Paul Macaulay is the CEO of central Auckland-based tourism venture Auckland Adventure Jet.

Can you tell me a bit about Auckland Adventure Jet?

Auckland Adventure Jet has the very first purpose built sea jet of its kind in New Zealand and we started business here in Auckland in 2010. Prior to that I had been involved in jet boating in the South Island for most of my life. We are located beside the Auckland ferry building on Quay St and have nine staff, including skippers, coordinators, and people in marketing, operations and accounts.

What awards programmes have you entered as a company and why?

We are proud to have been a finalist in the excellence in workplace safety category of the Westpac Auckland Central Business Awards for the past two years running and we also won the excellence in marketing category at those awards last year. We have also been a finalist in two categories of the Sustainable 60 awards.


Winning an award really gets your company noticed in the Auckland business world, which is really important for a small but growing company such as Auckland Adventure Jet.

How has entering awards benefited your business?

It's really a great process to put your company through. It involves our staff - they all have an input into our entries - so they are all very proud of our achievements. And because we are into doing our part for the environment, being acknowledged for that with a Sustainable 60 award was a great win for us.

Alternately, has entering awards been challenging in any way?

It's not easy. A lot of work goes into entering into the Westpac awards and it is very difficult to try and showcase your whole business when you have a limited number of words. However, it is so worth the hard work when you get a result at the end.

What tips would you have for other small business owners in terms of putting together a successful awards entry?

I'd advise laying out your material in a way that makes it looks interesting for the judges to read. I'd also emphasise how important it is to clearly express yourself so that even someone who knows nothing about your company can get an exact understanding of what it is you do, what you offer and your point of difference in the market.

What have been the benefits of being an award winner?

It definitely helps your company get noticed; you get a lot of publicity through the journey. It also makes your staff feel proud of your company and we can also advertise that we are award winners. That definitely helps us in the tourism world when we are trying to sell our product to buyers. It helps reassure people that we are a company they should be doing business with.

To me, business is all about having the right people around you and believing in what you are doing, as well as having goals and pushing yourself towards those targets. Putting yourself out there by going for awards makes you stronger and it's always a great feeling to be rewarded for doing something you love.