Tauranga building company Calley Homes wins top award
Tauranga building company Calley Homes has won a top award in the Master Builders House of the Year 2021 Virtual Awards.
Calley Homes was the winner of the National Renovation up to $500,000 category for a home in Tauranga.
The judges said the home had undergone a "stunning renovation".
"From the street, you would not know what lies behind the front fence. The renovation has transformed the home, which is spread over three levels with the ground floor flowing nicely through to the courtyard and pool.
"The seamless integration of inside to outside highlights the amazing addition of the cabana opening out onto the courtyard."
Celebrating building excellence in New Zealand since 1991, the Registered Master Builders House of the Year Awards celebrates the best homes, renovations, and builders across Aotearoa.
The judges were impressed with the level of quality and innovation from this year's 347 entrants.
The judges observed several new trends including the comeback of the home office, bathrooms as central space to retreat, and softening colour palettes.
House of the Year judge and architectural designer Faye Pearson-Green said this year judges saw entrants continue to push the boundaries with their use of external materials, cladding, and complex architectural forms.
"This requires more intricate detailing and a high level of craftsmanship to execute."
Due to ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, the awards were announced virtually this year.
Master Builders from across the country gathered with colleagues, friends, and families to watch from the comfort of their own homes, workplaces, or at local viewing parties.
YoungTEC chairwoman and vice chairwoman announced
The board of the Young Tourism Export Council of New Zealand (YoungTEC) has announced Charlotte Brady from ZORB Rotorua in the role of chairwoman.
Leanne Smith from WellingtonNZ has been appointed as vice-chairwoman.
Lynda Keene, chief executive of Tourism Export Council of NZ said the Tourism Export Council NZ board was thrilled Brady will take up the reign as chairwoman of YoungTEC.
Keene said Brady's experience as a YoungTEC Board in 2021 has provided valuable input in YoungTEC's key decisions and events during this challenging time.
"She has been a great advocate for YoungTEC, including the Rotorua region where she has led YoungTEC regional events to maintain this connection and positivity with their members."
Brady hails from Rotorua and in 2022 she will be the only Rotorua-based YoungTEC board member.
After completing a Bachelor of Communication Studies at Waikato University, Brady stepped into her first tourism role at Skyline Rotorua. This was followed by ZORB Rotorua as sales and marketing manager, where she has worked for the past seven years.
Brady prides herself on regular connection, leadership and networking with the local Rotorua tourism industry.
"First of all, I'd like to acknowledge and thank our outgoing chair, Zac Watson. Your leadership and guidance over the past couple of years has been invaluable and I feel extremely honoured to be stepping into the chair role for 2022 and continuing the extraordinary work of our previous board members.
"Next year will be a big year for our industry and it is vital that YoungTEC continues to provide a platform to educate and inspire the future generation of industry leaders."
The YoungTEC Board for 2022 will include Charlotte Brady (ZORB Rotorua), Leanne Smith (WellingtonNZ), Amanda Linklater (RealNZ), Tiaana Anaru (Tourism New Zealand), Sam Holdich (Wētā Workshop, Unleashed), Jason McKay Williams (iFLY Indoor Skydiving Queenstown), Grace Mitchell (Active Adventures).
Customers win with gold-level service from builder
Stonewood Homes has been awarded gold in the Reader's Digest Quality Service Awards 2022 in the Home Design and Build Services category, as voted by New Zealanders.
Stonewood Homes Bay of Plenty and Tauranga owner, Chris Norris, said the company scored consistently high in the areas of personalisation, understanding, simplicity, satisfaction and consistency.
Norris said it was particularly gratifying to win the gold award given the past year had been challenging for new home builders.
"It's been a tough time for the building industry, with lockdowns and the associated new requirements for health and safety on building sites, as well as a shortage of materials at times.
"If anything, we have raised our service levels to accommodate these factors and any uncertainty our clients may have been feeling through the building process."
The home building franchise beat out many other competitors to take out the top award for outstanding customer service.
The Reader's Digest Quality Service Awards measure service quality across 35 categories, based on brand awareness and survey responses from over 2000 New Zealanders.
Acorn partners with Craigs to provide Christmas support nationally
The Acorn Foundation is working with Craigs Investment Partners to support the Western Bay of Plenty community and 18 other areas New Zealand-wide where there are Craigs offices.
This year is the third year more than $150,000 in donations have reached charitable
organisations around the country in lieu of Craigs sending out client gifts, with $30,000 donated locally.
Acorn chief executive Lori Luke said it was a pleasure to work with the Craigs team and Community Foundations of New Zealand to support organisations "who are doing such good work in a difficult environment".
