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Marine technology company takes top honours

PRESS RELEASE

Marine technology company takes top honours in
Westpac Enterprise North Shore Business Excellence Awards 2003

The winners of the Westpac Enterprise North Shore Business Excellence Awards 2003 were announced last night (August 28) at a glittering Gala Dinner at the Bruce Mason Centre in Takapuna.

The Westpac Enterprise North Shore Business Excellence Awards, now in their sixth year, honour North Shore City businesses that have demonstrated outstanding performance and business excellence. Twelve category awards were announced during the function which culminated in the announcement of the Westpac Supreme Business Excellence Award.

Marine technology company High Modulus took the ultimate honour – the Westpac Supreme Business Excellence Award. The company, which provides composite technology to the marine industry, also won the Massey University Excellence in Technology Award and was a finalist in the Chelsea Sugar Excellence in Exporting Award.

High Modulus director Richard Downs-Honey says, since its formation in 1979, High Modulus has grown to employ nearly 50 staff which includes a composite design engineering team of 15 people.

“Early examples of our innovation were the world’s first composite Americas yachts, KZ3 and KZ5, and the Americas Cup Big Boat, KZ1. Currently, we are investing over $800,000 in a two year research programme in association with New Zealand Trade & Enterprise.”

The judges acknowledged High Modulus as a company with the ability to be the world’s best and as “a great group of people making the impossible possible.”

Westpac General Manager Business Banking Bruce McLachlan says all entrants are to be congratulated for their achievements and commitment to excellence.

"These businesses step out of their comfort zone, put their achievements on the line and take a gamble. Whether they win an Award or not they are invariably winners in their particular field of business. Westpac is proud to be involved in a process which recognises achievement and draws so many talented people together."

High calibre of entries
Every year the Westpac Enterprise North Shore Business Excellence Awards attract high calibre and diverse entries from across North Shore City.

Convenor of Judges Gordon Lamont, speaking at the Gala Dinner, said this year was no exception. Mr Lamont says every year the Awards draw a field of talented, committed and passionate business people who are leading successful and innovative businesses.

He says it is inspiring to see businesses that entered in previous years continuing to participate.

Enterprise North Shore, Chief Executive, Terry Hoskins says the Westpac Enterprise North Shore Business Excellence Awards provide a unique snapshot of the leaders in the North Shore City business community.

"Each year the Westpac Enterprise North Shore Business Excellence Awards highlight the benefits of businesses focusing on excellence which is something we encourage across the city. The Awards’ Gala Dinner celebrates the winners – but it also acknowledges every business that has taken part. Entrants in the Awards report that simply by entering they are given a unique chance to evaluate their progress, inspire their staff, acknowledge their achievements and set their future direction."

Category winners throughout the evening (see page 5 for winners’ list)
The A.C. Blackmore Excellence in Service Delivery Award winner is Hillside Building Supplies which last year won the Telecom Local Directories Best Emerging Business Award.

The company provides a comprehensive range of quality building materials to residential builders and do-it-yourself customers.

The judges said Hillside Building Supplies stood out because of the professional approach it brings to all elements of service delivery. It is well-organised, clearly committed to its customers, has sound staff recruitment policies and is proactive in
working with customers and listening to their needs. The company’s high quality service is reflected in its spectacular sales growth over the past two years.

This year’s recipient of the 3M Excellence in Innovation Award is Orcon Internet which last year won the Massey University Excellence in Technology Award.

Orcon Internet is the premier wholesaler to a large number of New Zealand’s Internet service providers. Established in 1995, it offers a range of Internet based products and services from standard dialup accounts to Internet billing software for ISPs and licenses an Internet Ibill, a billing software product for ISPs.

The company, which has recently entered the Australian market, has about 30,000 direct customers and has doubled in turnover and staff in the past year.

This year’s Telecom Local Directories Best Emerging Business Award went to Eco Insulation which has been providing home insulation solutions for three years.

Judges say Eco Insulation is a great example of a company that has developed products to fit the needs of the market place and has launched and sold them in professional and effective ways.

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Director Greg Sweeney says: “We observed the home insulation market and found that no one was providing a complete solution of the type we wanted for ourselves. It was as simple as that. We had a vision and turned it into practical reality.”

The Actionmail & Alliance Construction Excellence in Marketing Award went to Kristin School which has been an integral part of the North Shore for 30 years.

The school, now one of New Zealand’s largest independent schools, has developed beyond the dreams of its founders. It has grown by developing the Kristin brand as being synonymous with excellence, personal achievement and community.

