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Open Polytechnic Scoops Business Awards

23 July 2005

Open Polytechnic Scoops Business Awards

The Open Polytechnic of New Zealand has won both the Education Provider Award and the Overall Excellence in Business Support Award at the inaugural nationwide Vero Excellence in Business Support Awards.

The awards were presented at a ceremony in Auckland on July 21st. Based in Lower Hutt, the Polytechnic received the awards for its contribution to supporting business and small business throughout New Zealand through tertiary education and training. The Polytechnic competed amongst eight organisations to take out the supreme award.

Nearly two thirds of the Polytechnic’s 36,000 students last year were studying while in employment, making The Open Polytechnic one of New Zealand's major educators of people in the workforce. Around 1,500 students a year enrol in courses relating to small business taught through the Polytechnic's Centre for Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development.

Dr Paul Grimwood, Chief Executive of The Open Polytechnic, states: “We're very proud of the fact that we've educated hundreds of thousands of Kiwis in the national workforce, and that they include thousands of people in small business.”

“At The Open Polytechnic we look hard at what we do on a continual basis, we acknowledge that the small business sector is vital for our nation's future, and we are absolutely committed to supporting its success,” says Dr Grimwood.

Created by small business support sector specialist Sarah Trotman, the Vero Excellence in Business Support Awards are independently evaluated by the NZ Business Excellence Foundation. Vero, the Ministry of Economic Development, and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise sponsor the awards.

In total, 32 finalists were selected across eight categories. From multinationals to sole traders, the businesses chosen ranged from web page designers to banks, publishers and education providers.

Winning the Vero awards continues The Open Polytechnic's run of awards successes. Last year, the Polytechnic received international accolades when it was joint winner of the Commonwealth's top award for institutional excellence in distance education, heading a field of entrants from 14 countries. It was also a finalist in the Wellington Region Gold Awards for Enterprise and Excellence held during May.

“I want to thank the sponsors and partners who made the Vero Excellence in Business Support Awards possible,” says Dr Grimwood. “And offer my congratulations to all of the finalists - the range and quality of work going on to support Kiwi enterprise is truly impressive.”

ENDS

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