New Plymouth Man Engineering Entrepreneur Of Year
New Plymouth Businessman Wins NZ Engineering Entrepreneur of the Year
New Plymouth businessman Peter White-Robinson FIPENZ won the New Zealand Engineering Entrepreneur of the Year at last night’s New Zealand Engineering Excellence Awards at TE PAPA, Wellington.
The New Zealand Engineering Entrepreneur of the Year is awarded to an engineer or partnership of engineers who have created or developed a new business opportunity through entrepreneurship.
Mortgaging everything he had to lead a management buyout of a Fitzroy subsidiary in 1991, and Fitzroy Engineering in 1992, Peter has grown Fitzroy Engineering Group Ltd from a company with 210 staff and a turnover of $20 million at takeover in 1992, to one with over 300 staff and a turnover of $60 million.
In 1997, Peter launched Fitzroy Yachts, which relocated to brand new, high-tech facilities in 2000. The company employs 180 staff and produces luxury super-yachts up to 50 metres, adding significantly to the Fitzroy group’s earnings, half of which come from overseas.
Peter has continued his entrepreneurial activity with the formation of VT Fitzroy, the partnership responsible for the Devonport Dockyard, and interests in plate profile cutters Fineline and the Top Energy Group. He is a Director of the New Zealand Clean Energy Centre, which benefits from his interest in sustainable energy programmes.
A former Chairman of HERA (Heavy Engineering Research Association), Peter was a founding member of Engineering Taranaki Consortium, which aims to develop Taranaki as a centre for engineering excellence. In 2002 Peter was New Plymouth’s inaugural Business Person of the Year.
The third New Zealand Engineering Excellence Awards are the premier awards for New Zealand engineering professionals. The awards are presented in two major areas: Individual Awards, that recognise leadership, entrepreneurship, and our young engineers; and Category Awards, that recognise achievement in the various industry areas, together with a Supreme Award for the best of the Category winners.
The New Zealand Engineering Excellence Awards are hosted by a consortium of five partners and 10 contributing organisations. The partners are: Centre for Advanced Engineering (CAE); Association of Local Government Engineering New Zealand Incorporated (INGENIUM); Electricity Engineers Association of New Zealand (EEA); Association of Consulting Engineers New Zealand (ACENZ); and the Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand Inc (IPENZ).