The finalists for the fifth ExportNZ ASB Hawke's Bay Export Awards have been found and include some of the province's top companies.

The winner of each category will be announced at a gala dinner at the Napier Conference Centre on August 1 and will contest the ASB Exporter of The Year. The winner of the T&G Global Unsung Hero will also be announced on the night.

Winners from each category will progress to the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise International Business Awards in Auckland in November.

Comedian Te Radar will be MC for the evening. The event will also showcase craft brewers and cider makers as a nod to the region's growing craft brewing industry.

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Entries were open to exporters from Gisborne to Pahiatua.

The judging panel includes New Zealand Trade and Enterprise board member Wayne Norrie, ASB head of international trade Mike Atkins, Jenny Brown, of Callaghan Innovation, and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise customer director Dan Taylor.

Norrie said they had been impressed by the quality of the entries, which meant they had a difficult job.

"There was a wonderful mix and some great companies missed out because of the quality of entrants. We know the overall winner will be able to stand tall with the best in the country."

ExportNZ Hawke's Bay executive officer Amanda Liddle said it was clear the judges had their work cut out.

"The innovation and sheer hard work on display was as good as any of the four previous awards.

"We've been really thrilled with the entries, with a great cross section of industries, including technology, tourism, wine – of course – and manufacturing. And Gisborne has two finalists in the T&G Global Best Medium to Large Exporter section, which is great in just the second year that the region has been included."

Last year's winner, Cedenco Foods, is from Gisborne.

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Mike Atkins, of ASB, said the company was delighted to be able to partner with ExportNZ in celebrating Hawke's Bay exporters, and it was extremely hard to pick a winner.

"All the finalists are top-class, and that's what I like about these awards – they showcase the best of the Bay."

Singapore Airlines is among the new sponsors this year, and one of the lucky finalists will win a return trip for two to Singapore.

• Tickets to the event go on sale today on the Export NZ website.

The finalists

ContainerCo Best Emerging Exporter

• LilyBee Wrap (Napier), eco-friendly food wraps manufacturer.

• Phoenix Firepumps (Tikokino), portable fire pumps manufacturer.

• SL Racing (Taradale), rowing boat manufacturer.

Tomoana Food Hub Excellence in Innovation
• Waimarama Māori Tourism (Waimarama), tourism operator.
• IMS (Napier), engineering and helicopter equipment specialists.
• Trinity Hill Wines (Hastings), winemaker.
• Phoenix Firepumps (Tikokino), portable fire pumps manufacturer.

T&G Global Best Medium to Large Exporter
• First Fresh (Gisborne), citrus, persimmon and kiwifruit grower.
• PetfoodNZ (Gisborne), canned pet food manufacturer.
• Re-Leased (Napier), commercial property management software developer.