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Ignite Wanaka Business Awards Finalists Announced

Ignite Wanaka Business Awards finalists announced

Finalists for the inaugural Ignite Wanaka Business Awards have been announced, with judges impressed by innovation, passion and strong financial performance among entrants.

Almost 50 businesses from around Wanaka entered the awards, which is in its second year, and this year sponsored by Milford Asset Management – a boutique investment firm with offices in Wanaka.

Finalists are:

Outstanding in infrastructure/trades (Supported by Allenby Farms): Flooring Xtra, Eastwood Environmental, Optum Plumbing.

Outstanding in professional services (Supported by Westpac): OCULA, Central Lakes Media, Eliska Lewis Architects, Blend Creative.

Judges also acknowledged Buyer’s Agent with a highly commended in this category.

Outstanding in tourism (Supported by Lake Wanaka Tourism): Puzzling World, Wildwire, Challenge Wanaka, Cardrona Alpine Resort.

Outstanding in retail/hospitality (Supported by Rippon Hall): Mons Royale, Edgewater Resort, NZ Pure Ice Cream, PERRIAM.

Outstanding innovators (Supported by Air New Zealand): Cardrona Alpine Resort, The Woven, Kin2Kin, Wanaka App.

Outstanding in sustainability (Supported by Queenstown and Wanaka Airport): Cardrona Alpine Resort, Challenge Wanaka, Eastwood Environmental.

Winners, including the Supreme Business Award (supported by Milford Asset Management), Outstanding Individual (supported by Ray White Wanaka) and the People’s Choice Award (supported by Ignite Wanaka Chamber of Commerce), will be announced at a gala dinner at Rippon Hall on November 10, 2017.

Convenor of judges Bill Day says: “It’s pleasing to see the Ignite Wanaka Business Awards attract more high-quality entries from some of our community’s most outstanding businesses. People do interesting things to stay in Wanaka, and what’s more, they do them well. It’s not only the quality of their business idea – but also the quality of the execution, through their passion and drive to do things differently.

“Judges were pleased to see small businesses competing with some of Wanaka’s largest businesses and we were also blown away by the emphasis placed on the environment and sustainability in most operations. I think that’s definitely a Wanaka thing.”

Judges will now follow up with finalists to validate financial information and other aspects of their entries.

The Gala Dinner will be an evening of celebration and festivities with 200 of Wanaka’s business community coming together in anticipation to hear who will be the winners on the night.

Tickets to the awards gala dinner go on sale via Eventbrite from Monday 16 October and cost $125+GST, with corporate tables of 10 available for $1250+GST. Tickets include drinks and canapes on arrival, Rippon wine at the table and a three-course meal.

The independent judging panel comprises five high-profile and successful businesspeople living in the Wanaka region: Past winner of Ernst & Young's New Zealand Entrepreneur of the Year Bill Day, professional director Anne Urlwin, experienced company director and Spark chairman Mark Verbiest, Tarras-based director and lawyer Giselle McLachlan and legal consultant Wayne Hudson.

The Ignite Wanaka Business Awards are also sponsored by: Bidfood, Mitre 10, Raspberry Creek, Entertainment Solutions, Fantail Events, Wanaka Marquee & Party Hire, Metalworks Wanaka, Think Three Creative, Jodie Rainsford Photography, The Messenger, Scope Media, Radio Wanaka and Wanaka App.


About the judges

Bill Day (Convenor of the Judging Panel)

Bill started his multi-million-dollar business, Seaworks, in 1979 as a commercial dive company. Today Bill's marine contracting company has its own fleet of vessels. The company lays under-sea cables, runs underwater robots, salvages sunken vessels, inspects oil rigs around the world and, more recently, has managed the marine work for Steven Spielberg movies. Bill Day was chosen as Winner of Ernst & Young's New Zealand Entrepreneur of the Year in September 2000 and in 2002 he returned to Monaco as one of the judges for the 2002 World Entrepreneur of the Year competition. Bill resides in Wanaka and is also Chairman of Wanaka Search and Rescue.

Anne Urlwin

A chartered accountant, business consultant and professional director, Anne’s current Directorships include Chorus Ltd, Steel & Tube Holdings Ltd, Naylor Love and Summerset Group Holdings Ltd. Anne is also Deputy Chairman of Southern Response Earthquake Services Ltd (formerly AMI Insurance). Anne has considerable business experience – her former roles include Chairman of Lakes Environmental Ltd and the New Zealand Blood Service, and serving as a Director of Meridian Energy Ltd and Airways Corporation NZ Ltd.

Anne is a Wanaka resident.

Mark Verbiest

Mark Verbiest is an experienced company director, serving as the outgoing chairman of Spark NZ. He is also a director of ANZ Bank New Zealand Limited, Meridian Energy Limited and Freightways Limited, Chairman of Willis Bond Capital Partners Limited and Willis Bond General Partner Limited, a member of the Advisory Board to the New Zealand Treasury, and is a former board member of the Financial Markets Authority. He is also a trustee of the Southern Lakes Arts Festival Trust and a consultant to national law firm Simpson Grierson. Mark has a law degree from Victoria University of Wellington. Mark’s experience in the telecommunications sector extends over more than a decade, including seven-and-a-half years on Spark’s senior executive team from 2000.

Giselle McLachlan

Giselle has a legal and governance background, with business experience from a variety of perspectives. She lives in Tarras and has recently taken on a newly-created CEO role with Landpro Ltd, based in Cromwell. Giselle has served on a number of boards, including the H&J Smith Group. She enjoys helping people and businesses to grow and succeed.

Wayne Hudson

Wayne Hudson has spent the last 30 years focusing on the technology business sector, advising on commercialising intellectual property, buying and selling tech businesses, capital-raising and structuring start-up businesses. He is a legal consultant through his company WHIPIT Limited, which assists technology start-up companies prepare for growth, investment and sale. Wayne is also the Wanaka Ski and Snowsports Club president.

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