1st Call gets the call at Tauranga awards

Bravery and a willingness to strategically integrate technology in business were the key themes at the 2017 Westpac Tauranga Business Awards, held before a crowd of 450 at the annual gala event at ASB Arena this month.

1st Call Recruitment led the roll call of 13 winners, taking out the overall Westpac Business of the Year Award. The company also won the Vodafone Embracing Digital Technology Award, and was highly commended in the ACC Workplace Safety Award.

Tui Products, a former Westpac Business of the Year winner, received the University of Waikato Corporate Leadership Award.

Innovative Mount Maunganui-based design store Paper Plane won the Bay of Plenty Business News Sustainable Business Practices Award, with a highly commended going to the Young Innovator Awards team. (Please see pages 23-29 for full coverage of all winners.)

The awards are run by the Tauranga Chamber of Commerce, and coordinator Anne Pankhurst said this year saw an increased number of entrants, with a wide mix of businesses across all sectors and business  practice.

1st Call

Glen Forgie, chief executive of Corporate Award winner Tui Products, with Heather Connolly of category sponsor University of Waikato. Photo: Natalie Murdoch Photography/Tauranga Chamber of Commerce.

Head judge and financial assessor Raimarie Pointon, a principal of Young Read Woudberg, also commented on the wide range of high calibre local businesses.

“There has been a very clear theme to the 2017 Westpac Business of the Year Awards with the entrants showing more entrepreneurship and innovation,” she said.

“As never before, we have seen local businesses embracing technology as the cornerstone for carefully considered and well-structured strategy.”

Tauranga Chamber chief executive Stan Gregec said it was great to see a mix of both newer and more established businesses being recognised in this year’s awards.

“The Tauranga business landscape is changing every year and we are seeing a whole new crop of businesses emerging that add variety, scale and sophistication to our economic base.”