The Northland Business Excellence Awards presentation and celebration evening took place on Friday November 4, 2022. The evening brought together Awards entrants, sponsors, judges, and key stakeholders from across the region to celebrate and honour the outstanding achievements of local businesses, and individuals. The night saw home-based care providers tlc4u2 walk away as the Northpower and Top Energy Northland Business Excellence Supreme Award winners, and local business owner Lindsay Faithfull of McKay Electrical inducted into the Northern Advocate Business Hall of Fame.
NorthChamber Board President Tim Robinson said, “This year’s event, after an ‘in-person’ hiatus in 2021, was outstanding with lots of positive feedback. It was fantastic to dress up and celebrate some of the very best of Tai Tokerau’s businesses community. The event format made for lots of networking, and a chance to build new relationships. Congrats to all!”
The Awards process has 14 Business Categories offering a range of entry options to suit business size, age, turnover and specialist focus. Entry criteria ranges from the broad based, but stringent Business Category entry form based on the internationally recognised Baldridge Business Excellence criteria, to the Specialist Categories where entry forms have a particular focus such as Diversity & Inclusion or Innovation. Businesses choose to enter these categories themselves as opposed to being nominated.
Greg Atkins, a director of BDO and the Convenor of Judges for the Awards, acknowledges that the Business Category entry is a challenge, probably one of the most challenging Awards processes in the country. “It requires a huge commitment from owners and forces a very thorough assessment of their business. However it sets a standard, we know that the winners and finalists in each category have been truly outstanding and deserving, and those who have been through the process as entrants have done a very thorough review of their business, and can use that framework to help level up.”
Businesses who take part are encouraged to come back and give the Awards another go. Two businesses that did just that this year were Foreno Tapware Ltd, last years Supreme Winner who came back and took out the Northland Regional Council Environmental Excellence Award, and tlc4u2 who won the Northland Document Solutions– Ricoh Excellence in Large Business category last year and then came back to take the Supreme Award this year. Three Awards categories are nomination based, including the More FM Northland Customer Choice Award, the public nominates a business, they believe offers an exceptional customer experience. The Winner for 2022 was Kerikeri hospitality stars Feast NZ Ltd.
The other two nomination categories are the only ones aimed at individuals. The Ministry of Social Development He Poutama Tai Tamariki Youth Employee – Employer Award and the Northern Advocate Business Hall of Fame. The Youth Award focuses on young people who have overcome adversity or challenges in their life and are demonstrating excellence in their work. This award also recognises the role of the employer in creating conditions that foster success and sustainability. The winner this year was Eryn Grace Vesey of Northland Disabled Charitable Trust (known as Forget Me Not Adult Day Care Centre).
The Hall of Fame award acknowledges a local business person who throughout their career has demonstrated outstanding service both to their industry and the wider Northland community. The Awards have been running for 45 years, their purpose is twofold, to nurture and encourage local business to strive for excellence and to acknowledge and celebrate those who are consistently achieving across the board. The Awards connects the Northland business community through the network of entrants, judges, sponsors and stakeholders.
Chamber president Tim Robinson recognises that without the support of the event sponsors and partners the event could not run. “Sponsors in essence pave the way for the entire process, it speaks volumes about their commitment to the community and desire to see local businesses grow and achieve.” The same can be said of the judges and business coach who give time and expertise freely. “It’s all a fantastic ecosystem really, we have entrants who come back again, keen to do better, we have judges who were winners, winners who become sponsors, and so it goes on, that is the natural progression that tells us the process is valuable.”
Entries for the 2023 NorthChamber Northland Business Excellence Awards open in April. There is no cost to enter the awards, you do not need to be a member of NorthChamber and there are significant benefits for all businesses who enter, including free independent feedback and recommendations on building business capability.
Click here for a PDF version of all the winners and finalists, or for a full recap – head to our Facebook page