Weekly column by Kāpiti's Greater Wellington Regional Council representative Penny Gaylor.
It's been a super tough year for businesses, and all the more reason to celebrate and acknowledge their excellence with the Wellington Gold Awards last Thursday night.
This year I was given the privilege of being a judge across the various categories through my role as chairwoman of the Greater Wellington Regional Council's environment committee.
Yes, I confess, I just wanted everyone to win.
This year, of all years, to continue to pursue excellence is an even bigger ask, and yet all of the finalists I reviewed and judge were doing that — not just surviving, but striving for excellence, and succeeding.
I congratulate them all.
As diverse as their products and services are, what did I notice that was common across all? Vision. Hard work. Focused on their staff's wellbeing. Positive. Passionate about what they were doing, and striving to do better.
It was just such a heartening experience to be part of.
Come the awards night, 900 people from the business sector across the Wellington region gathered in the TSB stadium in Wellington.
Finalists from the Kāpiti Coast included Maoriland and KoaKoa.
The regional council has sponsored the Green award for many years, and as I said in my presenter's speech, "while GWRC is focused on monitoring, managing and enforcing environmental standards, the successes we've had in delivering healthy and thriving ecosystems are a result of the collective efforts of people working together towards the same, green, goals".
The array of Green category finalists shows the different kinds on businesses that are focusing their efforts on enterprise that reduces people's footprint on the environment, and those who are tackling reducing carbon emissions.
GWRC chairman Daran Ponter acknowledges Tranzurban who won the category as they transform their part of the Wellington region's bus services from fossil fuel to renewable-energy, clean, electric buses. "Congratulations Tranzurban in leading the way on battery electric bus technology."
A fortnight ago I went to the amazing Hutt Sports Awards held in the Walter Nash stadium, which was transformed in to a black tie dinner and entertainment for 1200 people. Put it on your bucket list — the entertainment will blow you away.
Celebrations like these two big events are huge undertakings, the organisers do an incredible job to pull off such polished occasions for us to acknowledge talent and determination — and that sums up our business and sporting sectors.