A trade fair competition featuring more than 50 student businesses has been won by a Bream Bay College team producing kawakawa-based soaps and balms.
Saturday's event at the Old Packhouse Market in Kerikeri was part of the Young Enterprise Scheme (YES) and was contested by teenage entrepreneurs from Bream Bay to Kaitaia and as far west as Panguru.
The number of businesses taking part smashed the previous record of 29, forcing organisers to set up a marquee for stalls that wouldn't fit indoors.
Entries in the Top Energy-sponsored scheme were judged on how well students presented and promoted their businesses and how they engaged with the public.
The winning team, Taiao Kawakawa, produces a range of kawakawa and charcoal soaps and balms from natural ingredients such as kawakawa oil and mānuka beeswax.
Team member Rain Tuapawa, 17, from Ruakākā, believed a key factor in the Year 12 team's success was that they didn't stand passively behind their stall.
''You have to go up to people and make a connection with them,'' she said.
Crystal Mitchell, 16, of Ruakākā, said they had started the programme with zero practical knowledge.
''Since then we've learned how to run a business, what you need to be successful, to be prepared for whatever's coming and to know what people want,'' she said.
Leonardo Clement, 16, from Waipū, said after Saturday's success they planned to carry on next year and take the business even further.
The runner-up, Tee Bags from Tauraroa Area School, reduces waste by transforming unwanted T-shirts into shopping bags, while third-placed Stings 'n' Things from Kerikeri High School turns unwanted guitars and ukuleles into shelf units and bird boxes.
Other businesses included a board game called Te Rerenga/The Journey by Northland College students aiming to improve knowledge of New Zealand in a fun way, a cookbook with recipes from well-known Northlanders, and a toileting guide for children with autism.
For the first time home-schoolers and students from Hiwa-i-te-rangi, the young parents' unit in Kaikohe, also took part in the trade fair.
The winner of the customer choice award, which is decided by popular vote, was Fresh Italian Bread by Leonardo Fresa, who arrived in New Zealand only three weeks ago but has thrown himself into YES programme with gusto. The runner-up was Takurua, a kawakawa balm company, from Te Kāpehu Whetū in Whangārei.
1 Taiao Kawakawa, Bream Bay College
2 Tee Bags, Tauraroa Area School
3 Strings 'n' Things, Kerikeri High School
1 Fresh Italian Bread, Leonardo Fresa, Kerikeri High School
2 Takurua, Te Kāpehu Whetū