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Key Players In $9 Billion NZ-US Trade Get Awards

Key players in $9 billion two-way trade line up for NZ-US business awards

Twelve key players in the $9 billion two-way trade between New Zealand and the United States face off in the 2007 American Chamber of Commerce-UPS Success & Innovation Awards in Auckland on September 12.

The finalists are innovative companies involved in a diverse range of goods and services - from children’s buggies to demolition equipment, from software to plant research, from marine interiors to furniture.

The AmCham-UPS Awards, staged in conjunction with Air New Zealand, celebrate business success and innovation in the import, export, and investment sectors between New Zealand and its second largest trading partner, the U.S. Prizes include airfares to Los Angeles or San Francisco, flying Air New Zealand, for the importer and exporter category winners.

"Bilateral trade is worth over $9 billion and the American Chamber of Commerce in New Zealand is constantly seeking opportunities to enhance and expand business and trade relationships within the private and public sectors,” said the organisation’s President, Eric Mahoney.

"The annual Success and Innovation Awards provide an opportunity to showcase companies that have demonstrated imagination, innovation and entrepreneurship and to honour and celebrate their achievements."

This year’s awards have been enhanced to incorporate investment both ways and to allow companies to compete on a more equal basis, said Mr. Mahoney.

The awards are:

- Investor of the Year, re-vamped to allow entries from New Zealand companies investing in the US, as well as US companies investing in New Zealand;
- Importer of the Year from the USA; and
- Exporter of the Year to the USA, which has been expanded this year to cover three categories: o one for companies with export revenues up to $500,000,

* another for companies with revenues from $501,000 to $5 million and
* a third for companies generating over $5 million.

The 2007 contest has been narrowed down to 12 finalists for the four major categories. They area:

Importer of the Year ▪
Matisse International Furniture - Auckland
Parex Industries - Auckland

Exporter of the Year under $500,000
Brilliance Holdings - Dunedin
Nutshell Corporation - Auckland
Plant Research (NZ) - Christchurch

Exporter of the Year - $500,001 to $5 million
4D Steel Detailing - Christchurch
A Ward Attachments - Auckland
Grasslanz Technology – Palmerston North

Exporter of the Year – over $5 million
Actronic Technologies – Auckland
McConnell Dowell Constructors – Auckland
Phil&teds Most Excellent Buggy Company – Wellington
Specialist Marine Industries (SMI Group) - Whangarei

Recognition awards are also given to acknowledge and celebrate the US Investor of the Year to or from the USA. The finalists are

Investor of the Year from the United States ▪ Fletcher Building - Auckland ▪ Pumpkin Patch - Auckland ▪ Walden Media - California

This year’s awards include a new award, The Air New Zealand Ambassador Award, which will honour an individual who has raised the profile of New Zealand in the USA. New Zealand’s Prime Minister, The Rt. Hon Helen Clark will present the Exporter of the Year Awards and the US Ambassador to New Zealand, William P. McCormick, will present the Importer of the Year Award.

Also attending the September 12 event will be the New Zealand Ambassador to Washington, Ambassador Roy Ferguson, and other US dignitaries wῨo will be in town at the time for the NZ US Partnership Forum. In addition to AmCham, UPS and Air New Zealand, the Awards are supported by: Baldwins, Citi New Zealand, Ernst and Young, GE Money, New Zealand Steel, and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise.

Over the past seven years sponsors have provided over $300,000 in prizes to Award winners. Previous winners of the Supreme Award have included Zespri International, Peace Software, Airways Corporation, HumanWare, Tenon, Orion Systems International and Zeacom.

