Bay agencies win four awards at 2021 REINZ Virtual Awards for Excellence
Bay of Plenty real estate agencies took home four awards at the 2021 REINZ Awards for Excellence.
The real estate profession's annual national awards evening was held virtually this year.
Bayleys Success Realty Tauranga won Large Rural Office of the Year for the second time in a row. The team also won REINZ New Zealand Medium Rural Office of the year in 2019 and 2018.
Bay of Plenty lifestyle and country sales manager Matt Clutterbuck said it was an honour to be recognised as the best in New Zealand to win a national award four years running.
"It is great recognition for our salespeople's continued dedication and consistency in delivering unbeatable results and service for our clients.
"It's a big accolade for the team."
The Bayleys group also won four other REINZ rural categories, including Rural Rising Star of the Year, Rural Salesperson of the Year, Small Rural Office of the Year and Medium Rural Office of the Year.
LINK Business Bay of Plenty won the Medium Business Brokerage Office of the Year for the second year in a row.
Tony Bonne from Ray White Ohope won Residential Rising Star of the Year.
Watching the awards from his own home, Bonne said the award was a testament to his hard work in the last year.
"I just couldn't believe I did it... It was just an overwhelming surprise.
"I love the industry, I love meeting and working with new people, and I am having a lot
Linda Harley of ABC Business Sales Tauranga won Business Broker Salesperson of the Year.
Harley is a specialist childcare business broker based in Tauranga and said being the first woman to win this top award means a great deal.
"To be the first woman to achieve this, in what is a very male-dominated profession, is an added bonus and hopefully an inspiration to other women in the industry.
"I've been a finalist in this category for several years so I'm also personally proud to be recognised for the dedication and skill I bring to the profession."
Real Estate Institute of New Zealand chief executive Jen Baird congratulated all finalists and winners on their achievements.
"You should all be extremely proud of everything you have accomplished over the awards period.
"Every year we see such a high calibre of entries coming through, and this year was no exception, even with the changing landscape of the real estate profession in response to Covid-19.
"We are so pleased that we were able to come together virtually to celebrate the success of real estate professionals from across the country.
"Thank you to all our finalists and winners for continuing to raise the bar for the real estate profession."
The 2021 REINZ Awards saw 40 awards handed out to agents from different sectors of the industry.
Craigs Investment Partners appoints new chief financial officer
Craigs Investment Partners' (Craigs) chief executive Simon Tong has announced the appointment of Rebecca Callaghan as the new chief financial officer.
Joining in late November, Callaghan has extensive experience as group financial controller and group taxation manager at Zespri International Ltd, for the past nine years, and she has also held senior finance positions at ANZ and AMP Financial Services.
Simon Tong, who recently started at Craigs as CEO, said this marked the start of the next phase of growth for their clients and for Craigs.
"We are delighted to appoint Rebecca as our new CFO. Her experience and track record aligns well with Craigs' ambitions and needs and we are looking forward to welcoming her on board."
Callaghan said the last nine years at Zespri has been a great experience which she was grateful for.
"I'm looking forward to joining an iconic company like Craigs and am excited about the growth ahead.
"With Simon's recent start, now is the perfect time to join."
Born and bred in the Bay of Plenty, Callaghan will be based out of Craigs' Head Office in Tauranga.
Callaghan will be taking over from Ken Phillip who recently retired after 25 years in the role.
Using his vast experience, Phillip will remain as a Craigs shareholder and as a director of a number of operating subsidiaries of Craigs.
Founder Neil Craig said: "I would like to personally thank Ken for his massive
contribution to Craigs and to warmly welcome Rebecca. With Simon as CEO and Rebecca as CFO, we look forward to the next phase for our clients and the business."
Rotorua Airport to retain Air Traffic Control Tower
Rotorua Airport is pleased by the Civil Aviation Authority's decision to retain the airport's Air Traffic Control (ATC) Tower.
The Civil Aviation Authority has released its Aeronautical Study Assessment Report, concluding that if the existing aerodrome control service was removed, the airspace would be significantly less safe.