"The local funding is very much appreciated from a corporate partner who gives so much to our region."
The Giving Committee representing the Tauranga-based Craigs employees selected 10 local organisations working for the benefit of those who need a helping hand this year.
That included Big Buddy, BOP Therapy Foundation, Good Neighbour, Graeme Dingle Foundation Western BOP, Awhina House, Live for More, St Peters House, Tauranga Community Foodbank, Takitimu House, and Under the Stars.
Denise Roy of St Peters House thanked the Acorn Foundation and Craigs Investment Partners for selecting them.
"This is fantastic news. We are very honoured that Craigs Investment Partners value the mahi of St Peters House.
"Our sincere gratitude goes to Craigs Investment Partners; their donation will help vulnerable people in our community through our services.
"We have noticed a higher demand this year due to the uncertainty and increased anxiety levels Covid-19 has placed on everyone, so their donation is welcomingly received."
Tauranga fast becoming New Zealand's e-bike capital
Tauranga is fast becoming New Zealand's e-bike capital as people ditch their cars in favour of e-bikes.
The city recorded the highest number of e-bike sales nationally by supplier Electrify NZ.
Tauranga Electrify NZ franchise owner Daniel Wallace said his Tauranga store was selling between 30 and 35 e-bikes a month and demand was not slowing down with summer coming.
"There is a massive trend towards people in their 40s and people with young families who are wanting to transition to one car and want to use an e-bike for commuting.
"Traffic congestion in Tauranga can be really bad and riding an e-bike to work removes that hurdle from your day."
Tauranga has a growing number of both urban commuter and off-road cycle paths with up to $100 million expected to be invested in cycling networks in the region between 2018 and 2028.
They include major projects like the 19km cycleway between the growing township of Ōmokoroa and Tauranga City and upgrades to Tauranga's existing urban commuter cycleways.
"Our cycle infrastructure is really growing in the region and our communities are learning what e-bikes can do for them whether they are leisure riders, commuters, farmers or even hunters."
Wallace said Tauranga's temperate climate meant riders were not limited to using their bikes for commuting only during warm, fine seasons, and it meant leisure riders could also get out almost all year round.
"There are more and more people using e-bikes to commute to work. We have one customer who commutes to the Port of Tauranga each day and it has saved him a huge amount of time on days when traffic in Tauranga can be really bad."
That customer was Dion Young, who uses his e-mountain bike to get from his home in Mount Maunganui to his work at Sulphur Point most fine days.
"I'm trying to use my car a little bit less and particularly at this time of year, coming into summer, traffic just gets worse and worse. You can be stuck in nose to tail during peak hours so it's often quicker on the e-bike."
Young also used his bike for riding around the Mount, saving him time having to find a carpark.
"I think as they continue to develop the cycleways in our region more people will shift to e-bikes. With the right infrastructure it's a lot safer and you don't have to worry about the traffic."
While his customer base had traditionally been in the over 50 age bracket and mainly leisure riders, Wallace said that was shifting.
Wallace said he recently sold e-bikes to Zespri kiwifruit orchard owners who were using the bikes to get around their orchards instead of traditional four-wheelers.
He also had a sheep farm owner who was using an e-bike during lambing season because of how quiet the bike is, meaning less stress for his flocks.
"People are now seeking e-bikes out year-round, and they're starting to be used in the day to day running of businesses."
E-bike batteries and motors have improved considerably in the last five years which was increasing the attraction for people, he said.
Nationally Electrify NZ, which has eight franchise stores around the country as well as independent dealers, has doubled its sales for the 2020/21 financial year.
Tauranga-born man appointed general manager of new Queenstown hotel
Tauranga-born Mathew Simister has been appointed general manager of a new flagship hotel in Queenstown.
Simister, who was born and bred in Tauranga, will be the general manager of the new-build Holiday Inn Queenstown Remarkables Park, which is expected to be open this month.
The Hotel Conversation reported Simister was returning to New Zealand from Australia with IHG Hotels & Resorts to open the company's newest flagship Holiday Inn hotel in the region.
It will be the country's first new-build Holiday Inn to open in almost a decade.
Simister told The Hotel Conversation he was excited to be spearheading the opening of such a significant hotel opening for IHG in Queenstown.
"The chance to manage a new-build hotel opening doesn't come along every day, let alone in the tourism mecca of Queenstown, so I absolutely jumped at the opportunity to be part of this landmark Holiday Inn hotel opening for IHG.
"Holiday Inn Queenstown Remarkables Park will enjoy a couple of firsts, including the first full-service hotel to open within the new Remarkables Park town hub and lifestyle development, as well as launch the first Holiday Inn 'Open Lobby' in New Zealand."