Entries are now open for the New Zealand Tourism Awards, returning for 2021 to showcase and celebrate the tourism industry's individual and business successes.
After a 2020 hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a revised awards programme will see three individual high performers and up to eight businesses crowned as the very best in the industry.
Winners will be announced at a special awards dinner on September 1 in Hamilton
following Tourism Summit Aotearoa, keeping attendees' costs down by combining the events on the tourism calendar.
Both events are organised by Tourism Industry Aotearoa.
TIA chief executive Chris Roberts says the decision to hold the awards in 2021 came
from the tourism operators themselves.
"While a full awards ceremony didn't feel appropriate this time last year, our members
have told us a return to the annual celebration in some form would be welcome.
"We've combined some of the previous categories, further simplified the entry process and won't be selecting a Supreme Award winner this year.
"We know tourism businesses and individuals are keen to show how they've adapted and
innovated over the past year, with the awards dinner bringing a sense of prestige and
celebration back to the industry."
The three awards for individuals are open to outstanding performers in the industry, and
eight awards will recognise business excellence, industry alignment and organisations
that are living the values of the Tourism Sustainability Commitment.
The New Zealand Tourism Awards are open to both members and non-members of TIA.
Tickets to the New Zealand Tourism Awards dinner will be available to buy soon.
Mackenzie Elvin Law expands its new generation of partners
Mackenzie Elvin Law welcomes Jason Bywater-Lutman to the partnership, making a seven-strong team of principals.
The appointment confirms the firm's commitment to building a strong intergenerational practice.
Bywater-Lutman is passionate about helping Bay of Plenty locals achieve the best legal solutions possible in his areas of speciality – property, development, construction and wider commercial law.
Mackenzie Elvin Law senior partner Graeme Elvin says Bywater-Lutman is a great addition to the partnership, and his appointment has come at an important time for the firm.
"It's not only about outstanding people, for us that's a given, but also the need for extensive legal experience.
"We've seen a rapid growth in the Bay of Plenty and Jason is excited to use his expertise to help shape the region now, and in the future, and I'm looking forward to seeing him flourish in the Mackenzie Elvin environment."
Bywater-Lutman, who has close to two decades of law experience, is proud to call the Bay of Plenty home. He settled in Mount Maunganui in 2014 with his young family, following stints practising law in Auckland, the United Kingdom and Wellington.
"The Bay's thriving property and commercial sector has created unparalleled growth opportunities. I'm proud to be part of the region's development and to help clients obtain excellent outcomes in their endeavours.
"Joining the successful and well-established partnership at Mackenzie Elvin Law gives me the chance to offer clients customised and full legal services with an exceptional team behind me."
The appointment of Bywater-Lutman follows the recent promotions of Rebecca Savage and Thomas Refoy-Butler to partner. These three, along with partner Tom Elvin, make up the second generation of partners at the firm.
New director appointed to First Mortgage Trust
First Mortgage Managers (FMM), manager of First Mortgage Trust (FMT), has announced Kylie Boyd as its director.
Michael Smith, chairman of First Mortgage Managers says Boyd has more than 16 years' commercial law experience and more than 10 years' governance experience and has strong commercial, analytical and risk management skills.
"We are really pleased to have Kylie join our board of directors."
Boyd is based in Tauranga and is a former partner of Sharp Tudhope Lawyers.
She has worked with a range of commercial enterprises, both large and small, spanning various industries, including manufacturing, exporting, horticulture, software development and financial services.
Boyd is an experienced director and is currently a director for Craigs Investment Partners Superannuation Management Ltd, Priority One, Custodial Services Ltd, and Bluelab Corporation Ltd.
First Mortgage Trust chief executive Tony Kinzett says Boyd is their first female director.
"We are delighted to welcome her to our Board. Kylie brings outstanding governance and commercial experience and will complement our board well."
First Mortgage Trust was recently named Best NZ Non-Bank of the Year by NZ Adviser.
"We know Kylie's contribution to the Board will be of immense value to our whole team as we continue to grow and strengthen our presence and reputation among investors, borrowers and the wider financial community.
"We are looking forward to working with Kylie."
Boyd has a BA, LLB (Hons) from the University of Auckland and will join the board on 15 June 2021.
Craigs Investment Partners new CEO Simon Tong
Craigs Investment Partners has appointed a new chief executive.
Simon Tong will take on the top job at Craigs moving on from his current role as executive general manager digital, data and brand at ASB.
Craigs' former chief executive Frank Aldridge announced his departure from the role in March after 16 years at the helm.
Sir Ralph Norris, chair at Craigs and once a CEO of ASB, said he was pleased to announce the appointment.
"Simon has a strong background in technology and strategy and is highly regarded as a leader who has driven change, performance, and customer-centricity at the companies he has worked with.
Tong has been with ASB for nearly four and half years and was previously CEO of Paymark and Fairfax NZ.
Norris said he hoped to have Tong in place by early October.
Rotorua chef wins Nestle Golden Chef's Hat
A 19-year-old Skyline Rotorua employee has been named a winner of the North Island Regional Live Cook-off heat in the Nestlé Golden Chef's Hat Award competition.
Rotorua chef Samantha Warena was awarded a silver medal for her skills in the kitchen at the awards held at Ignite College in Auckland last week.
Warena will now go on to represent the North Island at the grand finals of the 2021 Nestlé Golden Chef's Hat Award, which will be held in Sydney during September.
