Archive for May 2023

History of the Industry Awards

The Industry Awards was first coined in 2010 with the joining of HITO | Te Pukenga, Kitomba Salon and Spa Software and Hair & Barber New Zealand to create an awards evening that celebrates and recognises the best talent that the hair beauty and barbering industries have to offer. But did you know that its roots go back as early as 2003?

Read more about the history of this prestigious event and how it’s changed and evolved over the last 20 years to become what it is today!


HITO first announced the coveted Apprentice of the Year award. Announced at the NZARH Supreme Awards, HITO selected one overall Top Apprentice of the Year and winners from each of the Hair & Barber New Zealand (formerly known as NZARH) regions.


HITO grew the Training Awards with the creation of the Tutor of the Year award.

2008 Jasmine McBeth Memorial Scholarship


This year is a huge milestone: The creation of the Kitomba NZARH Business Awards. The Business Awards were created to start something new – build a culture of recognising and celebrating hairdressing business excellence. The first Business Awards ceremony was celebrated in a tiny room on Waiheke Island with a group of just 30 salon owners.

This year was also important for HITO with the creation of the Jasmine McBeth Memorial Scholarship. Jasmine was a hairdressing apprentice (and 2006 HITO Apprentice of the Year) who passed away from cancer shortly after gaining her qualification. The scholarship money comes from the money Jasmine saved to open her own salon. This scholarship ran for 14 years, with the last recipient receiving it in 2022.


The Training awards grew with the addition of the Training Salon of the Year to the mix. This award was included to celebrate salons that are committed to training, use innovative training solutions and those of all levels in training.

2010 Industry Awards


Up until this point, both awards were separate awards until this year. HITO, Kitomba, and NZARH brought their awards together and created The Industry Awards. The first Industry Awards was a massive weekend full of celebrations, including the awards dinner, NZARH competitions, Supreme Awards announcements, and a series of seminars. The event took place in Christchurch, which caused some last-minute stress when the September 4 earthquake knocked the original venue out of commission.


HITO grew its award offering with a new award in 2011; Trainer of the Year.

The Industry Trainer of the Year award acknowledges an individual who offers excellent training to current HITO apprentices. Industry Trainers must show how they support the training and success of their apprentices and the wider industry.

2013 Industry Awards


The Kitomba NZARH Business Awards saw the growing need and relevance of sustainability in our industries and created the Sustainable Salon of the Year award to recognise this.

The Sustainable Salon of the Year award celebrates a business with a clear focus on sustainable practices which are an integral part of their day-to-day running.


HITO opened their awards to the beauty industry in 2014 and gave its growing range of awards an official name – the HITO Training Awards.

The 2014 Industry Awards event also saw the inclusion of NZARH’s Oceanic competitions during the day. It was an incredible feat to organise, but it was fantastic to see so many people come together to celebrate hair and beauty in New Zealand.

2015 Industry Awards


Kitomba understood that business success comes in many forms, not just the finances. They created a new award this year; Best Salon Design to recognise excellence in design that perfectly balances both form and function within a salon, spa, clinic or barbershop.


Although Kitomba, HITO and NZARH have worked together for almost a decade, 2018 marked an exciting and monumental change to the awards. The HITO Training Awards and Kitomba NZARH Business Awards no longer exist, instead they were combined into a seamless night of celebration under the name: The Industry Awards.

2018 also saw the inclusion of two new awards in our Creative category: The Patrick Cameron Instagram Challenge, and The Derek Elvy Visionary Award: in recognition of the passing of Derek Elvy, after a long battle with cancer. Derek leaves behind a hairdressing legacy that dates back over 30 years. 

Cerise Lash - Excellence in Marketing


Something new happened in 2021… Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, The Industry Awards were delayed in 2021, and ended up transforming into a digital awards night! We encouraged many entrants to dress up to the nines and celebrate from the comfort of their homes or salons as we live-streamed the awards across the country. Hosted by Kyra and Izzie from the Kitomba team, it was an Industry Awards we won’t ever forget!


The Industry Awards 2022 saw a return to Christchurch for our awards evening. The toll of the Christchurch earthquake meant that there was no suitable venue for many years, however with the opening of Te Pae Convention Centre, we had a blast celebrating in style in a city we hadn’t hosted at in over 10 years.

It also happened to be the largest Industry Awards ever, with our number of entrants growing to an all-time high, and tickets selling out. The Industry Awards team had an emergency meeting and had to move to a larger space to accommodate the huge demand of tickets to the event.


The Industry Awards 2023 is officially here and entries are now open! HITO | Te Pūkenga, Kitomba Salon & Spa Software and Hair & Barber New Zealand continue to drive the recognition and celebration of success in New Zealand’s hair, beauty and barbering industries, and we cannot wait to see this year’s entries!

The Industry Awards