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North Shore Confirmed As Home of Innovativion

June 21, 2006

North Shore Confirmed As Home of Young, Innovative Businesses

The reputation of Auckland’s North Shore as the home of young and innovative businesses has received a boost.

Entries in the Innovations and Best Emerging Business categories of the 2006 Westpac Enterprise North Shore Business Excellence Award are the highest ever. They make up almost one third of all the entries in the awards, which are now closed for judging.

“We’ve always viewed the North Shore as a hotbed of young, vibrant and talented companies, but we were surprised by the sudden surge in these two categories,” says Enterprise North Shore Chief Executive Terry Hoskins.

In both the Innovation and Best Emerging Business categories, entries are more than double the numbers from 2005, which was a record year for the awards. Total entries are slightly down for 2006 but that’s more than compensated by the quality and enterprise of businesses taking part.

Mr Hoskins adds: “To grow our economy we need to be more innovative and we need more young companies with the ability to grow and prosper.

“I am very encouraged that this trend is becoming very apparent with the response to our awards.”

Half of those entering the Innovation and Best Emerging category are Information Technology-related businesses, whilst the others range from food to education, service and health sectors.

North Shore has one of the highest concentrations of innovative businesses in the country and the Westpac-backed Business Excellence Awards seek to recognise this high level of entrepreneurship each year.

Westpac General Manager for Business Banking, Bruce McLachlan says that as principal sponsor, his bank is delighted with response to the 2006 North Shore Business Excellence Awards.

He says: “The Westpac Business Excellence awards are an event that we are proud to be involved with. Rewarding and showcasing the hard work that local businesses put in to succeed is a really important catalyst to help others in following their example.”

He continues “To my mind, the calibre of entries from the North Shore really reflects the thriving local business community on the North Shore, all making for a closely fought and well deserved prize.”

Innovation and Best Emerging Business are among 12 categories covering a wide array of North Shore businesses that have entered the awards, which will be announced at a glittering gala event on August 31.

The categories include:

- BDO Spicers Excellence in Service Delivery award
- ACC ThinkSafe Workplace Safety Award
- Actionmail Excellence in Marketing Award
- Chelsea Sugar Excellence in Exporting Award
- Massey University Excellence in Technology Award
- 3M NZ Excellence in Innovation Award
- North Shore Times Contribution by Business to the Community Award
- Smales Farm Excellence in Environmental Management Award
- Benefitz Best New Start-up Business Award
- Vector Best Emerging Business Award
- Smith & Davies Employer of Choice Award
- The Spencer on Byron Hotel Excellence in Hospitality and Tourism Award

Businesses were able to enter up to three categories and the winners of each category are eligible for the Westpac Supreme Business Excellence Award. Last year’s Supreme Winner was Glenfield plastics manufacturer Linkplas Industries.

ENDS

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