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Furnware ASB Exporter of the Year

Furnware takes out ExportNZ Hawke’s Bay 2015 ASB Exporter of the Year

Hastings school furniture design company Furnware has won ExportNZ’s ASB Exporter of the Year Award.

The award was presented by Mike Atkins, Head of Trade Finance at ASB Bank, at the awards dinner last night at The Old Church in Meeanee.

Furnware had earlier in the night won the QBE Most Innovative in Export Award.

Maimai Creek won The Icehouse Award for Most Promising Business.

Also contesting the exporter of year award were Hawke’s Bay Wine Growers, which won the DHL Collaboration in Export Award, and energy plant manufacturer RCR Energy, winner of the Napier Port Most Compelling Strategy Award.

In its entry, Furnware said it was proud to be a Hawke’s Bay success story.

“It’s really cool that ExportNZ has introduced such a great scheme here to recognise local achievements. It makes us aspire to improve. The application process is valuable in itself, as the self-reflection makes our businesses better.”

The company said Hawke’s Bay was part of its DNA.

“We are significantly invested in the region in many ways, from our manufacturing and head office operations through to our community and business links. We believe that our growth goes hand-in-hand with the region.”

The full list of finalists were: QBE Innovation in Export Award – Furnware, Wood Mallets, David Trubridge, RCR Energy, Rockit, Haden and Custance. Napier Port Most Compelling Strategy in Export Award – RCR Energy, Agri Lab Co-Products, Haden and Custance. DHL Collaboration in Export Award – Hawke's Bay Wine Growers, Maimai Creek.

To enter the awards, businesses had to be generating export earnings of more than $100,000 for more than three consecutive years.

John Milford, Chief Executive of Business Central, said Furnware was a most worthy winner, as it fought off a long list of extremely high-calibre entries.

“We were overwhelmed by the number and quality of companies that entered, and it’s very clear that Hawke’s Bay business is in extremely good shape.

“Furnware, with its design and export of innovative furniture for schools, has grown into a top performer on the world stage from its early days of making rifle butts and caravans.

“Like the other finalists, it proves every day that Hawke’s Bay companies can foot it with companies around the world.”

ASB Bank, as the ExportNZ awards key partner, were pleased to support this opportunity for the community to celebrate the success of its exporters through the awards series says Mike Atkins, Head of Trade Finance.

"The submissions for these awards have blown us away and we’re excited to be part of the future of Hawkes Bay’s exporters.

"We congratulate Furnware on their outstanding achievement along with all of the winners and finalists. High quality submissions made for close and intense competition.

"We’re excited about the future of exporting out of Hawke’s Bay because, like all of you, at ASB we’re an ambitious bunch and strive to be, and do, the best for our customers. And we feel that Kiwi ambition can take us a long way. Smart, collaborative partnerships will get us over the line."

ExportNZ Hawke’s Bay Executive Officer Amanda Liddle says the awards are a great chance for export businesses to expand their business horizons and get inspired.

“These businesses deserve to be celebrated and congratulated on the fantastic work they are doing both here and in their offshore markets”.

Business Central, which oversees ExportNZ Hawke’s Bay, represents around 3500 employers across the lower North Island. It provides employer, health and safety, and human resources advice, and advocates policies that reflect the interest of the business community.


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