Ray White Commercial Tauranga director Philip Hunt has been awarded the real estate company's Director's Cup.
Hunt was announced the winner at this year's Ray White Commercial 2021 annual awards, which were held in the Gold Coast in Australia.
More than 120 people attended the awards while others attended online from New Zealand to Hong Kong to celebrate the top offices and individuals from across the Australasian network.
The Director's Cup is awarded to individuals who have made a significant contribution to Ray White.
Hunt said it felt "sensational" to take out the award.
"I'm so proud of this award," he said.
"Thank you so much to my team for making this happen. Thank you so much to the White family, you guys are something else."
Judges said Hunt has been consistently recognised as an Elite Performer, qualifying this year as an Elite in just two months.
"Most recently, taking on the sole leadership of the commercial business while incorporating the ambitions of our next generation of leaders."
Hunt also won the Top Individual Customer Service (Clients' Choice) Award along with Tauranga's Christy Arundel, which is awarded to only three agents within the commercial network.
Hunt has received this award for the sixth year in a row, and Arundel has received it for the second year in a row.
Ray White Commercial also won the Top International Branch for Customer Service (Clients' Choice) Award - for the fifth year in a row.
Ray White Commercial head of agency operations Andrew Freeman said he was proud of every member, their achievements, and their resilience for the 2020-2021 financial year.
"Congratulations to all the nominees, finalists and of course the winners," he said.
"Our growth has been phenomenal in our 20th year. In a year of lockdowns and restrictions, Ray White Commercial sold or leased an additional billion dollars of real estate."
Te Arawa Fisheries unveil innovative Hī mussel range
A new brand of mussels that embody the best parts of Māori innovation and tradition is being launched in supermarkets across the North Island.
Distribution into the South Island and Australia is expected to commence this year, and plans are under way to enter the North America and Europe markets soon after.
Te Arawa-owned and operated, Hī - pronounced "He" - are bite-sized, green-lipped mussels that are sustainably farmed from the South Pacific waters of Coromandel.
The new brand is launching with infused and marinated ranges.
The infused range is blanched and steamed, drawing on the legacy of a traditional Māori cooking method and are available in the standard 350g punnet as well as, for the first time, family-sized 500g buckets.
Chris Karamea Insley says the launch of Hī into New Zealand supermarkets signals a significant milestone in Te Arawa's decades-long fisheries journey.
"Māori and kaimoana have been entwined for generations. On the journey from Hawaiki to Aotearoa, our ancestors were gifted kaimoana by Tangaroa, the god of the sea, to sustain them.
"Generations later, that connection and sense of kaitiakitanga of te moana and kaimoana persists and makes us the ideal people to bring this product to the world."
Insley says sustainability is a top priority and informs Hī's business strategy.
"We want to leave this whenua better off than how we found it. That means investing in long-term, sustainable solutions to farming kaimoana, as well as packaging them in a sustainable way.
"Sustainability in the economic sense also underpins our business strategy and we are committed to fostering job opportunities and career progressions for our people."
Insley says Hī is a symbol of Māori past, present and future.
"Hī's seamless integration of tradition and innovation highlights the resilience and lasting legacy of our ancestors, as well as our ability to pave a new path and lead the way into the future."
Profit from this new business venture will remain in the New Zealand economy and will be invested back into initiatives that benefit iwi Māori.
Tower appoints chief financial officer
Tower Limited has appointed Paul Johnston as chief financial officer, subject to completion of the regulatory approvals process.
Johnston will join Tower from Chubb, one of the world's largest publicly traded property and casualty insurance companies, where he is chief financial officer.
He is also director of the company's Far East region and was previously financial controller for the European region.
Before joining Chubb, Johnston spent four years at AIG, including as a global finance director of personal insurance, based out of the United Kingdom. He is returning to New Zealand after more than 15 years offshore.
Tower chairman Michael Stiassny said the board was pleased to welcome a chief financial officer of Johnston's calibre to Tower and back home to Aotearoa.
"We are confident he will bring exceptional strength to the Tower leadership team."
Tower chief executive Blair Turnbull said Johnston was an internationally experienced finance professional with more than 15 years of senior experience in the insurance and financial services sectors.
"He has extensive strategic and operational finance experience, and we are delighted that he is joining the Tower team."
Johnston's experience is predominantly in general insurance, but also includes the complexities of reinsurance, regulation and reporting.
