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Inaugural Ignite Wanaka Business Awards finalists announced

Inaugural Ignite Wanaka Business Awards finalists announced


30 September 2016. For immediate release 

Finalists for the inaugural Ignite Wanaka Business Awards have been announced, with judges blown away by the calibre of entries.

More than 50 businesses from around Wanaka entered the awards, exceeding the independent judging panel’s expectations.

Finalists are –

Outstanding in Infrastructure/Trades supported by Ray White Wanaka: Aquasystems Australasia, Dunlop Builders, Optum Plumbing & Energy Solutions, Wanaka Flooring Xtra.

Outstanding in Professional Services supported by Queenstown Airport Corporation: Eliska Lewis Architects, Eyes on Ardmore, NZ Fine Touring Group, Print It Wanaka.

Outstanding in Tourism supported by Lake Wanaka Tourism: Adventure Consultants, Cardrona Alpine Resort, Puzzling World, Skydive Wanaka.

Outstanding in Retail/Hospitality Supported by Rippon Hall: Caltex Wanaka, Mons Royale, The Bakery, The People’s Bread.

Outstanding Innovators supported by Chorus: D-Fi, kin2kin, Revology, The People’s Bread.

Winners, including the Supreme Business Award and Outstanding Individual (supported by Milford Asset Management), will be announced at a gala dinner at Rippon Hall on November 4, 2016.

Convenor of judges Simon Telfer says: “We’ve had an outstanding calibre of entries – all of which reflect the rich tapestry of business in Wanaka. Entries show real innovation, strong business performance and a commitment to developing great teams of employees.

“Judges have been able to select a list of finalists that cover Wanaka’s broad business spectrum, from two-people businesses to 600-people organisations, from businesses operating for two years to 40 years and from businesses operating locally in Wanaka to those that also do business globally. It’s going to be an inspirational awards evening.”

Two hundred tickets to the awards gala dinner are already on sale via Eventbrite. Tickets are $95+GST.

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 include drink and canapes on arrival, Rippon wine at the table and a three course meal.

“A number of amazing local businesses have come on-board as sponsors to ensure we can host a great evening while keeping the ticket price affordable. Rest assured this will be an evening worth attending,” Telfer says.

The independent judging panel comprises four high-profile and successful businesspeople living in the Wanaka region: Governance specialist Telfer, professional director Anne Urlwin, past winner of Ernst & Young’s New Zealand Entrepreneur of the Year Bill Day and Tarras-based director and lawyer Giselle McLachlan.

In October, judges will be requesting supporting documentation from each finalist as they decide on the category winners.

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


About the judges 

Simon Telfer (Convenor of the Judging Panel)
Simon currently serves as an independent director and advisory board member to a number of privately owned companies. He is well known in the NZ business community for his governance initiatives including Appoint Better Boards and Stimulus.  He has appointed over 70 board members to New Zealand organisations and coached over 300 aspiring directors. Simon has lived and worked in the UK, US, Australia and New Zealand but now happily resides in Wanaka.

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.

Bill Day
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.

Giselle McLachlan
Giselle is a director and a lawyer, with business experience from a variety of perspectives. She lives in Tarras and commutes to Christchurch most weeks, where she is General Manager of commercial and agri-business law firm Tavendale + Partners.  Giselle has served on a number of boards, including the H&J Smith Group and local start up Insiteful.  She enjoys helping people and businesses to grow and succeed.


For more information, please contact:
Simon Telfer, Ignite Wanaka Business Awards Convenor of Judges – 021 321 901

Celia Crosbie
Written by Celia Crosbie
Celia is an award-winning former journalist who has worked for newspapers and radio stations in New Zealand and magazines in the United Kingdom. She has worked in public relations in both NZ and London. Celia also specialises in digital media strategy and website copywriting for SEO.