A record 900 guests attended the annual Hi-Tech Awards at Auckland's Viaduct Events Centre last night celebrating the success of New Zealand's top companies across 13 categories, with cinema software business Vista Group taking the major award.

Now in their 21st year, the awards celebrate the success of businesses in the software, electronics, telecommunications, mobile, agritech, creative and other hi-tech industries. Vista Group won the PwC Hi-Tech Company of the Year Award with the judges commending its global scale and success.

"Vista Group demonstrated strong growth with an offering that truly has worldwide potential," they said. "They have a well thought out and tailored product and market knowledge and a fantastic understanding of their target market."

Another big winner was 90 Seconds, securing two awards - the IBM Most Innovative Company Award and the ATEED Best Technology Solution for the Creative Sector Award.


The judges said the calibre of this year's entrants was an all-time high, making the job of selecting winners exceedingly challenging for the more than 50 local and international judges who assessed entrants across the 13 award categories.

The Maori Innovation Award was a newcomer this year, attracting a record number of entries for a new category.

The inaugural award went to Precision Seafood Harvesting for its revolutionary technology that does away with traditional trawl nets to allow fish to be landed alive and in perfect condition.

Last night also marked the unveiling of two new Flying Kiwis - Katherine Corich, founder and CEO of Sysdoc Group, and Sam Morgan, founder of Trade Me.

- Staff reporter