Key Points:

Seven high-flying Kiwis have been recognised for their efforts from fashion to finance by the World Class New Zealand Awards.

Award winners included fashion designer Karen Walker and Craig Nevill-Manning who created the Maori language option for Google's search engine.

The awards are presented by Kea New Zealand and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, with a supreme winner to be announced in Auckland on April 1.

Kiwi Expat Association co-founder and chairman of judges Stephen Tindall said the awards showcased New Zealand's best talent.

Nominees were evaluated against five main criteria, with a focus on promoting New Zealand internationally, building global connections and facilitating the exchange of information, knowledge and skills from and about the country.

KAREN WALKER: CREATIVE

The first runway collection by fashion designer Karen Walker in 1998 was picked up by Barneys New York and sales soared when Madonna performed in a pair of her "killer pants".

In 2000, Walker became the first New Zealander to have a solo show at New York Fashion Week and in 2007 received the Prix de Marie Claire for best creative talent.

RAY AVERY: BIOTECHNOLOGY

The founder and chief executive of independent development agency Medicine Mondiale, focused on creating sustainable solutions to reduce global poverty.

Avery designed and commissioned two intraocular lens laboratories in Eritrea and Nepal, which supply 13 per cent of the global market, and helped cut the price of lenses from more than US$300 in 1992 to around US$6.

As of November 2008, 10 million patients had an intraocular lens implanted, using technology invented by Avery.

JOHN BUCHANAN: FINANCE, INVESTMENT AND BUSINESS SERVICES

Buchanan was seconded to the UK Cabinet Office in 1976-77, was a member of the UK Accounting Standards Board from 1997-2001 and worked for BP for 33 years, where in 1996 he was appointed to the board as chief financial officer.

Buchanan's roles include chairman of the UK International Chamber of Commerce and deputy chairman of the global board of Vodafone.

JANE HUNTER: MANUFACTURING

Hunter's Wines started in 1983 - winning six medals in its first national competition. In 1993 Hunter received an OBE for services to the wine industry and in 1997 an honorary doctorate of science from Massey University.

In 2003 Hunter received the inaugural Wine and Spirit Competition's Women in Wine Award and in 2009 was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

PETER HUNTER: RESEARCH, SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY & ACADEMIA

Professor Hunter is well known for his mathematical model of the human heart and heads the Physiome Project - an international association of linked research groups devoted to defining all aspects of human physiology using computer modelling.

Hunter is the Bioengineering Institute director at the University of Auckland.

PHILLIP MILLS: NEW THINKING

After a scholarship to the University of California, Commonwealth Games 110m and 400m hurdles finalist Mills worked in the Les Mills fitness club business founded by his parents.

Mills developed an exercise-to-music system that grew to include eight group fitness programmes distributed to 12,500 clubs in 75 countries, with an estimated five million participants a week.

In 2004 Mills was NZ Entrepreneur of the Year, and the following year Les Mills International was NZ Services Exporter of the Year.

CRAIG NEVILL-MANNING: ICT

Nevill-Manning founded Google's first remote engineering centre in Manhattan, New York, in 2003, where he is an engineering director.

He contributed to innovations in Google's core functionality and led the development of Froogle, played a key role in the project that became Google Maps and spearheaded the launch of Google in Maori based on translations from numerous Maori speakers.