The man overseeing the world's first private orbital space launch in northern Hawke's Bay, has received recognition for his work.

Peter Beck has been named EY Entrepreneur of the Year, at a ceremony in Auckland tonight.

He was selected from a list of eighteen entrepreneurs from around the country, and will go on to compete on the global stage at the world finals in Monaco.

Beck is the founder of Rocket Lab, which opened its launch facility on the Mahia Peninsula late last month.


Business leaders from across New Zealand gathered at The Langham for the awards ceremony, which sees entrepreneurs go head-to-head to secure a category award before pitching to judges in an effort to be named the winner and go on to compete in the world finals in Monaco.

Beck won the technology & emerging industries category, Fisher Funds Management director Carmel Fisher won the services category, Nirvana Health Group director Ranjna Patel won the master category, Garage Projects' Jos Ruffell won the young category and Armer Farms directors Colin & Dale Armer for products.

Diane Foreman CNZM, chair of the judging panel, said was thrilled by the standard of this year's finalists.

"It's been a really difficult job - it always is - and most of the people we saw could have become category winners in any other year. There were so many solid and well-funded good businesses," Foreman said.

"For a lot of the businesses and entrepreneurs, it was early in their careers and we'd love to see them back in a couple of years."

All category winners had been recognised disruptors in their industries, chosen from a selection of 18 nominees.

Awards director and EY partner Jon Hooper said a theme among all finalists was commitment to community service.

"A number of businesses we saw are doing significant things to change people's lives, from improving the quality of the homes we live in, to helping others start their own businesses, to helping deal with violence in the community."