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Category Winners nnounced In Entrepreneur Contest

Category Winners announced in Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year

Category Winners in this year's Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year have been announced, with five inspiring business people from around New Zealand receiving the awards.

The five winners will now compete for the overall title of Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year.

The 2006 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Category Winners are:

 Retail, Consumer and Industrial Products: Chris Paulsen of House of Travel
 Services, including Financial Business, Property and Arts: Richard Taylor of Weta Workshop & Digital
 Technology, Communication and Biotechnology: Doug Bartlett of Cabco Group Ltd
 Master Entrepreneur (for leaders of well established businesses which have a significant commitment to entrepreneurship): Bob Robertson of Infinity Investment Group
 Young Entrepreneur (aged 30 or under at the time of close of applications): Mike McDonald of Mactec Aerospace International Ltd.

Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award Director, Roger Hatrick-Smith, was highly impressed by this year's Category Winners.

"This year's five winners were winners long before they entered this competition. These are people whose aspirations go far beyond a desire to simply make money.

"Throughout their careers this year's Category Winners have consistently demonstrated an impressive combination of courage, tenacity, creativity and discipline and a desire to contribute to New Zealand and the economy through job and wealth creation.

"I congratulate all of our Category Winners, as well as the entrants and our 15 finalists. All who entered are impressive in their entrepreneurial qualities and achievements."

Chair of the judging panel, David Johnson of Trends Publishing International, said the judges were impressed with the calibre of all the finalists and each of the categories were hotly contested.

"A theme central to all of the winners was a desire to develop businesses which would be successful in the short and medium term and high performing in the long term."

The overall winner will be announced at a gala dinner on 11 October, 2006, and will compete for the Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur of the Year title in Monte Carlo in 2007.

Information on the five Category Winners is outlined below:

RETAIL, CONSUMER AND INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTS
Chris Paulsen
Founder and Managing Director, House of Travel
www.houseoftravel.co.nz

Chris Paulsen, founder and managing director of House of Travel, had a dream that travel could be delivered to the consumer in a different way. In 1977 Chris and his wife bought Scholes Oakley (South Island) with partner Lindsay Barron. It was the South Island arm of an Auckland wholesale travel business which eventually became Passport Travel. The pair sold out in 1986, and House of Travel was born, opening its first outlet in Timaru.

House of Travel does not have a franchise or a standard corporate structure; each retail branch is 50/50 partnership between House of Travel Holdings and the branch manager. This model brings the energy and commitment of an owner-operator, but with a business partner focused on accessing the right products from the airlines and the wholesalers to meet the needs of the customer.

Today, House of Travel is the largest privately-owned travel company in New Zealand, with 90 outlets and 1,100 staff, all run from a Christchurch base. Its turnover places it in the top 10 privately owned companies in New Zealand.

The company has faced significant challenges along the way, none bigger than the birth of the budget airline era, which has resulted in "the big squeeze" on agents as airlines cut commissions and sell direct to the public.

Instead of just retailing holidays, House of Travel has expanded into the travel wholesale business with an inbound operation called Magnetic South (in which House of Travel has a 50 per cent shareholding) and an outbound air and land wholesale company called Travelplan. It also has separate business travel brands (HOT Corporate and Orbit). So while commissions have been steadily declining as airlines have moved away from the old industry model, House of Travel has expanded.

Chris has a 50-year plan for House of Travel, with the goal of building an iconic New Zealand company for future generations. Last year it formed a partnership with Hospice New Zealand, supporting the 37 hospices throughout the country.


SERVICES, INCLUDING FINANCIAL BUSINESS, PROPERTY AND ARTS
Richard Taylor
Co-Director and Effects Supervisor, Weta Workshop & Digital
www.wetaworkshop.co.nz

RT FX was founded by Richard Taylor and Tania Rodger in the back of a small flat twenty years ago. >From these beginnings a creative collaboration developed between Peter Jackson and New Zealand producer Jamie Selkirk, which was to become what we now know as Weta Workshop & Digital (Weta).

Richard Taylor has played a key role in the development of Weta into a multi-faceted company that leverages its intellectual property across a broad spectrum of related industries. A key motivator for the development of sister companies in the Weta family was Richard's vision to establish a framework within which specialist personnel could develop and enhance their careers. In an industry that is known for its project-driven career path this development is unique and provides a continuity of talent that enables Weta to retain and develop personnel with the appeal of challenging projects. This in turn ensures that Weta is able to pitch and win local and global projects that have the depth and opportunity for Weta to further develop its credentials.

Richard is the Design and Effects Supervisor of Weta Workshop. While not one for titles, he is also Managing Director of Weta Workshop & Digital, Weta Collectibles and Weta Tenzan Chainmaille - the latter in collaboration with a Chinese manufacturing company to fulfill worldwide demand for chainmaille and the result of the development of the unique chainmaille used in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Weta Workshop & Digital is a comprehensive film and television effects facility that has been involved with a number of award-winning international productions. Richard Taylor while integral to this success has personally received five Academy Awards© and four BAFTA Awards© to name some of his 32 international awards. While all of these awards acknowledge Richard's creativity and innovation, a key component of the Weta's success is Richard's leadership and business acumen. This can be measured in the way he has faced major challenges related to the industry, including fluctuating staff levels, competing internationally for clients and the critical need for experienced staff - up to 700 staff are needed at the height of production.

Taylor's international reputation has helped to establish Wellington as a centre for the film industry, bringing talent to New Zealand to work with Weta - all of which has contributed to a thriving local industry.