The young chef created a two-course menu comprising a main of seared ginger stuffed sous vide chicken breast, a braised chicken lollipop on sweet potato puree and vegetables.
Dessert was a chilli infused chocolate mousse on a crispy orange shortbread served with spiced rhubarb. The judging panel scored her and the other competitors against globally recognised culinary standards.
Warena said she was elated with the win and was looking forward to competing in Sydney.
"I'm now working on my game plan for the big event and taking the judges' feedback to heart, so I can improve for the Sydney finals.
"This was a great opportunity to learn new things and meet the other contestants. We had a great time and hope to keep in touch."
Executive chef and Nestlé Professional head judge Mark Clayton said it has never been more important to come together to support the hospitality industry, inspire young talent and provide key skills for them to succeed in their careers.
"This award is about pushing yourself to be a better chef. It's a chance for young chefs to step outside their comfort zone and challenge themselves."
The culinary competition for young chefs is now in its 56th year, supporting top emerging culinary talent and kick-starting their careers.
New cider helps tackle New Zealand's pest problem
A new cider brand called Zeden Cider has just launched with a promise to help New Zealand achieve its goal of being predator-free by 2050.
Bay of Plenty's Bevan Wait is the lead co-founder of Zeden Cider, alongside Leon McDonald and Chris Durney.
The three are also co-founders of Ranga alcoholic ginger beer, which was launched in early 2012.
"For me personally, this is a true passion project," Wait said. "We have a massive pest problem in New Zealand, so we've decided to donate ten per cent of our profits to Forest & Bird."
Jo Prestwood of Forest & Bird said nature has been pushed to breaking point.
"Over 4000 of our species are at risk of extinction, and the problem isn't going away on its own."
Zeden Cider is made from East Coast apples and Hawke's Bay feijoa and is brewed in Gisborne using an authentic dry style of making cider which they picked up from Herefordshire in England, the home of cider.
Entries now open for Tauranga Business Awards
Entries are now open for businesses to apply for the Tauranga Business Awards for 2021.
The Tauranga Chamber of Commerce's annual awards have run every year for more than 20 years with a view to support, champion and celebrate local businesses in the Western Bay of Plenty.
The entries are an opportunity for businesses of every size and stage to benchmark their performance, reflect on the past 12 months with their team and gain recognition for their hard work.
Entries are open through to September, with the awards evening being held on Friday, November 12 at Farmer Autovillage.
Visit tauranga.org.nz/businessawards for all the details.
Million-dollar-plus property sales in the Bay rise
Million-dollar-plus property sales in the Bay of Plenty have jumped "significantly" in the past year, according to new figures.
The latest Real Estate Institute of New Zealand figures revealed sales of $1 million or above properties were up 29.9 per cent this May compared to 8.6 per cent in May last year.
REINZ regional director Neville Falconer said million-dollar-plus properties had "increased significantly", showing the underlying strength in the market.
The Bay of Plenty saw median house prices jump 32.3 per cent year-on-year in May to $820,000 from $620,000 a year before.
The Whakatāne District reached a new record median house price of $685,000 in
May 2021, up 39.5 per cent annually from $491,000.
Tauranga City's median house price jumped 40.9 per cent in the past year to $930,000 from $660,000 - but dropped 1.3 per cent from $942,000 in April 2021.
Rotorua District's median house price has climbed 22.9 per cent in the past year to $590,000 - but was down 3.3 per cent from $610,000 in April 2021.
Falconer said new listings were down 11.7 per cent annually for the region, contributing to the 46.9 per cent drop in available inventory and increasing the competition for available properties.
"Investor activity in the region has remained rather steady over the last few months, indicating the newly imposed Government restrictions are not yet having the intended effect."
Tauranga Crossing Lifestyle Centre sells for $44 million
Tauranga Crossing's lifestyle centre has sold to a "substantial" national private investment trust for $44 million.
The 11,600sq m retail complex was built in 2018 and is occupied by three tenants, Gilmours, Farmers and Bed Bath & Beyond.
The shopping centre's chief executive, Lauren Riley, said funds from the sale would help to further develop the shopping centre, build new facilities and expand in the future.
Bayleys' national commercial and industrial director Ryan Johnson said the sale generated "phenomenal interest" attracting 65 inquiries and 16 bids totalling $350 million-plus.
Johnson marketed the 2.5-hectare site on Taurikura Dr with Bayleys' executive director David Bayley in conjunction with Jo Stewart from the Bayleys Tauranga office.
"We initially just had the Gilmours property for sale but this spurred inquiry in the whole complex from institutional investors interested in bigger-scale, large-format retail opportunities," he said.
"So the offering was scaled up to include the option to bid for the adjoining buildings housing the other two tenants as well."
David Bayley said the property was bought by a substantial national private investment trust.
Event recap: Business Women's Network lunch with Jan Tinetti
Tauranga Chamber of Commerce's Business Women's Network (BWN) Networking at Lunch event got a makeover this month, with a new venue and new format.
Labour list MP and Associate Minister of Education and Minister for Women, Jan Tinetti, was the guest speaker for the event at the Fire restaurant in Mount Maunganui on June 16.
The sell-out lunch saw women in businesses seated around tables set up for shared platters and bowls, making for a fun, informal vibe.
Tinetti spoke about her life prior to become an MP, including her role as principal of Merivale School – a position she held for more than 11 years. She then explained her portfolios and what they entail, as well as women's affairs.
The BWN lunch event featured a presentation from Coroner Donna Llewell.