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Telecom Announces NZ’s Top Home Businesses

20 October 2004

Telecom Announces NZ’s Top Home Businesses

Three New Zealand home-based companies have been selected as the country’s top businesses in the second annual Telecom Home Business of the Year competition.

The competition recognises and rewards top New Zealand home businesses across three categories, Inspirational Achievement, Best Use of Communications and Business Excellence. One category winner is also selected as the overall ‘Supreme Award’ winner.

Bunny Lodge, a successful Christchurch home-based business owned by David Sewell and Fiona Lovie is the winner of the coveted Supreme Award. The country’s first ever Qualmark-accredited kennel and cattery also won the Business Excellence category.

Nelson-based hydroponics home business Lansdowne Salad Factory won the Inspirational Achievement category and online cane furniture store, Papasans Furniture from Tauranga topped the Best Use of Communications category.

The three businesses were among the more than 150 entries from around New Zealand for the annual Home Business of the Year competition, launched earlier this year in July.

The winners were announced today by Home Business New Zealand Executive Editor Heather Douglas, New Zealand Senior Business reporter Ellen Read, and Director of SMEs for the Ministry of Economic Development, Roger Wigglesworth.

Ms Douglas, who was a judge in last year’s inaugural competition, said she was inspired by what was being achieved by home businesses in such short timeframes.

"Many of the entries demonstrated strong business acumen, innovation and the tenacity to survive and succeed even in tough market conditions,” she said.

Ms Douglas was also complimentary about Telecom’s role in hosting the Home Business awards.

“Home businesses make a significant contribution to the economy. This competition helps increase the visibility of this business sector and celebrates the success and entrepreneurship of these unsung heroes of our economy. I expect we'll see their contribution increase in coming years as new technology enables growth and expansion into new and global markets,” she said.

A wide range of businesses entered the competition, selling everything from toys, organic baby food and surf clothing, to providing photography, financial management and medical services.

Telecom’s Home Business Programme Manager, Sam Irvine, said there’s an upward trend towards working from home as more people recognise the financial and lifestyle benefits.

“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.”

Category winners each received a prize valued at $5,000 including a Telecom 027 camera phone with $100 credit, an Xtra JetStream Surf Flat Rate connection free for six months, a $500 Telecom Directories advertisement, a stylish espresso machine from Caffe L’Affare, and an Xbox console with a live starter kit and three games.

The Supreme Winner also received an Air New Zealand Luxury Mystery Break for two including two nights’ hotel accommodation and use of a rental car.

Telecom’s Home Business programme was established in 1999 to meet the unique needs of people who run businesses from home. Almost 60,000 home businesses have joined the programme to take advantage of the information and services Telecom offers.

About Telecom’s Home Business Programme

Telecom’s Home Business Programme is designed specifically for customers who work from home. It is free to join and provides special privileges such as residential rates for up to three lines, unique call plans, a free Yellow Pages listing and a dedicated Home Business service team. Members also enjoy networking opportunities at Telecom’s Home Business seminars and receive a quarterly Home Business newsletter with exclusive offers and promotions.

For more information, please visit: www.telecom.co.nz/homebusiness or contact the Home Business team on 0800 800 070.

Telecom Home Business Competition 2004 Winner Details

Bunny Lodge: ‘Supreme Award’ and ‘Business Excellence’ winner Bunny Lodge is New Zealand’s first Qualmark-endorsed holiday resort for animals. David Sewell and partner Fiona Lovie bought the flailing Christchurch business two years ago and transformed it into a thriving five-star pet resort for cats, dogs, small mammals and birds. www.bunnylodge.co.nz

Lansdowne Salad Factory: ‘Inspirational Achievement’ winner Lansdowne Salad Factory is the only producer of hydroponically-grown Mesculin Mix lettuces and herbs in the Nelson region. Owners Helen Bowler and Neil Berendt have transformed and rebuilt their business over time to adapt to an ever-changing market.

Papasans Furniture: Mother-of-three Sharon Schneebeli owns and runs this unique business from her home in Tauranga, selling papasans (cane) furniture to clients all over the world. The niche business is this year’s winner of the ‘Best Use of Communications’ category. http://www.papasanfurniture.com/

For more information on the finalists, or to speak to a Telecom spokesperson please contact:

ENDS

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