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Colourful End to Home Business Competition

4th December 2003


Colourful End to Home Business Competition

Telecom announces New Zealand’s top home business

A passion for colourful craft, the realisation of untapped market potential and a desire to live the good life were three main drivers for the creation of Telecom’s inaugural Home Business of the Year competition winner.

Scopes NZ, a successful Kerikeri home business run by Andrew and Robyn Leary, designs, manufactures and sells a wide variety of kaleidoscopes. Their unique products are sold worldwide through international galleries, by mail order from the Scopes NZ website and in person from their home-based Gallery and Kaleidoscope Garden.

Scopes NZ was one of more than 150 entries received from around New Zealand for the Home Business of the Year competition. Telecom launched the competition in June this year to recognise significant achievements by New Zealand home businesses, and announced the finalists in October.

In addition to the overall winner, three other home businesses - EnergyPro, Hammock World and Baby Shade - were Highly Commended by the judging panel.

Minister for Economic Development, and competition judge, Jim Anderton says Scopes NZ is a great example of kiwi innovation and export success.

“The business manufactures and sells a sophisticated, world-class product and now has over half its business with overseas customers,” he says.

“Scopes NZ is representative of what a lot of New Zealand small businesses aspire to, and we are pleased to see their achievement being recognised.”

Scopes NZ has focused on keeping a New Zealand flavour to their kaleidoscopes but local manufacturing restrictions have required some innovative thinking.

“Kaleidoscopes must have specialised mirrors which aren’t available in New Zealand,” says business owner Robyn Leary. “We were eventually driven to build our own vacuum coating machines to manufacture aluminised front surface mirrors.”

In America, Andrew Leary has been awarded the Brewster Society’s Creative Ingenuity Award for his kaleidoscopes. The business also has a US patent for its kaleidoscope optics.

Home Business New Zealand Managing Director, and competition judge, Heather Douglas says that Scopes NZ impressed because they had developed an interest into a professional business with multiple revenue streams.

“What started as a unique product sold through traditional retail channels has developed into an international business with a complementary tourism stream from their Gallery and Kaleidoscope Garden.”

“That demonstrates lateral thinking,” she says.

Robyn Leary says they are delighted with the award and are continually inspired by the success of the business.

“Andrew made the first Kaleidoscope for me 20 years ago and it opened a window to a new future for us,” she says.

“It is the dream of many people to be able to combine their interests with their working and home life. Through Scopes NZ, we run a profitable international business making a craft that we love, and all the while enjoying the idyllic kiwi lifestyle at home.”

“We’re living proof that the dream can happen.”

Entrants in the Telecom Home Business of the Year Competition were asked to provide information on their goals and aspirations for becoming a home business, how well they had achieved these goals, and any unique factors and obstacles in setting up their business.

A judging panel consisting of the Right Honourable Jim Anderton, Heather Douglas and NZ Herald Small Business Editor, Ellen Read, selected the overall winner and Highly Commended businesses.

Telecom’s Home Business Programme Manager Sam Irvine says the level of support received for the competition is an indicator of the growing strength of home businesses in the community.

“The Home Business Programme was formed to recognise and support the achievements of home businesses in New Zealand. The competition is one part of the total package Telecom provides designed to encourage, support and facilitate their success.”

Telecom’s Home Business Programme was established in 1999 to meet the unique needs of people who run businesses from home. More than 50,000 home businesses have joined the programme to take advantage of the unique information and services Telecom offers to home businesses.


Notes to Editors

1. About the Telecom Home Business Programme
Telecom’s Home Business Programme offers home businesses a flexible, competitively priced and innovative range of services that empower the home business owner to handle business communications professionally, while at the same time accommodating his or her lifestyle and the needs of the family. As part of the programme, Telecom also has a trained customer service team helping home businesses to find the best communications solution to meet their needs.

Specific benefits offered to programme members include:
- A dedicated home business service team
- Residential rates on the first three lines
- Tailored mobile and home calling rates
- Express Faults/Service Repair
- Free standard listing in the YELLOW PAGES®
- Telecom New Zealand's business@home newsletter
- Your Telecom and Bill Online

2. Scopes NZ web site:

3. Highly Commended Business Details
Details of the three Highly Commended businesses are:

EnergyPro: EnergyPro was started in 1991 by Epsom-based Hitesh Patel and focuses on improving New Zealand’s energy efficiency through better monitoring and management of energy usage and costs. Recent client successes include Auckland University and NZ Post.

Hammock World: Hammock World is a unique small home business, run from the comfort of owner Michael Bennetts’ sailing vessel in Devonport. The business is now respected as a leader in creative hammock furniture design.

Baby Shade Ltd: Torbay-based Baby Shade Ltd is in the business of nursery accessories and sells under the brand Outlook®. The multi-million dollar company’s most well known product is the New Zealand-made Outlook® shade-a-babe™, a sunshade for three and four-wheel strollers.


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