A NZ Hi-Tech Award is one of the technology sector’s most sought-after accolades. They have been awarded over the years to New Zealand’s most successful high-tech companies, and highest achieving individuals.

The VSI Electronics Excellence Awards were launched in 1994 to reward the success of New Zealand’s growing technology sector and help give the industry a voice. They have since evolved into the NZ Hi-Tech Awards, becoming a platform for all of our technology industries: ICT, electronics, software, biotechnology, creative, telecommunications and digital media.

The Awards programme, administered by the NZ Hi-Tech Trust, promotes the sector as a leading contributor to New Zealand’s economy and export success, and enjoys the support and input of our highly successful technology industries.


The Awards

The NZ Hi-Tech Awards celebrate New Zealand’s most successful high-tech companies and highest achieving individuals. Originally launched in 1994 as the VSI Electronics Excellence Awards, they have since evolved into a platform for recognising the best all of our technology industries: ICT, electronics, software, biotechnology, creative, telecommunications and digital media.

The year-long Awards calendar has several events that showcase and provide networking opportunities for New Zealand technology companies. We hope to put talented Kiwis well and truly in the spotlight, promote our high-tech successes, and extend our profile beyond the technology sector.

Winners include companies such as:

  • Vista Group
  • 90 Seconds
  • Serato
  • Movio
  • Datacom
  • AfterMail
  • Fisher & Paykel Healthcare
  • Navman
  • Neuren Pharmaceuticals
  • Orion Systems
  • Compac Sorting Equipment
  • Endace
  • Xero
  • Rakon
  • Right Hemisphere
  • Tait Electronics

and individuals such as:

  • Katherine Corich
  • Sam Morgan
  • Sir Angus Tait
  • Rod Drury
  • Neville Jordan
  • Selwyn Pellett
  • Ian Taylor
  • Dennis Chapman
  • Sir Peter Maire
  • Sir Gil Simpson
  • Paul Hargreaves
  • Brent Robinson
  • Sir Ken Stevens
  • Bill Buckley

An industry snapshot

The New Zealand technology sector is the fastest growing sector in the country with almost 29,000 companies generating close to $9 billion in revenue.

The hi-tech industry is the third largest export earner in the country, generating over $6.3 billion in export revenue in the 2015-16 financial year.

It comprises of almost 29,000 New Zealand companies across the electronics, software, telecommunications, creative technology and biotechnology sectors.

The industry employs more than 57,000 people and the sector is growing at twice the rate of the economy as a whole. An increasing number of companies are listing on the stock exchange both locally and internationally.

The NZ Hi-Tech Trust

The NZ Hi-Tech Trust was established in 2009 to advance the growth and success of New Zealand's hi-tech industries through an awards and education programme.

All profits generated by the Awards programme are reinvested by Trust to ensure the continuance of the programme and to benefit the long-term development of the industries it supports.

The current NZ Hi-Tech Trust trustees are:


Jen has spent 25+ years in the NZ tech industry working with clients ranging from consumer through small and medium business to corporate and government. She is a passionate advocate for technology’s impact on the economy, diversity within the sector, and the future of NZ business.
She is on the board of the Wellington ICT Graduate School, which is developing industry-relevant courses to address technology skills gaps, and is a trustee of Eureka Trust, focusing on increasing youth interest in STEM.

 Jen puts her shoulder behind these efforts to ensure that our future generations have a future-ready, digitally-enabled, successful economy to ensure our country provides opportunity and fulfilment.


Vaughan is the founder of Vend, a New Zealand high-growth tech success story, and founder of OMGTech! a charitable initiative to help kids into careers with future technology.

 He was EY's Tech Entrepreneur of the Year in 2015 and is a sought after speaker on numerous topics from startups, culture, education and innovation. He now advises and helps young tech start-ups while driving product innovation at Vend.

 Vaughan believes in three big ideas. 1. To make it easier to start and to support young technology businesses. 2. To empower today's kids to be the next generation of technology innovators. 3. To celebrate all the amazing stories on the way. 

After 30 years around the globe, Wayne co-founded Revera where he grew the company rapidly to a successful exit.

Wayne is actively involved in the strategic direction of several companies and organisations, including being a director of NZTE, Sportsground, and Furnware. Previously he was Chairman of Online Republic, Fronde, Maven, Team BLM, NZTE Beachheads, and director of Aspeq.

