The finalists for the 2018 Rotorua Westpac Business Excellence Awards have been announced and a panel of judges will soon decided the award-winners.

The awards are made up of six excellence award categories and six business award categories plus three special awards.

The Supreme Winner of the Year award is given to one of the winners of the excellence award categories. There are two special awards for Business Person of the Year and Outstanding Contribution to Rotorua.

A 24-member judging panel led by Luke McLean of Westpac Bank determines the winners. The panel is made up of a variety of judges from different backgrounds including from Destination Rotorua, the Ministry of Education and Osbornes Funeral Directors.

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The judging process had already seen judges visit businesses and talk to staff and management, and meet to determine finalists.

The finalists in the six excellence categories will soon give a presentation to judges. After two days of presentations the judges will meet to decide the winners.

"With the exceptional calibre of entries this year I expect the judges' deliberations to be particularly challenging when we meet," McLean said.

"We are very pleased with the number of entries we received and can't wait to celebrate the success of so many who are making valuable contributions to Rotorua's business community."

The awards gala dinner is on October 5 and tickets for the event go on sale September 10.

The finalists
Excellence in Primary Industries
- Kilwell Fibretube Ltd
- Onuku Māori Lands Trust
- Dana (NZ) Ltd

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Excellence in Property and Construction
- The Glass Guys
- Apa Architects & Project Management Ltd

Excellence in the Retail Industry
- Four Square Edmund Rd
- Dominos Koutu
- Richora Honey

Excellence in the Service Sector
- Physio Direct Ltd
- The Studio Rotorua
- Te Taumata Ngāti Whakaue Iho-Ake Trust

Excellence in Tourism and Hospitality
- Kaitiaki Adventures
- Steam 100% Pure Vegetarian Restaurant

Excellence in Small Business (less than five FTE)
- Stolen Bike Catering
- Edutech Ltd

Bilingual Business Award
- Kaitiaki Adventures
- Kahui Legal
- Te Aka Mauri - Rotorua Library

Social Licence Business Award
- Crankworx
- Rotorua Multicultural Council
- Kaitiaki Adventures
- Four Square Edmund Rd

Innovation and Disruption Business Award
- Physio Direct Ltd
- Te Aka Mauri - Rotorua Library
- Kilwell Fibretube Ltd

Not For Profit
- St Chads Charitable Trust
- Te Taumata Ngāti Whakaue Iho-Ake Trust
- Rotorua Tourism Investment Partnership

Employee of the Year
- Jiho Lee - McDonald's Fairy Springs Rd
- Daniel Ward - Four Square Edmund Rd
- Mike King - Lifestyle Building Solutions
- Darrin Walsh - NZCU Central
- Matthew Heke - NZCU Central

Young Entrepreneur of the Year
- Kacy Sander
- Olivia Chesterman

The winners of Business Person of the Year, Outstanding Contribution to Rotorua and Supreme Business of the Year are chosen from finalists and named on the night.