Awards celebrate rural business women

Amber Forrest of Beauty Antix (right) receives both the Supreme Winner and Rural Health and Wellness Excellence awards at last year’s NZI Rural Women NZ Business Awards while Lucinda Mansell won the Love of the Land award with her Rahui Coastal Loop exper

Rural Women New Zealand is looking for entrepreneurial rural women to enter its 2022 Business Awards.

Regional leader Mary McTavish says the Rural Women NZ Business Awards provide an outstanding opportunity to showcase small, rural enterprises owned and operated by women.

"Our region has not had a category winner for over five years so we would like to encourage local rural women to enter the competition."

Rotorua-based Amy Cram (Dibley) of Physio Direct won the Innovation category and the Supreme Winner award in 2016. The enterprise started as a 'physio for farmers', a mobile health service for Rotorua's rural residents, and was so successful it became a nationwide franchise.

Cram says the award attracted extensive media coverage and provided “amazing promotional opportunities” for the business.

Diane Coleman won the Love of the Land category in 2013 with Kaharoa company Treeline Native Nursery and also went on to be awarded the Supreme Winner prize.

Treeline provides native plants grown from locally sourced seeds to farmers, lifestyle block owners and councils for revegetation projects.

Coleman says the awards are a great place "to celebrate the multiple hats we all wear as rural women”.

All winners receive a trophy, $1,000 prize money, travel costs to the award ceremony in Wellington in November, and free membership to RWNZ-Ngā Wāhine Taiwhenua o Aotearoa. The Supreme Winner of NZI Rural Women NZ Business Awards receives a further $1,000 prize money.

The RWNZ Business Awards were first instigated in 2008. RWNZ president at the time, Margaret Chapman, says rural women are not very good at blowing their own trumpet and tended to just get on with the job.

She said RWNZ established the awards to celebrate the creativity and innovation of rural women entrepreneurs.

The awards are composed of seven categories: Emerging Business for an enterprise operating for less than five years; Love of the Land for a business utilising New Zealand's land or environment to create a product or service; Creative Arts for an enterprise using rural materials, or working in a rural environment, in the field of creative arts; Rural Champion for a rural person or business that goes above and beyond with their support for the rural sector either as a champion or by providing a service; Innovation for an enterprise that has challenged the status quo to produce an original product or utilise rural resources in an innovative way; Bountiful Table for a rural business that has used New Zealand resources to deliver exceptional food or beverage and Rural Health and Wellness Excellence for an enterprise that has made an outstanding contribution to the health and wellness of our rural communities.

Entries close on Friday the 29th of July.

For more information and the entry form visit


There are no comments on this article.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to make a comment. Login Now
Opinion Poll

We're not running a poll right now. Check back soon!