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2001 Maori Women's Business Awards Winner Profile

Wendy Bennett, Director, Food Queens Ltd, Auckland
Winner: Best Regional Small Business

"Our mission is to bring New Zealand traditional food to a contemporary level and create a vibrant new cuisine", the winner of the Best Regional Small Business award at the 2001 Maori Women's Business Awards, Wendy Bennett, says.

"We are the only catering company in the Auckland CBD promoting Maori heritage through the medium of food, it's presentation and service."

Food Queens Ltd, is an innovative catering company specialising in modern New Zealand cuisine with an emphasis on Maori and Pacific ingredients. The company's Pacific menu includes the following dishes: taro fritters with pineapple rum salsa, mussels and pipis wok-fried in garlic, parsley and Tohu wine, Pacific oysters in half shells with fresh lime, roast pork with crackling, apple sauce and caviar and pavlova with lemon curd.

Since setting up Food Queens in 1999 Ms Bennett has catered for a wide range of events and film and television sets, including catering to What Becomes of the Broken-Hearted, The price of Milk and Zena - Warrior Princess.

Food Queens has also catered for the film and television industry generally, marine functions, local bodies, environmental groups, private functions, chartered vessel and corporates.

Events she has catered for include: Paul Holme's 1999 Christmas show for up to 400 guests, the Louis Vuitton and Americas Cup VIP on-board catering, the Queer of the Year party for 500 guests, the 2000 FIA World Rally Championship in New Zealand and the Devonport Wine & Food Society Christmas Party for 50 guests.

Ms Bennett employs four full-time and ten casual staff, all striving "to promote Maori and Polynesian food values", she says.

Contact Wendy Bennett:
09 300 7312, work.
09 300 7328, home
021 702 224, mobile

2001 Maori Women's Business Awards Winner Profile


Rhonda Kite, Managing Director, Eden Terrace Audio Group, Auckland.
Winner: Overall Excellence in Business
Winner: Best Business in Employment Creation
Winner: Best Self-Employment Business


"Maori are on the precipice of a very exciting turning point in the film and television industry and I want to play a huge part within it", 2001 Maori Businesswoman of the Year Rhonda Kite says.

"The film and television industry in New Zealand is one in which Maori can shine, they are attractive, articulate, creative, talented and can spin a good yarn! - all the ingredients for a successful and healthy entertainment industry."

Ms Kite should know. Since setting up sound/post-production facility, Eden Terrace Audio Group based in Newton, Auckland, in 1993 she has been involved in many areas of the film and television industry including the role of producer with Kiwa Films, her film and television production arm.

As well as making the award-winning documentary Otara: Defying the Odds and Hell for Leather, a finalist in the 1999 TV Guide Best Documentary category, Kiwa Films is currently working on a string of exciting film and television projects. These include two telemovies and a feature film for Canadian co-production partners and a documentary, Nga Tama Ariki (Child Abuse - We Look and Ask Why) for the local market.

"My vision for Kiwa Films is to employ as many Kiwis as I possibly can in cast and crew."

She has also played a big role in providing training for young people wanting to enter the film and television industry and currently employs 15 full-time staff and 50 periodic contractors.

She is Vice-Chairwoman of the Academy of Film and Television Arts and a Patron of the imagineNative (correct) Canadian International Film and Television Festival 2001.

Before forming Eden Terrace Audio Group Ms Kite worked for 30 years in various administration and financial roles in the corporate sector, starting as a clerical worker and working her way up to the position of group accountant.

Contact Rhonda Kite:
09 3777675 (work)
09 846 0161 (home)
021 806 172 (mobile)


2001 Maori Women's Business Awards Full List of Winners

Major Award Winners:
Overall Excellence in Business
Winner: Rhonda Kite, Eden Terrace Audio Group, Newton,Auckland. (Contact: work: 09 377 7675, home: 09 846 0161, mobile: 021 806 172)
Highly Commended: June Grant, Best of Maori Tourism Ltd, Rotorua.

Best Business in Employment Creation
Winner: Rhonda Kite, Eden Terrace Audio Group, Auckland
Highly Commended: Dawn Kiwikiwi, Jeunique Rakaia Ataahua, Whangarei. (Contact: work: 09 438 5549, mobile: 025 891 115)

Best Self-Employment Business
Winner: Rhonda Kite, Eden Terrace Audio Group, Auckland.
Highly Commended: Cammie McKinley, Houselot Interiors, North Shore, Auckland. (Contact: work: 09 828 3669, home: 09 834 3888, mobile: 021 586 444)

Best Regional Small Business
Winner: Wendy Bennett, Food Queens, Auckland. (Contact: work: 09 300 7312, home: 09 300 7328, mobile: 021 702 224)
Highly Commended: Denise Blackwell, Greenleaf Cleaning Solutions, Howick, Auckland. (Contact: work: 09 530 9550, home: 09 530 9550, mobile: 025 292 3310)

Best Small Business
Winner: June Grant, Best of Maori Tourism, Rotorua. (Contact: work: 07 357 4226, home: 07 343 6132)
Highly Commended: Christine Panapa, Rewa designer clothing label and Supaprints Ltd, Papakura, Auckland. (Contact: work: 09 299 7659, home: 09 267 7825, mobile: 025 527 880)

Achievement Award Winners:
Noradene Abraham, Hinetu Charters, Westhaven, Auckland. (Contact: work/home: 09 482 0706, mobile: 025 482 943)

Marina Bidois-Ruhi, Flowers By Marina, Mt Maunganui. (Contact: work/home: 07 575 5712, mobile: 025 218 0047)

Elisabeth Cunningham and Kath Fox, Patiki Business Management, Christchurch. (Contact: mobile: 025 335 912)

Makarita Hall, Te Mana Oranga Trust, Kaitaia. (Contact: work: 09 408 1182, mobile: 025 409 559)

Emily Morris, E.S. Morris Ltd - BP Bader Drive, Mangere, Auckland. (Contact: work: 09 275 7279, mobile: 277 1286)

Maria Sorenson, Racecourse Physiotherapy Clinic - Whare Hauora Kaimirimis, Christchurch. (Contact: work: 03 342 5441, home: 03 348 1115)


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