News

05 September 2014

“Made in Southland” dinner celebrates outstanding contribution to the Southland export sector

Southland Chamber of Commerce

The Export Southland Recognition Dinner was held last night to recognise the value of export activity to the Southland economy and celebrate the role leading individuals and businesses make to the region’s economic wellbeing.

Chair of Export Southland, Mark O’Connor said, “The dinner is an excellent opportunity for exporters and supporters to come together and celebrate a vibrant export sector. It was great to have Southland’s contribution to the national economy recognised by the Minister for Economic Development, Steven Joyce who presented the recognition awards last night.”

Joint principal sponsors HSBC and MSC along with a number of other key sponsors and supporters contributed to making the evening a successful event in the regional business calendar. The theme for the event was “Made in Southland”. The dinner featured a menu of export quality Southland produce, with home grown entertainment from Craig Waddell and Dave McMeeking.

Export Southland is delighted to announce the following Recognition Award recipients in 2014:

Corporate Recognition Award Winner - Southern Institute of Technology

International students are important to Southland, both in terms of the economic contribution but also the social and cultural elements that enrich our community. On the back of the success in the domestic market, the SIT has become a competitive force globally. The returns from the Zero Fees Scheme meant fees for international students could be kept low and Southland would prove an attractive, affordable location. For the 2013 academic year, 870 overseas students enrolled in programmes delivered by the institute, with independent studies confirming the benefits to the city have been substantial. Estimates have the total economic impact at nearly 20 million dollars, the GDP contribution sits at 10 million and the employment effect delivers 126 fulltime equivalent positions.

Individual Recognition Award Winner – Individual – Tom Sawyer

Few individuals would have directly contributed more to supporting the export sector in the South than Tom Sawyer. As founder and owner of Pacific Shipping, the former merchant seaman lent his vast experience to this organisation while having an appreciation of the region after living and serving our community for 40 years. Vessels under the agency were carrying over 1 million tonnes of the Port of Bluff’s cargo annually by the time Tom retired earlier this year.

HSBC Southland Export Trust Grant Recipients

Principal Grant sponsor HSBC presented $10,000 to Essential Resources, a previous grant recipient in 2010. Essential Resources is a successful and innovative educational publisher and exporter of supplementary teaching materials with the head office in Invercargill employing 25 staff. The Trustees of the Export Trust described Essential Resources as an export business that embodies the outstanding qualities needed to compete and win in offshore markets, and one which provides an example for other businesses that aspire to international growth. This grant will assist Essential Resources in securing sales opportunities in untapped markets including a new cloud based systems support product in Malaysia, Philippines, USA and Canada.

A second grant of $3,000 was awarded to Frews Marine Limited. Frews are specialists in manufacturing excellent innovative and practical aluminium boats. Over the last 8 years the Company has developed a niche market with a range of 4-5 metre dinghies and now over 20 models available from 2.5m dinghies to 7m hardtops. Built 700 boats and having achieved success in the Pacific Islands, Australia, Canada and China. This grant will assist with travel to establish formal agreements with dealers across Australia. Frews Marine Ltd has 8 staff, led by Brendon Frew with 20 years in the boat building and engineering industry.

Further information and images:

Sheree Carey

CEO

029 214 6900

sheree.carey@commercesouth.com

About Export Southland:

Export Southland was established in the year 2000 as a result of key regional exporters working with the Chamber of Commerce to create an entity which would perform the following functions:

• to represent exporters’ views on policy issues,

• to promote networking, educational and social events,

• to recognise significant business/individual contributions in the export sector, and

• to assist start-up export orientated businesses.

It is a voluntary organisation operating under the umbrella of the Southland Chamber of Commerce and receives ongoing sponsorship assistance from HSBC and South Port.