A man at the forefront of the Rena response was named Tauranga's young employee of the year at the annual Rocket! Ball and Awards.
Matt Cowley, a senior policy analyst at Bay of Plenty Regional Council, was presented the Young Read Woudberg Employee of the Year award in front of about 150 of the Western Bay's young professionals at Bella Vista Lodge on Saturday night.
Tauranga Chamber of Commerce operations events and training manager Anne Pankhurst said Mr Cowley was the type of young business person she hoped Tauranga could retain.
"Matt Cowley is a really interesting young employee and somebody that we should watch for the future," she said.
Port of Tauranga employee Joelene Ranby and Sean Husband of Aurecon Group were also named as finalists for employee of the year.
The 4good Charitable Trust, founded by Tauranga residents Dan Necklen and Ryan Kilfoil, was named AgriNutrients Young Innovator of the Year.
The trust enables members to donate $4 month to a New Zealand charity with the 12 recipients decided via an online voting system.
Ms Pankhurst said that for very little effort, 4good allowed people to create "a really, really good outcome for some of the small charities that really need help".
Reform Fitness and Rehabilitation and Venture Developments were also finalists for innovator of the year.
The Young Read Woudberg Business Owner of the Year was awarded to Venture Developments, which Ms Pankhurst described as a very interesting new building company.
Reform Fitness and Rehabilitation was also a finalist in this category.