Oliver Road Estate Agents director Cameron Winter has been crowned Best Real Estate Agent in New Zealand in the Asia Pacific Property Awards.
It means Winter will be judged against agents from eight other regions around the world to compete for the Best Real Estate Agent International award.
Oliver Road Estate Agents also won Best Real Estate Agency Marketing New Zealand and was also a top award winner in this category for Asia Pacific.
It means the agency will also be judged later in the year for the Best Real Estate Agency Marketing International award.
Oliver Road Estate Agents was also an award winner in the category Best Real Estate Agency Single Office New Zealand.
"We're very proud to have received these independent, international awards and feel so grateful to all those who have trusted us to represent them and their properties over the past three years," Winter said.
Now in its 28th year, the prestigious Asia Pacific Property Awards are judged by an independent panel of more than 80 industry experts and cover 45-plus different residential and commercial categories.
Judging focuses on design, quality, service, innovation, originality, and commitment to sustainability.
The judging panel is chaired by Lord Caithness, Lord Best, and Lord Waverley, members of the House of Lords in the UK Parliament.
The Asia Pacific Award Winners were announced on May 28.
The top winners in each region will automatically be entered into the overall international awards, culminating in a glittering awards ceremony at the end of the year.
Shine wins gold at PRINZ Awards
Award-winning Bay of Plenty strategic communications consultancy, The Shine Collective, has struck gold again.
The company was announced a Gold Winner at the Public Relations Institute of New Zealand (PRINZ) Awards on May 28 for its work with Te Arawa Covid Response Hub, supporting the trial of a Covid contact tracing card.
The PRINZ Awards recognises and celebrates the cream of public relations and communications management professionals in Aotearoa and their outstanding and often life-changing work.
Shine's winning entry, "Stamping out Covid with a digital handshake", took out the top spot in the Community Relations and Engagement category.
The Shine Collective, working with Eruera Keepa from Hīkina Consultants, undertook the entire project management and responsibility for developing and implementing the communications strategy.
In August 2020, the New Zealand Government partnered with Te Arawa to trial a wearable contact tracing card that could potentially support the country's contact tracing efforts.
The card used Bluetooth technology to exchange "digital handshakes" and recorded participants close contacts – a potential addition to using the NZ Covid tracing app.
Shine's managing director Jacky James said a key success factor for the kaupapa was that it was community-led and that its communications strategy reflected the local community.
"The philosophy behind our communications strategy was simple and based on authentic two-way engagement, with the principles of tikanga Māori at its heart – for both Māori and non-Māori.
"Anyone over the age of 19 who lived and/or worked in the small community of Ngongotahā were encouraged to participate in the trial.
"The trial's kaupapa was to understand how well the contact tracing cards performed in a real-world scenario, whether they would work with the contact tracing systems, and if people will accept and use them.
"The trial itself actually exceeded all expectations with over 1200 people signing up to participate."
James said the final results and outcomes of the trial will be presented to participants in Ngongotahā in the next month.
Te Arawa Covid-19 Response Hub spokesman Monty Morrison said the Hub is honoured to be recognised for the hard mahi involved with the Covid contact tracing card trial.
"The team set out to design and deliver a successful community engagement strategy and that is exactly what they achieved, coupled with incredible community support, we feel we have significantly contributed to Aotearoa's efforts to stamp out Covid-19."
Popular speaker series returns to Tauranga, nominations open for Women of Influence Awards
The search for New Zealand's most empowering, hard-working and inspiring wāhine has begun.
Nominations are now open for the 2021 Women of Influence Awards.
Now in its ninth year, the prestigious awards recognise women who are driving change, excelling in their field and leading by example, from community through to international level.
The Women of Influence Awards feature 10 categories across business, philanthropy, innovation, diversity and more. This year's programme includes two new categories: Environment and Primary Industries.
Nominations close at midnight on August 16, and will be assessed by a high-calibre judging panel that's once again led by former Governor-General Dame Silvia Cartwright, with one new member in tech expert Te Aroha Grace. The winners will be crowned at the annual gala dinner in Auckland on October 21.
Meanwhile, the Women of Influence Speaker Series returns in July and August. Held in Tauranga, Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, the series will give audiences the chance to hear from a range of influential New Zealanders in a relaxed and interactive format.
The new Environment Award was introduced to recognise women who are fighting climate change or protecting our natural environment.
For more information about 2021 Women of Influence Awards and the nomination process as well as this year's Speaker Series, visit www.womenofinfluence.co.nz
Follow Women of Influence on Facebook and Instagram for programme news and updates.
Greater diversity in security sees more women in leadership roles
Security is an industry in which women have been traditionally under-represented.
Breaking stereotypes and paving the way for other women in security is Tauranga-based First Security client service manager Jill Priest.
Priest manages a team of 75 in the Coromandel through to the Eastern Bay of Plenty of which 32 are female.
"My guarding patrols and electronic monitoring field team leaders are all females."
The increasing representation of women in security roles reflected changes in the industry and was a nod to specific qualities females brought to security roles, Priest said.
"Female security officers often display more empathy, instinct and the ability to connect to people in all walks of life, which is crucial in our field of work."
In her role, Priest deals with everything from management issues to responding to complaints and animal control duties.
Tauranga First Security patrol compliance officer Amber McClinchie said she had learned a lot about the industry.
"When I first started, I was quite shy and didn't like confrontation with people. I think having a female manager and other female colleagues to look up to helped me gain confidence and pushed me out of my comfort zone."
