The founders of local horitculture-tech start up Robotics Plus have been nominated for the Innovators of the year in the 2019 New Zealander of the year awards.

Dr Alistair Scarfe and Steven Saunders established the business 10 years ago with the aim of addressing challenges in the horticulture industry with technology.

The company, based in Whakamarama, is well-known for their range of hardware that picks, packs and even helps pollinate fruit, such as kiwifruit and apples.

The duo have been nominated for a number of awards over the years, including the NZ Hi-Tech Young Achiever award and taking out the under 40 category in the Tauranga 2011 Rocket Young Innovator of the Year.


Robotics Plus previously made headlines for their 12 million dollar investment from Japanese giant Yamaha last year and a Growth Grant from Crown agency Callaghan Innovation, worth up to five million a year.

Winners will be announced at the New Zealander of the Year Awards Gala in Auckland on February 13.