Meet Our 2020 Pacific Business Awards Winners!
24 Nov 2020

Meet Our 2020 Pacific Business Awards Winners!


Learn about our 2020 PBT Award winners and their inspiring journeys.

View all the photos from the awards evening on Flickr.

Pacific Social Enterprise Award Winner

Le Va

Awarded to Pacific organisations that are led by an economic, social, cultural, or environmental mission consistent with a community benefit, such as reinvesting profits back into the community. 

Igniting communities, creating change to support Pasifika families and communities to have the best possible health and wellbeing outcomes. Le Va support and encourage this by carefully designing and developing evidence-based resources, tools, information, knowledge and support services for the best possible health and wellbeing outcomes. They do this all while recalling the traditional values, and applying them safely, in a contemporary way.

Traditionally, for Pasifika people, sacred relationships exist between people, as well as between people and the environment, ancestors and the heavens. To nurture the va is to respect and maintain the sacred space, harmony and balance within relationships.

In spirit, Le Va work with those delivering mental health, disability, addictions, public health, suicide prevention, violence prevention, primary prevention and general health and wellbeing services to develop flourishing Pasifika communities who are reaching their full potential.

Le Va believe that the solutions lie within their own communities, so that’s where you’ll find them. Le Va walk alongside churches, sports clubs, education centres and relevant groups with large Pasifika populations to ensure the right knowledge, skills and information is reaching the right people at the right time.

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Pacific Youth Entrepreneur Award Winner

Alexia Hildertidou, GirlBoss NZ

Awarded to Pacific young people between the ages of 18 to 24 who successfully runs their own business. 

GirlBoss New Zealand was founded with a single mission: to close the gender gap in Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths, Entrepreneurship and Leadership. GirlBoss empower confident, resilient, future-ready, young women to lead and change the world.

Alexia created GirlBoss when she was 16 years old, less than two years later GirlBoss has become an 12,000 strong network for ambitious, young New Zealand women. GirlBoss runs a range of workshops to educate and equip young women. 

From full-day leadership workshops, to 1-hour inspiration-packed Sessions.

Alexia has packed a significant amount of leadership and entrepreneurial experience into her life. She was selected from over 20,000 nominations to be named a Queen's Young Leader and receive a medal for Services to the Commonwealth at Buckingham Palace from Her, Majesty The Queen. She is the youngest Commonwealth citizen to ever receive this honour.

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Pacific Business Enterprise Award​ Winner


Awarded to a business that demonstrated innovation, strategic thinking and a track record of sustainable growth.

SunPix was founded by some of the Pacific’s most experienced Producers. As a media content production company, they tell real stories from the Pacific Islands communities, the team also produce TVNZ's flagship Tagata Pasifika television programme. 

As winners of the Pacific Business Enterprise Award, it’s impressive to see how the business is continuing to evolve, particularly in a difficult time for media. SunPix’s programming is broad and appeals to a wide audience, which encompasses youth and Pacific people across Aotearoa. 

The teams focus on supporting the Pacific Region, taking pride in being the leader in Pasifika representation on mainstream television is delivering positive impact across the community. Whole generations of Pasifika people have grown up with Tagata Pasifika in New Zealand and abroad, and SunPix work tirelessly to deliver that authentic voice of Pacific People in Aotearoa.

SunPix was founded on the Pacific Island values of Fa'aaloalo, Fa'atasiga and Fa'amaoni. The team have extensive networks with independent Pacific freelancers, directors, journalists and creatives in Aotearoa and the region. The company is also deeply networked across the Samoan, Tongan, Cook Islands, Niue, Fiji, Tokelau, Tuvalu, Rotuma and Kiribati Communities, as well as the emerging NZ-born Pacific demographic. 

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Pacific Woman in Business Award Winner

Elena Ikenasio, Bethel Hair & Beauty

Recognises successful Pacific women who own their own business. 

Elena Ikenasio from Bethel Hair & Beauty is the winner of the Pacific Woman in Business Award.

