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Finalists Announced for 03 Pacific Business Awards

Finalists Announced for 2003 Pacific Business Awards

The Pacific Business Trust has announced twelve finalists for the 2003 Pacific Business Awards, to be held at the Auckland Town Hall on Thursday, 24th July. The finalists were among thirty seven Pacific business people to enter this year's awards.

Ray Kesha from Stafford Group and Isaac Tuhega from the New Lynn Building Centre Ltd are the finalists for the premiere Pacific Business of the Year Award. Kesha and Tuhega will be judged on sales, profitability and equity trends over the past five years and their level of sales.

In the Pacific Enterprise of the Year category, the finalists are Lui Ponifasio from Radio Samoa, Teufili Latu from South Seas Furniture Ltd and Allan Kimiangatau from Buy Link Ltd. This award is given to a business that has operated successfully and profitably for two to five years.

The finalists for the Pacific Business Leader Award are Panu Raea from Carter Holt Harvey, Gagau Annandale-Stone from ANZ, Luamanuvae Kuresa Faleseuga from the Pacificare Trust and Frank Wallwork from Techo Ltd.

The Pacific Business Leader Award honours a Pacific business person who demonstrates leadership, innovation and entrepreneurial flair while leading a business unit or organisation.

The final category - the Pacific Business Person of the Year Award - will be contested by Tau Aupa'au from Exsell Marketing Ltd, George Niuhulu from Panorama Painters and Decorators Ltd and Mike Pero from Mike Pero Mortgages Ltd.

The judges for this year's awards were Nevil Gibson, Editor in Chief of the National Business Review; Dianne Ludwig, Partner of Gosling Chapman Chartered Accountants; Adrian Orr, Assistant Governor of the Reserve Bank; and Alasdair Thompson from the Employers and Manufacturers Association.

Chief judge, Nevil Gibson, said this year's entrants represented an impressive range of business activities and achievements.

"While some are well-established success stories, the number of new entrants demonstrated the Pacific business community is flourishing throughout the country," said Gibson.

The Pacific Business Awards is a biannual event and was first held in 1993 to recognise the achievements of Pacific people in business. This year's prizes range from a free computer package, mentoring for a year and legal services to a $40,000 interest free loan.

Pacific Business Trust Chief Executive, Jim Mather, said he was pleased with the number of entries and the calibre of their work.

"We want to celebrate excellence in business and innovation and these people certainly represent those qualities," said Mather. "Even those who didn't make it as finalists deserve a lot of credit. The standards they set were really high and we applaud everyone who entered."

The 2003 Pacific Business Awards will be a black tie gala event hosted by TV3 presenters Carol Hirschfeld and John Campbell. Entertainment includes Samoan singer, Lapi Mariner and the Pacific Tamure Cultural Group.

The Pacific Business Trust remains the main sponsor of the Awards as well as the National Business Review, Gosling Chapman Chartered Accountants, the Employers and Manufacturers Association, the National Business Information Service, Property Works, Farrow Jamieson Management Consultants, and Ellis Gould Barristers and Solicitors.

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