The Wairarapa Awards nominations gathering. PHOTOS/JADE CVETKOV
Businesses big and small have been named as finalists in the first-ever Wairarapa Awards.
Some are names people grew up with, some building new brands online, some with shop fronts in high streets and some run from home.
Wairarapa Chamber of Commerce general manager Catherine Rossiter-Stead said it felt like the time was right to celebrate the best of business excellence in the region, and the response to the call for nominations for the inaugural awards had been overwhelming.
On Thursday night in Masterton, 17 businesses were named as finalists in four categories: Innovation, Vibrant, Emerging, and Team.
The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony at the Copthorne Solway Park Hotel and Resort on October 4. They then go up against each other for the Trust House Supreme Award, which will be announced at the end of the evening.
A tribute will be made to a Wairarapa businessperson during the evening, but organisers are staying mum about who it will be.
CRS Software, Eketahuna Meats, FWL Trays, and Trailers and the Tranzit Group are the finalists in the Harcourts Innovation category.
Tranzit are also the sponsors of the Vibrant category where the finalists are Country Village Heaven, the organisation formed to promote the businesses of Greytown, along with Green Jersey, Martinborough Wine Tours, and Palliser Ridge.
3Mile [Carterton’s co-working community], The Cartel Food Company, Freedom Kids, Marty Girl Skinfood, and Reid & Reid are the finalists for the ANZ Emerging category.
Some of the region’s best-known businesses – Eastwood Motor Group, Paper Plus, Powershop and the Stihl Shop – are finalists in the Gibson Sheat Team category.
Helen Tickner, sales and marketing manager for Tranzit Group, said the idea of holding the awards had been talked about for years and the chamber had said, “We’ll do it”.
“I think you always have to celebrate success, because if you don’t stop and celebrate your success sometimes and actually look around and see what everyone else is doing, why do it?”
She said Tranzit was a long-standing Wairarapa firm and the Snelgrove family was really proud of its team.
This was a way for the company to celebrate not only the rest of Wairarapa but also acknowledge its team.
The finalists were chosen by an independent judging panel.
“We have an amazing business community here in Wairarapa and this opportunity to celebrate our success is long overdue,” Rossiter-Stead said.
More than 60 people were at Aratoi in Masterton on Thursday night to hear the announcement of the finalists in the first-ever Wairarapa Awards for business.
The awards, organised by the Chamber of Commerce, recognise excellence in business and 17 businesses were named in the four categories of Innovation, Vibrant, Emerging and Team.
The winners of each category compete for the Trust House Supreme Award.
An exciting night is planned for the awards ceremony at the Copthorne Solway Park Hotel on October 4.
Former Masterton mayor Bob Francis said it was a great idea to hold the awards.
“We have some outstanding businesses in so many different areas, in tourism, manufacturing and service industries,” he said.
The sponsors of the categories are Harcourts, Tranzit, ANZ, Gibson Sheat and Trust House.
The Wairarapa Times-Age, Mediaworks Wairarapa, WREDA, Southey Sayer Accountants, Masterton District Council, South Wairarapa District Council and Promote Communications are also supporting the event.
HARCOURTS INNOVATION CATEGORY
For businesses exploring new ideas, services and products, and who are thinking outside the box.
Finalists: CRS Software, Eketahuna Meats, FWL Trays and Trailers, Tranzit Group.
TRANZIT VIBRANT CATEGORY
For leaders in hospitality and tourism.
Finalists: Country Village Heaven, Green Jersey, Martinborough Wine Tours, Palliser Ridge.
ANZ EMERGING CATEGORY
Up and coming businesses.
3Mile, The Cartel Food Company, Freedom Kids, Marty Girl Skinfood, Reid & Reid.
GIBSON SHEAT TEAM CATEGORY
For service to the community, wellness and well-being, and investment in people.
Finalists: Eastwood Motor Group, Paper Plus, Powershop, Stihl Shop.