Airport chief executive Mark Gibb says the decision brings a welcome end to a 17-month process with Airways indicating their intention to withdraw ATC from Rotorua and six other regional aerodromes.
Following Airways' announcement in April 2020, Rotorua Airport undertook a comprehensive aeronautical study to fully understand the requirements for air traffic control services in Rotorua, submitting it for consideration by the Civil Aviation Authority.
Gibb says he and the Board were concerned that the loss of air traffic control might have significant safety risks and directly impact the size and type of aircraft that could fly into Rotorua.
"We were also concerned, from the outset, the significant flow-on effects for Rotorua businesses and the entire district's economic recovery from the impacts of Covid-19.
"These concerns have guided our persistence in advocating for the retention of the service pending the aeronautical study."
Gibb says the Civil Aviation Authority's decision validates Rotorua Airport's initial view that ATC is an essential service that supports the safe and efficient operation of the airport.
"We are extremely happy with the decision and look forward to working alongside Airways to ensure service continuity at Rotorua Airport."
The Board welcomes ongoing discussion and liaison regarding the safe operation of Rotorua Airport, including early consultation on any potential decisions which may impact its operations, he says.
Local agent recognised among best in New Zealand
Ray White Commercial Tauranga agent Philip Hunt has been ranked number 1 Commercial Salesperson in the country for the sixth year in a row at the Ray White New Zealand annual awards.
The awards were held on September 18.
Hunt said being named among the best-performing agents in the Ray White Group was a huge honour.
"I'm so thrilled – this is for my team who work extraordinarily hard and it's so wonderful to be recognised as one of the best performers not only in New Zealand but within the whole group.
"This award not only recognises the success of the past year, but it's also great motivation to work even harder in the coming year."
Ray White managing director Dan White said the rankings illustrated the energy within the group.
"It fills me with immense pride every year when our annual awards are announced and our people are recognised - to see so many individuals performing so well within the group can be put down to hard work and dedication.
"So many of our members are achieving and exceeding personal bests. Some exciting results for our group overall."
Manawa Honey crowned World's Best Tasting Honey
A small honey producer from Ruatāhuna, in Te Urewera, has been crowned Best Tasting Honey in the World.
Manawa Honey's Rewarewa honey took out the grand first prize at the Black Jar International Honey Tasting Contest, held annually in Asheville, North Carolina, USA.
Attracting more than 600 entries from around the world, the contest focuses solely on taste and uses a "blind" tasting process, using black jars so colour or appearance do not affect judging.
Two other honeys from Manawa also made the finals – Tāwari Honey and Pua-ā-Tāne Wild Forest Honey.
Ruatāhuna is situated in Te Urewera forest, home to the Tūhoe tribe. It has a population of only about 350 people residents and is a one-hour drive from the nearest town, Murupara and two hours drive from Rotorua.
Manawa Honey chief executive Brenda Tahi said the company was established to create jobs for locals and to inspire rangatahi (the younger generation).
"The collective goal for the people of Ruatāhuna is to keep our people here and to be self-sufficient...
"Manawa Honey also strives to encourage healthy diets for our people and to help our farm and forest ecosystems."
Tahi said the company entered the contest for the first time this year to see how their honeys stand up on a global stage.
"We were gob-smacked when we got the email to say we had won. It's an incredible honour to be recognised in this way.
"It tells us that we in Ruatāhuna, without fame or favour, are able to achieve excellence on the international stage, by making things happen with our own people's talents, with hard work together and a real commitment to making a better future for our next generations."
Manawa Honey chief beekeeper Hekenoa (Taawi) Te Kurapa produced the winning honeys.
Born and bred in Ruatāhuna, Hekenoa learnt beekeeping through distance education with Lincoln University some years ago and has led the beekeeping team at Manawa ever since.
Manawa Honey NZ will receive a prize of US $5000 for their win, and Hekenoa's name will be etched on the trophy held at the headquarters for the contest.
