Site logo

Angel Awards Announced Prue Halstead and Hectre recognised

At its 2022 summit in Queenstown today, Angel Association New Zealand announced the winners of the Puawaitanga Award – recognising founders and investor directors who exemplify what can be achieved when committed people draw on their collective skills and experience – and the Kotahaitanga Award – recognising people in the angel community who have made an outstanding contribution to the industry.

The Puawaitanga Award has been presented to Hectre co-founder Matty Blomfield and Richard Coon, Chair of Angel Investors Marlborough (AIM) and the passionate chair of Hectre.

Hectre is an orchard management startup which also provides data on fruit colour and size and helps to estimate crop yields. In October last year Hectre raised $3.5m, including from two customers, to fund expansion plans and continues to scale rapidly taking on new staff for product development and sales. This high performing startup also won Global Agtech Breakthrough awards in 2021 and 2022.

Matty met Richard when he pitched to AIM three years ago. Since then the two have worked closely together to hone and execute Hectre’s strategy for growth and value creation, navigating together the challenges every startup faces.

Richard is a truly additive angel investor, bringing years of experience having scaled and sold his own startup, Partners Life. He genuinely understands what it takes to scale a startup and provides vital empathy and insights.

In presenting the award, Angel Association Executive Chair, Suse Reynolds said Matty and Richard powerfully exemplify how growing a venture backed company is always a team effort and how investor-founder alignment, mutual support and good governance can turbo charge a startup.

The recipient of the Kotahitanga Award, is Prue Halstead, Executive Officer of Invest South, an investment fund which supports local businesses. Prue is also the energy and inspiration behind the inception of COIN South, a membership based investment and support network for Southland’s startups. Recognising the need for more collaboration between all those supporting startups at the bottom of the South lsland, Prue worked with quiet tenacity and a huge heart to shepherd Mainland Angel Investors into existence. Mainland Angels was established in 2020 and pulls together early stage investors in Invercargill, Dunedin, Queenstown and Wanaka. Prue joined the Angel Association’s Executive Committee in 2020.

“Prue is passionate about early stage venture investment and has been not only a tireless champion for the asset class for the last decade but also for founders and their teams. She is a powerful and compelling voice for regional New Zealand too; making sure New Zealand’s startup and angel investment communities never forget there are incredible opportunities to be had outside the big cities. Prue’s tireless work and bone-marrow deep commitment to early stage investment and startups thoroughly deserves to be recognised and should inspire others. We are so lucky to have people like her in our world,” said Suse Reynolds.

Dana McKenzie received the Arch Angel Award which was first awarded in 2009 to Sir Stephen Tindall. See separate release.


For more information, please contact Suse Reynolds, AANZ Executive Chair

mob: 021 490 974 or email: [email protected]

The Angel Association of New Zealand (AANZ)

The Angel Association is an organisation that aims to increase the quantity, quality and success of angel investments in New Zealand and in doing so create a greater pool of capital for innovative start-up companies. It was established in 2008 to bring together New Zealand angels and early-stage funds. AANZ currently has 50+ members representing over 800 individual angels associated with New Zealand’s key angel networks and funds. AANZ works closely with NZTE, NZ Growth Capital Partners and Callaghan Innovation and a number of private sector partners including Jarden, PWC, Avid Legal, KiwiNet, Uniservices, Amazon Web Services and BNZ. For more, please visit:

*The Puawaitanga Award recognises the founder and investor-director who best exemplify what can be achieved when committed people draw on their collective skills and experience. This award celebrates an angel-backed venture achieving world class success. This venture has excellent governance, a compelling business proposition and a well-defined strategy for exponential returns.

Puawaitanga – ‘best return on integrated goals’.

 The Kotahitanga Award recognises those people in the angel community who have made an outstanding contribution to the industry. It acknowledges those who have selflessly given personal time and energy for a sustained period and contributed to the professionalism, profile and reputation of angel investment in New Zealand.

Kotahitanga – ‘unity and a shared sense of working together’.