2007 Finalists at a glance

Importer of the Year from the USA

Matisse International Furniture – Auckland. With 30 years of experience in International furniture and interior fit out supply sector, Matisse has forged an enviable reputation with the world's leading manufacturers and designers of quality contemporary furniture for the home and office as well as kitchens, wardrobes and bathrooms. Matisse represents Herman Millῥr (MI), Heller (NY), Modemica (CA), Chilewich (NY) and Richard Marshall (CA) www.matisse.co.nz

Parex Industries – Auckland. With 25 years experience in providing the New Zealand market with new categories of appliances and technology driven plumbing products. Parex represents Bissell and InSinkErator. www.parex.co.nz

Exporter of the Year to the USA – under $500,000

Brilliance Holdings – Dunedin. This new company that has developed and commercialized unique organic/non-toxic cleaning products. Its lead product has patented unique properties for cleaning, enhancing and protecting stainless steel. www.brillianceproducts.com

Nutshell Corporation – Auckland. Via the internet Nutshell markets high quality, leather cases for handheld communication devices and computers. www.nutshell.co.nz

Plant Research (NZ) – Christchurch. Set up in 2000 by Annett Grain & Seed, Peter Cates, Midlands Seed and Managing Director Adrian Russell, Plant Research (NZ) is a leading supplier of arable products to the New Zealand market and has significant export markets globally. The company has a strong network of international collaborators that are commercῩalising pea varieties in Canada and the U.S. creating opportunities to exchange ideas and germplasm. One of these is Progene, a plant breeding company based in Washington State. www.plantresearchnz.co.nz

Exporter of the Year to the USA – $500,001 to $5 million 4D Steel Detailing – Christchurch. Privately owned, 4D Steel Detailing delivers specialist steel detailing services to the engineering and construction industry. The company utilises the latest technology including the 3D computer modelling system X-Steel (Tekla Structures). www.steel-detailing.com

A Ward Attachments – Auckland. Designers, manufactures and marketers of revolutionary solutions for the demolition, recycling and construction industries in the form of specialised excavator attachments and shipping container tilters and loaders. www.a-ward.co.nz

Grasslanz Technology – Palmerston North. Grasslanz is a plant technology company servicing the agricultural industries through development of proprietary forage cultivars, grass endophytes and plant biotechnology. The company works with an international network of investors and research organisations to develop innovative new products and with seed co῭panies to commercialise them. Grasslanz is part of the world-recognised AgResearch group and benefits from the considerable resources and scientific reputation of its parent organisation. www.grasslanz.com


Exporter of the Year to the USA – over $5 million Actronic Technologies – Auckland. Manufacturers of sophisticated applied technology solutions for some of the world’s most rugged environments. Actronic is a global leader in electronic measurement and control systems that improve productivity in industries such as aggregates, mining, forestry and waste management. www.actronictechnologies.com

McConnell Dowell Constructors – Auckland. A leading domestic and international specialist construction and maintenance contractor, McConnell Dowell has business units in civil, marine, mechanical, electrical, pipeline, and tunnelling and underground services. www.mcconnelldowell.com

Phil&teds Most Excellent Buggy Company – Wellington. Designers and marketers of world-leading nursery hardware products. Phil&teds’ range includes baby buggies, travel cots, car seats and highchairs. The company has scored another hole-in-one with World Golf #1 Tiger Woods by providing a unique in-line™ sport buggy for his baby daughter. Other celebrity customers incl῵de Gwyneth Paltrow, Chris Martin, Russell Crowe, Keisha Castle-Hughes, Patrick Dempsey, Je΅na Elfman, Antiona Kidman and the Spanish Royal Family. www.philandteds.com

Specialist Marine Industries (SMI Group) – Whangerai. SMI specialise in marine interiors. Necessity inspired the development of the SMI modular construction that meets the key criteria for super-yacht fit-out or refit: rapid installation and ongoing swift turnaround for any service or maintenance. www.smigroup.co.nz

Investor of the Year to or from the USA

Fletcher Building – Auckland. In May this year Fletcher Building announced it would purchase U.S based Formica Corporation for US$700 million ($977m) from private equity firms. The purchase gives Fletcher the ability to establish a truly global laminates platform and significantly increase the geographic diversity of its earnings exposure. www.fletΰherbuilding.com

Pumpkin Patch – Auckland. Over the last six months the company has opened 7 new stores in the U.S. taking their total to 14 stores in 3 states, with plans to open a further 6 new stores in two other states by the end of the financial year. U.S sales were US$7.1m in the last six months. www.pumpkinpatch.biz

Walden Media – Los Angeles. Walden Media teamed up with Walt Disney Pictures to produce and film, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and The Bridge to Terabithia in New Zealand. www.walden.com


ENDS

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