The judges noted that Kristin had done a superb job of identifying, approaching and sustaining its target market. Kristin School also regularly conducts research and uses the information it gathers to further define its marketing plan.

Warehouse Stationery won the North Shore Times Advertiser Community Contribution Award and the TMP/Hudson Global Resources Employer of Choice Award.

The company, which has been in operation for nine years, is a dynamic and fast-growing business. It has established 39 retail stores and plans to open two further stores by the end of the year.

The North Shore Times Advertiser Community Contribution Award judges were impressed that Warehouse Stationery deliberately seeks to make a difference by constantly working to improve the lives of less fortunate people in the community.

The TMP/Hudson Global Resources Employer of Choice Award judges noted Warehouse Stationery constantly strives to support the concept of an extended family in the workplace and actively promotes staff functions, family events and Christmas gatherings. The judges were particularly impressed by the high number of testimonials from employees who said the company was a great place to work.

The Tertiary Education Commission Excellence in Workplace Training Award was won by the Apprenticeship Training Trust, the largest plumbing and gas fitting apprentice training agency in the country.

The forward-thinking trust provides an opportunity for young people to train and become competent tradespeople. It has a reputation for going the extra mile to provide training beyond national requirements.

Since its establishment 12 years ago, the Trust has trained more than 400 apprentices.

The Smales Farm Excellence in Environmental Management Award went to Precision Autowerk, the largest automotive accident repair centre on the North Shore.

The company constantly strives for a cleaner and healthier environment and has identified and responded to many changes in the past 33 years including changes in environmental demands.


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The judges said Precision Autowerk stood out because of its commitment to reduce the impact of its workplace on the environment.

The company has made a huge financial investment in order to turn a traditionally hazardous activity into a model of environmental friendliness - a move that has benefited the environment as well as improving working conditions for staff.

The ACC ThinkSafe Workplace Safety Award went to de Bruin-Judge Furniture, which specialises in making high quality furniture.

The company began in 1994 with only $600 worth of orders and, today, is a premium level supplier to top architects, interior designers and their clients.

The judges were impressed by the way de Bruin-Judge Furniture had established safety processes as it grew to ensure the workplace was as safe as possible for employees and visitors.

They said the company had “left no stone unturned” and had policies that covered all angles of workplace safety.

The Chelsea Sugar Excellence in Exporting Award, being offered for the first time this year, went to Tacit Group which began in 1986 as a New Zealand-based actuarial consultancy and has grown from a North Shore-based staff of four to 180 staff based in six offices in four countries.

Tacit Group provides methods for developing and delivering software solutions to its clients using existing technology and the company’s own intellectual property. It has expanded its operations in export markets.

The judges noted that Tacit Group had developed significant export growth in a difficult global insurance market and had indicated their ongoing commitment to export by opening overseas branch offices.

The North Shore City Council Excellence in Tourism Award, also offered for the first time this year, went to The Spencer on Byron Hotel.

Judges were impressed by the contribution The Spencer on Byron Hotel has made to tourism on the North Shore, especially given the difficulties facing global tourism during the past two years.

The hotel plays an important role on the Shore – it is close to Auckland’s CBD but far enough away for guests to be able to escape. The staff has a reputation for being obliging to guests and many offer a diverse language base.

Enterprise North Shore – North Shore’s economic development agency
Enterprise North Shore is the economic development agency for North Shore City. Established in 1993, Enterprise North Shore serves as North Shore City’s primary engine for sustainable economic development and supports the development of local and regional strategies for the creation of a vibrant and buoyant economy.

AWARD WINNERS IN THE WESTPAC ENTERPRISE NORTH SHORE BUSINESS EXCELLENCE AWARDS 2003


Westpac Supreme Business Excellence Award High Modulus

Massey University Excellence in Technology Award High Modulus
A.C. Blackmore Excellence in Service Delivery Award Hillside Building Supplies
3M Excellence in Innovation Award Orcon Internet
Telecom Local Directories Best Emerging Business Award Eco Insulation
Actionmail & Alliance Construction Excellence in Marketing Award Kristin School
North Shore Times Advertiser Community Contribution Award Warehouse Stationery
TMP/Hudson Global Resources Employer of Choice Award Warehouse Stationery
Tertiary Education Commission Excellence in
Workplace Training Award Apprenticeship Training Trust
Smales Farm Excellence in Environmental Management Award Precision Autowerk
ACC ThinkSafe Workplace Safety Award de Bruin-Judge Furniture
Chelsea Sugar Excellence in Exporting Award Tacit Group
North Shore City Council Excellence in Tourism Award The Spencer on Byron Hotel

ENDS

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