˙Awards are firmly established as a key event on the national fashion calendar and continue to attract entries and interest from throughout New Zealand. Since 1988 the Hokonui Fashion Design Awards have been a competitive platform for all amateur designers, and have provided a valuable opportunity for both experienced and emerging participants to display their designs before a panel of high profile judges, and latterly audiences of over 1100 people.
From 2001 the Awards witnessed amazing growth, with the number of garments reaching the finals and appearing on stage exceeding organisers' expectations, and sponsored prize money increasing annually. The awards have continued to attract judges of the calibre of Karen Walker, Nic Blanchet, Francis Hooper (of "World"), Trelise Cooper, Kate Sylvester, Tanya Carlson, Liz Findley (Zambezi), Margi Robertson (NOMD) - and all have proved enthusiastic participants.
Increased support from key sponsors, combined with the event's relocation to the Gore Town & Country Club Stadium, have collectively contributed to an improved Awards format and an opportunity to feature supplementary showcases from some of the country's top designers.