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Awards celebrate the crème de la crème of NZ hospitality

Friday 14th October, 2016

Awards for Excellence celebrate the crème de la crème of NZ hospitality

Hospitality New Zealand has once again recognised the very best of Kiwi hospitality, at their 19th annual 2016 Awards for Excellence gala dinner, held in central Auckland on Thursday night.

Over 450 people gathered at SkyCity for the black tie event, representing the full breadth of New Zealand’s food and beverage, and accommodation sectors – from small town pubs, to high end hotels, and everything in between.

The Supreme Award winner was Northland’s boutique five-star Waipoua Lodge – which also took out the ‘Best Accommodation (30 rooms and under)’ and ‘Excellence in Customer Service’ categories.

Judges commended Waipoua for representing the “absolute pinnacle of natural and genuine Kiwi hospitality, with outstanding customer experience which delivered over and above expectations.”

They were unanimous in their praise for all of the night’s big winners, across 16 categories, noting the remarkably high calibre of entries, exhibited across the 64 finalists.

Hospitality New Zealand Chief Executive Vicki Lee was quick to echo the judges’ comments, and says the standard of this year’s entries is testament to the high levels of professionalism within the industry.

“In order to truly excel in hospitality, there needs to be an incredible level of passion, commitment and care. Each of our winners tonight, and indeed all our finalists, embody that dedication and professionalism completely – and rightly deserve to be celebrated for the superb customer experience they create for their patrons and guests each and every day.

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“As always, it’s fantastic to have the opportunity to honour such a broad range of businesses for their work, from up and down the country, and across all aspects of the industry. The Awards underwent a significant revamp this year – so they are now, more than ever, a celebration of the very best across the entire sector,” Lee concludes.

Waipoua Lodge owner operators, Ian and Fran Farrant, have said how thrilled they are to have taken home the trio of titles, particularly given this is their first submission to the awards programme.

“When we bought the Lodge six years ago, it was a pretty daunting prospect - a totally new venture for us, coming from backgrounds in management and finance, but we fell in love with the place the moment we saw it. It’s been such a rewarding journey, and an absolute pleasure to be able to share the experience with our guests. We’re tremendously proud to have been recognised in this way,” says Mrs Farrant.

All finalists were subject to a rigorous judging process, across a seven-week period, by a panel of independent industry professionals, which considered staff training and human resources, customer service, food and beverage offerings, marketing and promotional activities, and the demonstration of business growth.

The Hospitality New Zealand’s Awards for Excellence honours the achievement of excellence across 16 categories, recognising hospitality and accommodation businesses that have performed exceptionally throughout the year.


Hospitality New Zealand Supreme Award Winner

Waipoua Lodge, Northland

AA Traveller Accommodation Host of the Year

Sport of Kings Motel, Rotorua, Bay of Plenty

Sleepyhead Commercial Best Accommodation, 30 rooms and under

Waipoua Lodge, Northland

Hotel Magazine Best Accommodation, over 30 rooms

Bolton Hotel, Wellington

Marsh Insurance Best New/Redeveloped Accommodation

Mangapapa Hotel, Havelock North, Hawke’s Bay

SKY TV Best Bar

Emporium Eatery and Bar, Napier, Hawke’s Bay

Noel Leeming Best Café

Dog With Two Tails, Dunedin, Otago

TAB Best Country Hotel

Omakau Commercial Hotel, Omakau, Central Otago

About Print Best Music Entertainment Venue

Smash Palace, Gisborne

Pernod Ricard New Zealand Best New/Redeveloped Bar/Restaurant

Papanui Club, Christchurch, Canterbury

Hospitality Business Best Restaurant

Harbourside, Auckland City, Auckland

Hospitality New Zealand Best Retail Off-Licence

Super Liquor Ilam, Christchurch, Canterbury

Spark New Zealand Excellence in Customer Service

Waipoua Lodge, Northland

IGT New Zealand Excellence in Gaming

Edinburgh Street, Pukekohe, Auckland

Health Promotion Agency Excellence in Host Responsibility

Christchurch Casino, Christchurch, Canterbury

American Express Excellence in Marketing

Rydges Wellington, Wellington

Service IQ Excellence in Training & Staff Development

Delaware North Wellington Airport, Wellington

Hospitality New Zealand Hall of Fame Inductee

John McHugh, Southland


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