A student from Hiwa i Te Rangi (the Northland College School for Young Parents) has won the Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme's Top Energy YES Northland Company of the Year title.

Santana Hobson created Peepi Packs, a comprehensive pack for new mothers with a distinctly Māori 'flavour,' achieving a variety of business milestones during the year, culminating in pitching her business to a panel of judges. They including Pete Gregory and Jules Smith, from Vinery Ltd, in Whangārei), Geraldine (Chook) Henare, from Mediaworks, Charlotte Rowe (Bluefix Boatworks), Ervin Mehta (Morgan Campbell) and Richard Gorrett (Crimson Education).

The job of 'wrangling' the judges went to Young Enterprise CEO Terry Shubkin.

Santana will travel to Wellington on December 4 to vie for the title of Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme Company of the Year in a dragon's den-style national final.


Twenty-one regional champions from across the country will be there, and attend the YES national awards dinner at TSB Arena the same day.

More than 4000 students took part in the Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme this year, collectively creating more than 1000 real-life businesses. The year-long programme gives students an authentic learning experience that connects them with their community, while more than $23,000 in prizes will be presented at the national awards.

Meanwhile two Northland companies — Eco Kits (Hiwa i Te Rangi) and MUDTech (Abundant Life School and Kaitaia College, working with Papa Taiao, won National Excellence awards.

The other Northland winners were:

* The NorthTec Award for Excellence in Business Management: Bundle of Floral (Whangārei Girls' High School) and Origin Skincare (Tauraroa Area School).

* The Mediaworks Award for Excellence in Communication: BOHO (Bream Bay College).

* The Northpower Award for Excellence in Technology: MUDTech.

* The Gilmore Taylor Award for Excellence in Financial Management: Nuts for Treats, Mix it Up, Tree to Be and L&L Partnership (all Kerikeri High School).


* The YES Northland Award for Excellence in Tourism: Te Rerenga (Northland College).

* The Circular Solutions Award for Excellence in Sustainability: Peepi Packs and Infinity (Tauraroa Area School).

* The BDO Award for Best Rangatahi Business: Peepi Packs.

* The David Templeton Award for Commitment: Strings 'n' Things (Kerikeri High School).

* The BDO Award for Young Managing Director: Samantha Dearnley (Tree to Be).

* The Frank Leadley Award for Enterprise Champion: Megan Prendergast (Kerikeri High School YES teacher).

* The Bluefix Boatworks Award for Innovation and Growth Potential: MUDTech, Māori Ikon (Te Kura Taumata o Panguru with Papa Taiao), Tree to Be, and Neuro-Diversity Learning Resources (Kamo High School).