Elena’s first taste of cutting hair was as a teenager when she did her brother’s haircuts, this then moved on to her family, the church and friends hair. What started out as something she did as a chore, turned into a passion. 

Elena has over 15 years’ professional experience in the hair industry and has become one of Porirua City's most popular hairdressers. 

Elena established Bethel Hair & Beauty in September 2018 and its quickly made a name for itself as a retreat for both men and women to relax, refresh and leave feeling confident. 

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Pacific Innovation Award Winner


Awarded to a business that has delivered a positive outcome, whether it is tangible value, creation of a new market or competitive advantage. 

MYRIVR was born out of a vision to make access to Social Services easier for everyday New Zealanders. MYRIVR gives instant access to over 20,000 helpers from more than 6,000 health and social services across NZ, all from the convenience of your Android or Apple smartphone.

Innovation is at the heart of MYRIVR and the team are continuing to build on their reputation. Their work is changing the perception of Pacific business in the tech industry and through building its reputation, MYRIVR is proving that the technology sector is a space that Pasifika can aspire to be a part of. 

MYRIVR have faced this year with as much agility and resilience as possible and believe that connection and collaboration are key to partnerships, sharing resources, and getting through this pandemic together.

To date, MYRIVR have connected 5,500 unique users, 8,000 service providers, 30,000 professionals with 62.4 million community service touch points.

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Pacific Business Entrepreneur Award Winner

Saia Latu, TROW

Awarded to Pacific entrepreneurs who own their business. 

Saia Latu is the founder and managing director of TROW. 

TROW salvages hundreds of tonnes of construction waste destined for landfill from Auckland Council and Kāinga Ora projects, using the resources to re-build schools, social housing and community centres in Auckland and Tonga. 

Saia’s vision is to help the community by providing opportunities and support to people who wouldn’t normally have them. This includes seeing a struggling business and helping them get them back on track with mentoring and support as well as giving back to communities where possible with time and recycled and upcycled materials. 

After growing up in south Auckland, leaving school at form 4 and struggling to get anywhere in life, almost heading down the wrong path many times, Saia has fought hard for every opportunity. He knows that there are millions out there like him, who need an opportunity to show what they can do.

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Pacific Legacy Award Winner 

Mike Pero

Acknowledges and honours Pacific business leaders and Pacific businesses that have consistently been successful in their business. 

“An evening to celebrate ‘the people of the Pacific’ and reflect on our community’s many achievements” is how Mike Pero described the Pacific Business Trust Awards. 

Winner of the Pacific Legacy Award, Mike Pero has worked tirelessly for over 40 years in business, retiring as Chief Executive of Mike Pero Real Estate just six weeks ago. The Legacy award acknowledged and honoured Mike as a successful Pacific business leader and role model. 

As a community focused company, Mike Pero Real Estate formed the Mike Pero Foundation in 2014 and since then they have helped to raise funds of over $500,000 for the local community.

Mike’s talents are many, he is six times New Zealand Motorcycle Road Racing Champion, a qualified motorcycle mechanic, a former airline pilot and has created and grown a number of successful businesses.

In his speech, Mike offered his advice for success:

  1. Set goals – smart goals (specified, measurable, attainable, realistic and time dated)

  2. Work to a plan – if you fail to plan you’ll plan to fail

  3. Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer. Watch your competitors at all times and be careful who you trust

  4. Be positive, upbeat and confident but don’t be arrogant, foolish or stubborn

  5. Be kind, generous and supportive of your staff and in return they’ll be loyal, hardworking and enthusiastic

  6. Say what you mean and mean what you say – be sincere

  7. Consider this, “the people around you won’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.”

  8. Life isn’t always fair, but it’s great to be alive

  9. Time heals everything so give time, time

  10. Growing old is a privilege denied to many… appreciate everyday like it’s your last

  11. Finally, to conclude all that really matters is that you loved and were loved in return.

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