Manawa Honey specialises in producing native honeys from Te Urewera forest. Their range includes Rewarewa, Mānuka, Tāwari and Pua-ā-Tāne.
Start-up business 'chuffed' with thriving post-lockdown
One year after launching, Tauranga-based start-up Chuffed has broken all targets and expanded nationwide, bringing much-needed revenue into the beleaguered tourism sector.
A gift-giving business, Chuffed was founded by James Fitzgerald, as a result of New Zealand's first lockdown in 2020.
"We saw it as a way to regenerate New Zealand tourism and minimise potential business failure and redundancies. That goal remains strong as we go through further lockdowns," said Fitzgerald, who also founded award-winning Rotorua Canopy Tours.
Chuffed is a "tube" people can buy with more than 80 tourism experiences to chose from inside. Experiences range from sunset cruises, spa treatments, surfing lessons, zipline adventures, canyoning trips and more.
The business has partnered with 170 suppliers, offering more than 700 experiences from Cape Reinga to Stewart Island.
Fitzgerald said the business has seen growth from day one, with the product proving popular with Kiwi customers and those overseas buying gifts for family or friends in NZ, as well as the corporate market.
Last Christmas a small team was packing orders in Fitzgerald's spare bedroom but the company has expanded this year and will be operating from its Tauranga office with a team of students lined up to help.
Christmas orders are already trickling in, especially from corporate customers, Fitzgerald said.
Homes of Hope receives boost in funding
The Tauranga Energy Consumer Trust has approved $100,000 towards the Tauranga charitable trust Homes of Hope's operating costs.
It brings the total received by TECT to more than $1.5 million in funding, something Homes of Hope chief executive Hilary Price says was vital for their work.
"This valuable funding from TECT will be used to assist with the salaries of key team members.
"Without this help, our homes would not receive the critical professional, and practical support needed to be able to deliver the quality of care we know is required if we are to see the children flourishing and the homes running as smoothly as they do."
She said TECT's generous funding and ongoing support assists Homes of Hope to provide consistent, ongoing high level of therapeutic care to the tamariki and support to the house parents and caregivers.
"We are incredibly fortunate and grateful to have the support of TECT over so many years; they have become such a supportive and valued member of our greater family."
In July, a fourth home was built on their current site for up to six more children to stay. This means the charity can now care for up to 14 children at a time.
Price said building the new home during the past year was an "incredible journey".
The project was led by Classic Builders and Cashmore Real Estate, with the financial support of the Wright Family Foundation, Chaplain Gordon Parker and many others.
Price encouraged the community to support the charity's endowment fund, which has been set up with the Acorn Foundation.
Winners announced for 2021 Organic NZ Awards
New Zealanders across the country celebrated the organic community last week.
In an online event hosted by Ruud "the Bugman" Kleinpaste, six winners from across the organic sector were recognised for creating exceptional organic products that work for people, planet, wildlife, and the climate.
Chair of Organic Week 2021 Pete Huggins says every award finalist and winner is making a huge difference.
"We are proud to showcase the hard work and commitment they've put in.
"Organics is a key part of the global agricultural future and your efforts are putting New Zealand on the map."
Cathy Tait-Jamieson from Biofarm won the Organic NZ Leader of the Year Award.
Niva and Yotam Kay from Pakaraka Permaculture won the Organic NZ Farmer of the Year Award.
Bostock NZ won the Organic NZ Brand of the Year Award and ViBERi Organic Blackcurrant Powder won the Organic NZ Food Product of the Year.
IncaFé Organic Coffee won the Organic NZ Beverage Product of the Year Award while Roots, Shoots & Fruits - Rootella won the Organic NZ Non-food Product of the Year.
Call for Priority One executive board nominations
Western Bay of Plenty economic development agency Priority One is calling for nominations for an executive board member.
There is one position available and nominations close 5pm on September 29. Nominators and nominees must be Priority One members.
An election by ballot will be undertaken if there are more nominations than board positions and the results will be announced at the AGM on October 21.