celebrating outstanding success and leadership

Cooperative business NZ annual awards 2023

The Cooperative Business NZ Annual Awards recognise outstanding leadership and success within the co-operative and mutual business sector.

Here’s who’s in the running

announcing the 2023 finalists

The judging period has now concluded and we are thrilled to share with you who our 2023 finalists are. As usual, it was a difficult decision. The co-operative and mutual sector is brimming with outstanding businesses and leaders. Thank you to everyone who put forward a nomination. 

Head below to learn more about each of our 2023 finalists. We look forward to revealing who the winners are at the Awards Cocktail Evening this October. 

Please note: The Lifetime Achievement Award is judged slightly differently to the other categories. Anyone who meets the criteria for the the Award and provides a nomination above the bar is celebrated and automatically becomes a ‘finalist’. 


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Co-operative / Mutual of the Year 2023

  • FMG
  • SBS Bank


Learn more

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Leader of the Year 2023

  • Peter Hendry
  • Bindi Norwell
  • Mark Wynne 


Learn more

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Lifetime Achievement Award 2023

  • Danny Hailes
  • Murray King
  • Dr Ants Roberts
  • Mark Wynne

Learn more

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Emerging Business of the Year 2023

  • Combined Building Supplies
  • NZ Cleaning Coop
  • Truestock

Learn more

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Emerging Leader of the Year 2023

  • Harriet Bell
  • Kate Higgins
  • Lincoln Roper
  • Ruby Sealey-Lawson

Learn more

the celebration

Awards Cocktail evening

The winners will be announced at the cocktail evening and ceremony held on Thursday 5 October 2023 at FMG, Wellington.  

This evening is a highlight on the co-operative business community’s annual calendar and is well attended by both co-operative leaders and the emerging co-operative generation alike. It is a key opportunity to network, connect, and celebrate the co-operative sector.

Everyone is encouraged to attend regardless of whether they are up for an award. 

Co-operative & mutual resilience

Enduring Service Awards

The Awards Evening also provides us with an opportunity to celebrate the longevity and resilience of the co-operative and mutual models.

Full members who have reached a milestone of 25, 50, 75 or 100 years operation as a co-operative or mutual are awarded an Enduring Service Award in this non-judged award category. Reaching these milestones are testament to the longevity and sustainability of the co-operative model.

Here’s who will be recognised for this achievement at the 2023 Awards.


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MG (Market Gardners)

Celebrating 100 Years

From humble beginnings to becoming an industry leading produce supplier, MG has been a part of New Zealand’s story for the past century.

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Alliance Group

Celebrating 75 Years

Alliance is a leading food company  producing the finest quality free-range grass-fed natural lamb, beef and venison. 

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Silver Fern Farms

Celebrating 75 Years

The co-operative is one of the world’s most successful and sustainable grass-fed red meat company.

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Barrhill Chertsey Irrigation

Celebrating 25 Years

BCI plays a critical role within Mid Canterbury, the powerhouse of food production in New Zealand.

Appliance Connexion Enduring Service Award

Appliance Connexion

Celebrating 25 Years

Our newest member, Appliance Connexion, will receive their Enduring Service Award in 2023 for 25 years.

Mike Brown Profile


How it works

Across various categories, organisations and individuals can be nominated for an award which is then judged by an independent panel.  The awards programme is highly regarded and culminates in a cocktail evening and ceremony at the end of the year. 

The Award categories for 2023 are:

•  Co-operative/Mutual of the Year
Leader of the Year
•  Lifelong Achievement Award

Emerging Business of the Year
•  Emerging Leader of the Year 

Key dates:

•  Nominations open: Thursday 1 June 2023
•  Nominations close: Now closed
•  Finalists announced: Mid-late August 2023
•  Cocktail evening and awards ceremony: Thursday 5 October 2023

    meet the judges

    our independent judging panel

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    Phil McKendry

    Phil is the Chairman of EA Networks and was the Chair for RuralCo and Executive Chair of Barhill Chertsey Irrigation. He has been on our judging panel for four years. He received the Outstanding Contribution to Co-operatives Award in 2016.

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    Alastair Hercus

    Alastair is a Partner at Buddle Findlay, one of our Corporate Associate Members. He has been a member on our Independent Judging Panel for the past four years.  

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    Jeffrey Stangl

    Jeff is the Director of International and Strategic Partnerships at Massey’s Business School, and Executive Director of the CPA Society of New Zealand. He joined the judging panel in 2022.

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    Chris Black

    Chris was the recipient of the Outstanding Contribution to Co-operatives Award for 2022. He won this award in his capacity as the Former CEO of Farmers Mutual Group (FMG). He has joined the judging panel for 2023. 

    Supporting the co-operative & mutual community

    Meet our sponsors

    The Awards programme is only made possible thanks to the generous support of our sponsors. Thank you to the following organisations for their support in ensuring our co-operative and mutual businesses and leaders are celebrated and recognised!

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    Principal Sponsor 2023

    Our newest Corporate Associate Member, Cyclone, provides business IT Supply, Strategy & Support Services across NZ. Technology is transforming businesses’ operations. Cyclone helps plan future-ready IT hardware procurement solutions, software licensing, managed IT support and digital skills training that deliver modern solutions and long-lasting value.

    At Cyclone, they take the time to understand your business and how ICT contributes to that vision. Achieving your desired outcomes through technology isn’t always a simple process. But, with over 170 specialised staff employed nationwide, you can give your team the confidence that regardless of the technology being used, Cyclone will provide a purpose-fit solution and work in partnership with you to achieve your technology objectives.

    Learn more

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    Centrix Credit Bureau of New Zealand

    Networking Drinks Sponsor 2023

    Our Corporate Associate Member, Centrix, helps Kiwi businesses with credit checking and identity verification services allowing decision makers to make quick and confident risk assessments and comply with the latest regulations.

    Learn more