Strategic focus and commitment were the key factors making the Northland Emergency Services Trust this year's Supreme winner in the Westpac Northland Business Excellence Awards.

The judges said the factors were shown through strong governance and highlighted by the business case for additional helicopters. "Stakeholders at all levels are aware and contribute to the organisation's common goals," they said.

Although a team achievement, the judges made special mention of Paul Ahlers and Peter Turnbull for their efforts as trust members.

The awards were held at Forum North, Whangarei on Friday, October 27. Businesses from throughout Northland submitted 42 entries across five business categories, seven ancillary categories and an overall supreme winner.

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As well as being named supreme winner, Northland Emergency Services Trust was the winner of the Top Energy Best Not-For-Profit Organisation Award and the GBC Winstone Excellence in Business Medium Business Award and was the joint winner of the ACC Workplace Safety Award.

Tony Collins, from the NZ Chambers of Commerce Northland, said it was great to celebrate not only the winners but all entrants for the passion they showed to their business aspirations and their pursuit of excellence, in the 40th year of the awards' existence.

"The standard continues to get better every year and no matter what the size, structure or nature of the enterprise, they were all committed to making their business a success."

Prosper Northland trustees, from left, Andrew Garratt, Jenny Hill, Barry Trass (chairman), Christine King, Ian Reeves, Greg Guy and Nick Keene with Northern Advocate editor Craig Cooper (seated).
Prosper Northland trustees, from left, Andrew Garratt, Jenny Hill, Barry Trass (chairman), Christine King, Ian Reeves, Greg Guy and Nick Keene with Northern Advocate editor Craig Cooper (seated).

Winners of each category were:

* Level (a strategy, marketing and design studio, formed by five experienced industry professionals) - winner of the Business Coaching New Zealand Best Emerging Business Award. Continental Motel, Good Eggs Ltd and Strength & Soul were finalists.

* Sarahlee Studio (a boutique portrait studio) - winner of the Ricoh Northland Excellence in Micro Business (1-3FTE) Category. Memory Lane and Live Wire Media were finalists.

* Three Hairdressing - winner of the Henderson Reeves Excellence in Business Small Business Awards (4-9FTE). Finalists were Northern Benchtops and Energise Web Design Ltd.

* Northland Emergency Services Trust - winner of the GBC Winstone Excellence in Business Medium Business Award (10-24FTE). Dive! Tutukaka were also a finalist.

* Transport Engineering (a Whangarei-based transport engineering specialist) - winner of the Vodafone Excellence in Business Large Business Award (25 plus FTE). Waitangi Treaty Grounds and Northland Scaffolding Ltd were finalists.

* Northland Emergency Services Trust - winner of the Top Energy Best Not-For-Profit Organisation Award. Waitangi Treaty Grounds were also a finalist.

* Waitangi Treaty Grounds - winner of the Northland Regional Council Sustainable Business Award. Ohaeawai Community Education Trust and Northern Benchtops were finalists.

* Northland Emergency Services Trust and Dive! Tutukaka - were joint winners of the ACC Workplace Safety Award. Northern Benchtops, Ten4 Transport Engineering and Good Eggs Ltd were finalists.

* Memory Lane - winner of the Creative Northland Excellence in Creative Industries Award. Sarahlee Studio and Level were named as finalists.

* Dataphyll Ltd (specialising in technology and software solutions in the horticulture and IT sectors) took out the Northland Inc Innovation Award. and Donovan Group NZ Ltd and Lynwood Avocado Nursery were highly commended.

* Ohaeawai Community Education Trust (for infants and young children up to 6 years old) - winner of the People Potential Judges Choice Award. Luke Bird Entertainment was a finalist.

* Uber Group Ltd (a Northland-owned and operated wireless broadband service to remote Northland communities) was voted winner of the More FM Customer Choice Service Provider Award and Mint Floral was the winner of the More FM Customer Choice Retail Provider.

The Northern Advocate Business Hall of Fame inductee this year was the Prosper Northland Trust in recognition of its contribution to Northland business.