Beyond Tauranga, women make up 30 per cent of their 2000 staff and are involved in all aspects of First Security and hold key leadership positions throughout the country.
First Security hopes to see this number continue to grow.
NZ Certified Builders (NZCB) annual conference
Hundreds of builders from across the country will gather to discuss the future of the building industry at the NZ Certified Builders (NZCB) annual conference this month.
The annual conference is in Wellington on June 10-12.
NZCB's annual conference is a chance for its members, who tend to be builders from small to medium-sized building firms, and industry stakeholders to come together and discuss industry issues, share best practice in meeting consumer expectations, and learn from experts in areas relevant to their business.
This year's conference theme is sustainability, and how a focus on this can help NZCB member builders to thrive. Highlights of the conference include:
The conference will be officially opened by the Minister for Building and Construction Poto Williams on June 11.
It will also include the national final of the NZCB Apprentice Challenge where 19 regional winners will compete for the title of New Zealand's top carpentry apprentice.
The finalists will also take part in the Mitre 10 Great Apprentice Race.
Builders will also hear from keynote speakers on sustainability, leadership and resilience, and a number of more technically-focused educational workshops for builders throughout the conference.
NZCB chairman Mike Craig says the annual conference is eagerly anticipated by the nearly 800 builders and industry stakeholders attending this year, especially after the 2020 event was cancelled due to Covid-19.
The conference will be a chance to reflect on critical industry issues including changes to the regulatory environment, upcoming RMA reform, pressures and trends in the residential housing market, skills shortages, vocational training reforms and health and safety in the industry, including mental health and wellbeing.
Retail sales remain buoyant but pressures remain, report
Retail sales remained buoyant through May according to the latest Retail NZ Sales Index, but there continue to be real pressures on retailers.
The Retail NZ Sales Index shows sales in May were up 37 per cent compared to May last year, and 30 per cent compared to May 2019.
The Sales Index is one measure of retail spending and records average daily sales per site at some Retail NZ members.
Retail NZ chief executive Greg Harford said the relatively positive results masked significant challenges across the retail sector, however, with some businesses underperforming.
"Those businesses performing below average include central city retail sites in the main centres, where customer foot traffic remains down as people work from home; and those in tourist centres such as Queenstown and Rotorua."
Harford said while it was positive to see strong spending from New Zealanders, retailers were also facing substantial cost increases.
"There have been significant increases in the minimum wage over the past few years; the cost of managing employee sick leave is set to double as a result of recent Government changes; the cost of freight has skyrocketed since the Covid-19 pandemic began, and there substantial electricity price increases looming.
"All of these factors create significant challenges for retailers and we will start to see price increases flowing through to customers over the coming months."
New owners for TOPP1 geothermal power station in Kawerau
Ngāti Tūwharetoa Geothermal Assets (NTGA) has announced they have sold the 26MW Kawerau TOPP1 geothermal power station to Eastland Generation.
The parties have entered into long term geothermal fuel supply agreements that will underpin plant performance, as well as provide options to collectively develop new power stations in the future.
The purchase price paid was $83 million, with Eastland Generation taking over ownership of TOPP1 on June 30.
The sale sees both organisations furthering ambitions for expansion in the renewable energy space and decarbonising the New Zealand electricity market.
NTGA is one of the largest direct use steam suppliers in the world. The TOPP1 power plant was purchased from Norske Skog in late 2016 when the plant became surplus to the then owner's capacity needs. As the steam supplier to the plant at the time, NTGA bought the asset to ensure the plant ran at full output to maximise the value of steam supplied.
NTGA is a wholly-owned commercial entity of the Ngāti Tūwharetoa (Bay of Plenty) Settlement Trust (NTST).
Trust chairwoman Karilyn Te Riini said the transaction allowed the Tūwharetoa group to grow the scale of our steam supply business.
"It also increases our financial capacity to both diversify our commercial interests and increase the level of support provided to our owners."
Eastland Generation already owns two plants on the Kawerau geothermal field: The 9MW Geothermal Developments Ltd (GDL) and the 25MW Te Ahi O Maui geothermal power stations.
Matt Todd, chief executive of parent company Eastland Group, said it was an important next step in the regional infrastructure company's growth plans.
"The purchase of TOPP1 is key in enabling us to deliver on our strategy of 100MW of renewable generation by 2025.
"This adds scale to our portfolio and means we are becoming a truly significant developer, owner and operator of renewable energy in the New Zealand market."
Todd said TOPP1 will provide operational synergies across its three geothermal plants.
"Importantly, our agreement with NTGA also gives us further development options on the Kawerau field."
Rotorua Tower Insurance team expands
The Tower Insurance Rotorua team is expanding.
Tower Insurance chief executive Blair Turnbull was in Rotorua this week to meet some of the new staff employed on a recent recruitment drive to expand its local operation.
Nine new staff have been hired, with six starting this week.
Turnbull said Tower now had about 70 new staff in Rotorua representing 11 per cent of its total workforce and contributing about $5 million to the local economy through annual salaries.
"I think this time last year we had about 40 or 50 people and we're looking to expand that team to more like 100 people."
Turnbull said Rotorua was an important area for Tower with a significant operational centre handling about half of all claims for Tower's NZ business.
While in Rotorua Turnbull also thanked his Rotorua team who he said stepped up last weekend working overtime to assist with the Canterbury flood event.
The Rotorua team saw an influx of claims and customer calls beginning over the weekend and continuing through this week, he said.
The team have been particularly supporting customers who need urgent help with accommodation and repairs.