman of Priority One and as a board member of Enterprise Angels Inc, Tauranga’s angel investor organisation.

Sharp Tudhope Lawyers Best Medium-Large Business Winner Automation & Electronics NZ were praised by the judges for their long history of successful exporting through tough times that have seen them re-think their strategy in order to continue to succeed. The company has challenged in particular North American providers of automation controls and 3D scanning and optimisation solutions for the solid wood processing industry. Today Automation & Electronics has more than fifty installations – or companies that use their products and processes - in North America and more than 750 installations worldwide.


Bay of Plenty ExportNZ Awards Winners for 2019:


YOU Travel Best Emerging Business

Manaaki Adventures Ltd

Page Macrae Engineering Excellence in Innovation

Bluelab Corporation Ltd

Beca Export Achievement Award

Ruby Grant, General Manager Sales and Marketing, Heilala Vanilla

Employers and Manufacturers Association (EMA) Service to Export Award

Murray Denyer

Sharp Tudhope Lawyers Best Medium-Large Business

Automation & Electronics NZ Ltd


A huge congratulations to all of our winners, and to our finalists also. It was a wonderful night showcasing the Bay of Plenty's exporters, and you should all be very proud!


Photo Credit: Wayne Tait Photography.
L-R Dan Meade and Hemi Coates, Manaaki Adventures. Brian Smith, Automation & Electronics NZ. Murray Denyer, Cooney Lees Morgan. Ruby Grant, Heilala Vanilla. Greg Jarvis, Bluelab

Principal Sponsor

Award Sponsors

Event Sponsors

Event Supporters

Brought to you by

Thanks for the support from our amazing sponsors who help bring this event to life, including Sharp Tudhope Lawyers who have supported this event since its inception 29 years ago, YOU Travel (previously United Travel) into their 23rd year, Page Macrae Engineering their 12th year and Beca into their 7th year!