TECHNOLOGY, COMMUNICATIONS & BIOTECHNOLOGY
Doug Bartlett
Chief Executive, Cabco Group Limited
www.tvkart.com

Giving shoppers with young children a better experience is the premise behind Doug Bartlett's company Cabco Group and its 'TV Karts'. The company designs and manufactures high-tech shopping trolleys to entertain young children while their parents shop in a supermarket or retail environment. Shaped like a vehicle with a large shopping basket and a cab for two children, TV Karts are themed and fitted with LCD screens which play video footage of popular characters.

Shoppers hire the Karts from vending 'pay stations' instore, with research indicating they stay longer and spend more per visit when using a Kart.

With a marketing background Doug founded the "Sports Plus" concept in 1997 to raise money for sporting bodies. It ended up as New Zealand's third largest magazine network when he sold it in 2001. Doug was then chief executive of Cabco New Zealand from 1999 until he franchised the operation in 2002, formed the company Cabco Group Ltd and has since focused on global export opportunities - creating an international market for this completely novel product.

Today, Cabco deals with some of the world's largest retail chains in Australia, United Kingdom and USA. In 2005, it secured a contract to supply 15,000 carts over three years to Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer. It is also supplying Karts to H.E. Butt (H.E.B), a large US food retailer.

Collaborating with Uniservices, the commercial arm of University of Auckland, Cabco developed a world-first for inductive charging. Its new TV Karts have an automatic charging system that recharges as the Karts wait for their next customer, with no requirement to be plugged in.

Working with another Kiwi company, Harvest Electronics, Cabco has fitted carts with remote monitoring equipment to monitor information on hire times, power, battery voltage and money jams, so problems can be fixed by service agents before retail outlets are aware of them.

Cabco's head office and factory are based in Auckland. It also has a branch in Dallas, US.

YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR
Mike McDonald
Mactec Aerospace International Ltd
www.mactecaerospace.com

Mactec Aerospace is New Zealand's leading Aircraft (GSE) Ground Service Equipment manufacturer. The company was founded by Mike McDonald and his father Ken in 2000, with backgrounds in aircraft engineering and airline ramp management respectively.

Mike left school without completing Sixth Form Certificate. He started his employment with Ansett in 1995 after being selected for a five year apprenticeship, which he completed in four years. He was the youngest aircraft engineer in New Zealand to have an Engine Type rating (signing approval) for gas turbine engines. Mike then held roles with Air New Zealand and its joint venture partner Pratt Whitney in New Zealand and the US, introducing Lean Manufacturing processes to their engine assembly facilities.

He returned to Canterbury to start a small engineering business and Mactec Engineering was born. Since its inception Mactec has grown into a multimillion-dollar business, exporting to civil and military aviation customers as far afield as Bahrain and Bangladesh. Mactec designs and manufactures ground support equipment for the aerospace industry. Products range from belt loaders and baggage carts to toilet and water trucks. Mactec is regarded as the most innovative manufacturer in its market, with four patents and three licensed OEM manufacturing agreements for exclusive products.

Its first tender to supply the RNZAF with commercial aircraft equipment came in 2003. In the year December 2002 to 2003, Mactec achieved 80 per cent growth and in four years it has expanded from Christchurch to have offices in Sydney and Melbourne. Today Mactec has 68 fulltime staff, offices in three countries and customers in 11 countries. The company continues to invest heavily in research and development to support its goal of being the "one stop shop for airports".

In 2004, Mactec was named the Ullich Export New Zealand Emerging Exporter of the Year at the New Zealand Trade & Enterprise Export Awards, and was named Canterbury Emerging Exporter of the Year by Export New Zealand.

MASTER ENTREPRENEUR
Bob Robertson
Chief Executive, Infinity Investment Group
www.infinitywanaka.com

Infinity Investment Group offers quality real estate developments in Lake Wanaka, and is primarily involved in developing land for subdivision. Established by Bob Robertson in 1999, the group is diversifying into property management and tourism, and manages various body corporates and lakeside apartments in Wanaka. It is also promoting the Fiordland Link Experience as an overland wilderness experience between Lakes Wakatipu and Te Anau.

Bob Robertson has been involved in international trading and marketing for over 25 years. In the 1980s, Robertson established 'Primeline Limited', a direct response television shopping and in-store demonstration business that operated throughout Britain and Asia. This was eventually sold to develop TV Media Holdings Limited in 1992, which had full trading operations in 12 major countries in Asia, UK, USA, Russia and South Africa. The company was the largest owner of TV advertising time in most operating countries, and traded worldwide. By 1997, TV Media had its own TV commercial production houses in the USA, Singapore and the Philippines and owned two 24-hour satellite channels. It also owned and operated over 400 retail outlets and 10 telemarketing centres in its 12 operating countries.

In 1999, TV Media was merged with Pacific Media and listed on the London Stock Exchange. At this point along with Jen Robertson, Bob founded Infinity Investment Group in Wanaka to take advantage of the region's superb opportunities in property development and investment. Its key point of difference was not just on selling sections, but on selling lifestyles - creating attractive and well presented developments in harmony with their natural surroundings which provide residents with an array of lifestyle amenities. These developments have contributed to the rapid development of the Wanaka region.

Bob also owns Foveran Deer Park, a well-known deer farming entity and stud breeder, and New Zealand Trophy Hunting Limited, an internationally recognised safari park operator and outfitter. His most recent development is the Pegasus Township north of Christchurch, designed to accommodate more than 5,000 residents around the shores of Pegasus Bay.

ENDS


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