News Item

SBN Announces Inaugural Business Awards Finalists 2018

News 20 Sep 2018

The Samoa Business Network have announced the finalists for their inaugural SBN Business Awards, which will also mark the 5th year anniversary of when the network was formally established.

Co-founder Laura Keil-Hall, and current chair of SBN New Zealandand Afamasga Jackie Curry, made the announcements of the finalists for 9 out 10 categories last night at a press conference at BNZ Manukau Branch in Auckland.

This year also marks five years since the Samoa Business Network was formally established, so it will be a double celebration at the Awards event which will be staged at the prestigious Novotel Auckland Airport in Mangere on Saturday 29 September 2018.

"We received 58 entries from Samoan businesses from around New Zealand, Samoa and Australia," confirms Mrs Keil-Hall.

"It was important for us to distance ourselves from the process so we got an independent panel of judges to assess and score each nomination and application," said Ms Curry.

SBN thanks and acknowledges the panel of judges for giving up their valuable time sifting through and assessing the high caliber applicants and nominees.

"Fa'afetai lava (thank you very much to) Ron Lal of MomentumNZ, Tupaimatuna Jody Jackson-Becerra of AUT, Michael Sang Yum of 7E Systems and Rosetta Simanu of Auckland Council."

The judges assessed entries for nine award categories and with Rachel Petero of RISE2025 being invited as a guest judge for the SUGA Business Woman of the Year award.

The tenth and final category is the “People’s Choice Award – Favourite Business” which will be presented to the favourite business according to a popular vote, as voted by the public online- voting closes September 28.

The SBN Business Awards event will pose a corporate style dinner, with entertainment and speakers from the Samoan business community.

The finalists are as follows:

Here is the list of Finalists for the Award Categories & Finalists in alphabetical order:

1. Excellence in Small Business (NZ)

This award recognises a business that has accomplished significant growth in the previous 24 months.

  • D’vine Banquets
  • WE Accounting & Business Services Ltd
  • 37 HZ Ltd

2. Excellence in Construction & Trades (NZ)

This award recognizes a business in construction and trades. Whether you excel at building, plumbing, roofing, electrical, painting, engineering or any other professional trade services.

  • Levi Plumbing
  • Solution Drive Management
  • Tempo Construction

3. Excellence in Hospitality (NZ)

This award recognises an outstanding accommodation venue, cafe, restaurant, caterer, pub or bistro facility. This business should pride itself on delivering exceptional customer service, high standards in presentation and delivery of both your accommodation, food and service.

  • Big River Catering
  • D’vine Banquets
  • Ilissia’s Catering

4. Excellence in Professional Services (NZ)

This award recognises a business in the professional services industry that is excelling at legal, accounting, real estate, broking, dentistry, medical services or any other professional service.

  • Home Graduates ECE Ltd
  • Pathfinder Solutions
  • WE Accounting & Business Services Ltd

5. Excellence in Innovation (NZ)

This award recognises a business that have made significant contributions to their business through the introduction or improvement of an idea, method, technology, process or application.

  • MYRIVR
  • Nora Swann Ltd
  • Staavias Ltd

6. Young Entrepreneur of the year (NZ)

This award recognises a young person aged between 18-35 years who, through their own commitment and passion, has built and operates a successful business. A young business leader who demonstrates outstanding entrepreneurial spirit, strategic direction and innovative ideas whilst providing inspiration to a new generation of upcoming young business people.

  • Fou Fale - D’vine Banquets
  • Gustavia Lui - Staavias Ltd
  • Epati Lafaialii - Tempo Construction

7. Start Up of the Year (NZ)

This award recognises a business that has been operating for less than 2 years that delivers a product/service/idea/invention with credible potential. This award recognises early-stage startups that have a solid chance of market success, and strongly displays the entrepreneurial spirit.

  • ARBEZ Ltd
  • Fair & Square Building Services Ltd
  • VAB Designz

8. Award for a Samoan based Business (Samoa only)

This award recognises a business in Samoa who is making a difference and contributing to the economic development of Samoa in a significant way, innovative in their approach to business, has a strong online presence & has shown significant success and growth in the last 12 months.

  • Chef John Tours
  • Netvo Samoa
  • Skyeye Ltd
  • SSAB

9.SUGA Business Woman of the Year (International)

This award recognises and celebrates a Samoan woman with outstanding business acumen, excellent leadership skills and has distinguished herself in her business and with her peers.

  • Elizabeth Sio [NZ] - Home Graduates ECE Ltd
  • Nora Swann [NZ] - Nora Swann Ltd
  • Tofilau Fiti Leung Wai [Samoa] - SSAB

10. People’s Choice Award – Favourite Business (International)

This award is presented to the favourite business according to a popular vote, as voted by the public online.The winner will be announced on the night of the Awards – The contenders are:

  • Afa Ah Loo (U.S.A)
  • ARBEZ Ltd (NZ)
  • Arilei Couture (Samoa)
  • Chef John Tours (Samoa)
  • D’vine Banquets Ltd (NZ & Australia)
  • Lashfix Eyelash & Beauty (Australia)
  • Levi Plumbing (NZ)
  • Mailelani Samoa Body Care (Samoa)
  • Makeki Online (Samoa)
  • Netvo Samoa (Samoa)
  • SSAB (Samoa)
  • Staavias Ltd (NZ & Australia)
  • The Coconet TV (NZ)



Date: Saturday 29th September 2018
Time: 6pm til late
Venue: Novotel Auckland Airport, Mangere