This year’s categories are shaped around Covid-19 impact on our community. We want to recognise and celebrate outstanding performance.

The Westpac Rotorua Business Awards 2020 categories are:

  • NZME People's Choice
  • Red Stag Business Person of the Year
  • Rotorua Lakes Council Outstanding Contribution to Rotorua
  • Building Back Better
  • Employer of the Year
  • Bilingual Business
  • Environmental Sustainability
  • "Essential" Business of the Year
  • Community Support/Care

Categories and questions 

NZME People's Choice - Entry by nomination and winner decided by public vote

This category will recognise a business that has achieved success based on those that matter most to them, their community, stakeholders, staff and customers. Unlike the other categories that have an independent group of judges, this award is in the hands of the public through online voting. You may nominate your favourite business or organisation for this category.

Red stag business person of the year - Winner selected by sponsor and panel of previous winners 

Selected by the sponsor together with a panel of previous winners of the award.

Rotorua Lakes Council Outstanding Contribution to Rotorua - Winner selected by sponsor

This category will recognise an iconic business or person with a strong and proud history of contribution.

Build back better - Entry by nomination, winner selected by judges

This category will recognise and celebrate an existing or new organisation that has found innovative solutions to operating successfully in our new “normal” environment.

  • Your story will be about how and why these changes were conceived, developed, and enacted. Innovation, self-belief, pivoting, farsightedness, staff involvement, client benefits and client awareness will be some of the qualities sought.


This category will recognise and celebrate Employers who demonstrate commitment and have gone the extra mile to protect employees’ jobs, health, and welfare.

  • Your story will be about employee engagement, shared vision, strategy, problem-solving, people practices, listening to one another, organisation culture, trust and openness.
  • It will extend to employment policies followed, shared financial pain and balancing financial with people imperatives.
  • Staff Health and Welfare lies at the heart of this category.



This category will recognise the daily use of bilingual practices in everyday business, showcasing the importance and value of Rotorua's bilingual city status.

  • Your story will be about how the use of bilingualism adds hei tangata, hei tangata, kaupapa, and instils nga uara maha (multiple values) into the business and its employees, clients, and partners.
  • It might also discuss the Treaty of Waitangi partnerships, local history and unique aspects of Rotorua and the entity’s place in it



This category will recognise and celebrate business that embraces kaitiakitanga and protection of our natural, built and cultural resources for the benefit of current and future generations.

  • Your story will be about the products, practices, policies of the entity as it contributes to the natural environment. Clean air, clean water, energy conservation and waste will feature. Sustainable people management is included.

"essential" business of the year - ENTRY BY NOMINATION, WINNER SELECTED BY JUDGES

This category will recognise, thank, and celebrate those who supplied our community with “essential” goods and services during the lockdown as determined “essential” by MBIE.

  • Your story will be about how those goods and services were supplied, the public health safety measure taken, the risks to staff, how these problems were handled. Also how this impacted on the operation of the organisation and how it benefitted the Rotorua community.


In this category, we wish to recognise, thank, and celebrate any organisation, entity or person who has given their time and resources to help others in need over the COVID crises.

Your story will be about kind heartedness, giving and selfless actions given for the benefit of others (pāpono ohaoha). It might include the motivation for the giving, perhaps some at a personal level, and how the recipients were impacted by such kindness.


  • Do I have to be a member to enter: NO
  • Do I have to be a member to nominate: NO, anyone can nominate
  • Is my information confidential: Yes to you and the judges
  • When do entries close: 11th September 4pm
  • Does my business or organisation have to be in Rotorua to be nominated: Yes, it has to be located in the Rotorua Lakes District.