First Call Recruitment started out with one branch in Tauranga in 2006 and has now grown to five nationally, managing up to 1800 placements daily.

It is that success which has helped the business scoop the top prize at last night's Westpac Tauranga Business Awards 2017, being named the Westpac Business of the Year.

The business, which also won the Vodafone Embracing Digital Technology award, manages between 1200 to 1800 placements daily. Its growth in the last four years took place in an industry with increasing legislation and compliance requirements.

This year saw an increased number of entrants in the awards, with a wide mix of businesses across all sectors and business practices.


Head judge and financial assessor Raimarie Pointon said there were a large number of entrants representing a wide range of high-calibre local businesses, with a clear theme of entrants showing more entrepreneurship and innovation.

Pointon said local businesses had embraced technology as the cornerstone for carefully-considered and well-structured strategy.

Each year the judges speak of how positively they view the experience of visiting some of the organisations operating in the region and of the pleasure and sense of privilege they take from engaging with people passionate about their businesses.

The business recognised for corporate leadership this year was Tui Products, a company headquartered in Tauranga with branches in the South Island and Palmerston North, and an initiative in Kawerau.

Tui Products is a privately-owned company employing more than 80 people and with a number of community initiatives, including gardens in schools teaching young students how to grow their own vegetables.

Westpac area commercial manager Clare Basire said the awards were about taking time out to acknowledge business excellence.

"Congratulations to the 2017 Westpac Tauranga Business Awards winners - we're sure this is a stepping stone to even greater business success," she said.

Westpac Tauranga Business Awards 2017 winners:
Retail Excellence: Paper Plane
Emerging Business: Maker Studio Ltd
Manufacturing and/or Distribution: Bethlehem Coachlines
Embracing Digital Technology: 1st Call Recruitment
Tourism and Hospitality: Pacific Coast Lodge Ltd
Service Excellence: Tauranga Veterinary Services Ltd
Social Enterprise: Te Puke Gymsport Incor
Sustainable Business: Paper Plane
Customer Service Award: Bureta Physiotherapy Ltd
Workplace Safety Award: Tauranga City Council
Business Innovation: Property Managers Group
Corporate Leadership: Tui Products
Westpac Tauranga Business of the Year: 1st Call Recruitment