He will join Tower in January, replacing outgoing chief financial officer Jeff Wright who ends his tenure on December 31.
BDO launches scholarship to increase Māori representation in accounting
BDO has launched its new Sir Henare Ngata Scholarship for Māori accountant students heading into their final year of study.
The company hopes to use scholarships and internships to further accounting careers for successful applicants and increase the number of Māori who choose a career in accounting, empowering them to become future leaders and shaping the direction of the Māori business sector.
Three national scholarships will be on offer, which will consist of financial assistance for study-related costs to the value of $7500, and an internship at a BDO firm.
It will also include registration for Ngā Kaitatau Māori o Aotearoa hui and related costs up to $1500 - plus mentorship with BDO for the final year of study (March to November).
Sir Henare Ngata is noted as being the first Māori chartered accountant.
Angela Edwards, Māori sector lead at BDO, said Sir Henare Ngata worked tirelessly for the wellbeing of Māori.
"We're excited to honour him through this scholarship. The growth of the Māori business sector has been great to see in recent years but we can only continue this trend by encouraging young Māori to enter accounting and business – we hope this scholarship will further this."
Applications for the Sir Henare Ngata scholarship will be open until November 26, 2021, with winners announced in January next year.
Toi Ohomai Charity Golf Tournament
The annual 2021 Toi Ohomai Charity Golf Tournament is returning next month with the aim of raising funds to support women getting back into education.
This year's tournament will be held on November 19 at Omanu Golf Club in Mount Maunganui.
Hosted by Toi Ohomai's chief executive Dr Leon Fourie, the tournament will include teams of four playing a round of 18 holes at the Omanu Golf Club.
Every year Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology hosts this tournament with the aim of raising $20,000 for the New Horizons for Women Trust.
All proceeds raised on the day will be donated to New Horizons for Women Trust to support New Zealand women in tertiary and second-chance education.
Lifestyle Choices becomes part of Community Living
Community Living and Lifestyle Choices has announced that Lifestyle Choices has officially become a part of Community Living.
Lifestyle Choices have been providing disability support services in the Tauranga, Katikati and Bay of Plenty since 2001.
From humble beginnings supporting just one person, Russell and Marie Smith have grown the organisation over the years to more than 50 staff supporting people with disabilities to live their lifestyle of choice.
Marie Smith said the company contacted Community Living in 2018 seeking stability for the people it supports in terms of services and opportunities.
"The shared values of our organisations make this a great fit. We're very pleased with this arrangement and looking forward to what the future holds."
Community Living chief executive Warren Herring said Bay of Plenty residents will be offered the same service, with the same support staff.
"This will keep disruption to a minimum for both Lifestyle Choices staff and the people they work for, so that they can continue to thrive as part of the community.
"We are honoured to continue the great work that Russell and Marie started almost two decades ago."
Community Living Limited is a disability services provider based in Hamilton, with more than 400 staff supporting disabled people.
Its purpose is to support disabled people to thrive as part of the community.
Community Living Limited is part of the Community Living Trust, which also owns Platform Plus Limited, a for-purpose IT services provider in the healthcare industry.
New Zealand/Australian geoscience engineering firm ENGEO celebrates 50 years
Geoscience engineering firm ENGEO is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.
As part of celebrating its 50-year milestone, the company is also recognising achievements including a 143 per cent employee increase during the past 10 years.
It has also expanded to 22 offices in Australia, the United States and New Zealand, including Tauranga, Christchurch, Wellington, Auckland and Queenstown.
The company's chief executive officer for its New Zealand and Australia operations, Guy Cassidy, said the privately held company plans on continuing its tradition of innovation and technical excellence for another half-century.
"What has made ENGEO truly unique throughout our 50 years in business is our employees," Cassidy said.
"We're an employee-owned company where the doors are left open and the organisational chart is flipped upside down with the CEO at the bottom and employees having servant leaders, not managers."
ENGEO's president and chief executive Uri Eliahu said the team's ability to adapt, innovate and challenge the status quo was what has seen the company grow from strength to strength.
"For 50 years, ENGEO has created innovative solutions for some of the most complex engineering challenges around the world, and it's all due to our great employees who truly care and consistently think outside the box.
"That's why I'm confident we will continue to improve the world through geotechnical engineering for the next 50 years and beyond."