Wayne was awarded the 2016 IDC Outstanding Contribution to the NZ Technology Sector, and the 2016 AUT Leadership Award for contribution to business.He is a Chartered Fellow of the Institute of Directors, a member of the WCNZ (World Class New Zealander) network, a Fellow of the NZ Institute of Management and a judge for the NZ Export Awards.

Kirsty is a Chartered Accountant with over 20 years experience in the finance and technology sectors. Kirsty leads Xero’s financial operations creating a beautiful internal experience to support the Xero team. Prior to Xero, Kirsty was a partner at PwC New Zealand focusing on helping small businesses achieve their goals and also led PwC’s regional cloud strategy. Kirsty’s strategic, technology and finance experience make her a great addition to the Hi-Tech Trust.

Bennett brings a strong belief in technology as a critical enabler for change, transformation and competitive advantage. He is passionate about the need for fresh thinking as organisations face disruption to legacy business models, and the importance of combining strategy, execution and governance to create enduring socio-economic wealth.

Bennett was appointed to the Airways Board in November 2015. He was founder and Chair of The Simpl Group of technology companies (acquired by new owners in 2016), and is Chair of Preno, a global Saas start-up, offering a modern hotel management system for boutique properties. Bennett has only recently stood down as Chair of NZTech after 10 years and as the NZ Co-Chair of the Australia and New Zealand Leadership Forum on Innovation. He was also the Chair of the Establishment Board of TechweekNZ. Bennett remains a trustee of the New Zealand Hi-Tech Trust and strategic advisor to a number of New Zealand companies.

Outside work Bennett is an avid aviator and mariner, serves on the Board and as crew of Coastguard Northern Region and has been an owner of Future Flight Limited, a flight operations and training business at Ardmore Airport.

Owen Scott has 25 years’ experience in the New Zealand technology sector. Since 2004 he has been Managing Director of Christchurch-based strategic marketing company Concentrate. Prior to establishing Concentrate, he held a number of senior roles at Jade Software Corporation – including Vice President Operations, Jade USA and General Manager Marketing. 

Owen is an Adjunct Senior Fellow for the University of Canterbury’s Engineering Management Programme, a member of the New Zealand Institute of Management, a Chartered Member of the New Zealand Institute of Directors and is an ENL Director. He was previously on the board of the New Zealand Software Association and the chairman of Canterbury Tech (formally Canterbury Software).

John is a Chartered Accountant with over 30 years experience at KPMG Wellington, where he was a partner for 18 years specialising in Business Advisory and Corporate Recovery.

He has been the past Past President of Ronald McDonald House Wellington and Wellington Racing Club, is current President/Treasurer of NZ Thoroughbred Breeders Association and Board Member/Treasurer of Toi Whakaari NZ Drama School.

Helen is a passionate champion of the Christchurch and NZ tech sector.  She works for ChristchurchNZ, helping support the growth of the local tech sector.  She loves working with the creative, world class companies and the buzz of the local tech community and is vocal in helping them tell their story on a local, national and international stage.   In 2016 Helen was recognised for her work championing diversity as a Finalist in Governance New Zealand’s Women in Governance Awards.

Helen is also a trustee of the Canterbury Tech Cluster and the Christchurch YMCA.

Erin's has more than 20 years in leadership roles across a number of successful businesses such as Adherium NZ Ltd, Auckland UniServices Ltd, GSK, AstraZeneca, IMBcom and Life Technologies.  She also has experience working within Government organisations focused on economic and business growth initiatives.  

Erin Wansbrough joined SODA Inc. as the Chief Executive in October 2017.  With a strong background in people and business management.  She brings an analytical mind and solutions focused approach to SODA Inc.  Passionate about the start-up and innovation eco-system; Erin joined the team with a real motivation to make a difference for the SODA Inc. community, keeping the genuine care SODA Inc. has for its Founders, staff and the wider eco-system at the core of what SODA delivers.

  • Ian Taylor (The Flying Kiwi representative to the Hi-Tech Trust)

Inspired by the changing world around him, Ian Taylor is well known for his huge impact on the technology sector in New Zealand and abroad. He founded Taylormade Media in 1989 and later established Animations Research Ltd - responsible for the international shift in 3D computer graphic technology. Later, Ian and his team partnered with Terrabyte to lead the revolutionary real-time Internet streaming of the America’s Cup, with Ian's 3D Graphics package model.

Ian took out the the Hi-Tech Flying Kiwi Award 2008, was named North and South Magazine’s New Zealander of the Year 2010 and Outstanding Maori Business Leader of the Year 2013. He has been awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the NZ Computer Society, appointed a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit and won the Creative Sector of the World Class New Zealand Awards.