29 September 2015

South Port named Supreme Winner at Westpac Southland Business Excellence Awards

Westpac Southland Business Excellence Awards were held last night on Friday 25 September at the Ascot Park Hotel. Southland Chamber of Commerce hosted Deputy Prime Minister Bill English, with 350 business people attending the prestigious awards dinner last night.

The awards were introduced in 2013 and are held bi-annually. This year there were double the number entries from the inaugural event and the high calibre of entries made judging particularly difficult, with only a few points between finalists in many categories.

Southland Chamber of Commerce CEO Sarah Hannan, said there has been a depth and breadth of talent shown across a range of business sectors. “The awards are the regions platform to showcase and celebrate business excellence in all its forms.”

Winners were announced in 10 categories with a supreme winner chosen from these finalists.

South Port has taken home the Westpac Supreme Award along with winning the Invercargill City Council Business (more than 15 FTE) Award and also took out the ACC Workplace Safety Award.

Bluff based South Port has altered dramatically since it was created in 1988, having taken over the port assets of the Southland Harbour Board. Over the past 6 years it has added over 1.0M tonnes to its cargo base (total 2.85 million tonnes) through the support of Southland exporters and importers. During the same period it has increased its workforce by 67% (+40 FTE) and now offers a much broader range of cargo related services.

“South Port is a key component in the region’s freight supply chain. It is accepted that Southland’s past and future success rides largely on the back of the global competitiveness of its primary sector. As the region’s main cargo pipeline, we must continue to be relevant to the marketplace and deliver positive value for the wider province” says Mark O’Connor, CEO.

Judge Larry Mitchell, Crowe Horwath said “South Port’s application was outstanding and congratulated them on their strong governance, process driven approach and commitment to continuous improvement.”

One of the new award introduced this year is the Market South Innovation Award recognising innovative enterprises that have invested in developing innovative thinking, products, services, initiatives, processes, or a business model that have been integral to their success. This was a particularly strong category of finalists with Stabicraft Marine taking out this award. Founded in Southland in 1987 through the innovative rigid chamber hull design Stabicraft ¬Marine now have a 3800m² factory on the outskirts of Invercargill. Stabicraft employ over 60 Staff who are passionate about maintaining the competitive and innovative edge that has led Stabicraft to be a world leader in aluminum boat design and manufacturing. Recently the company has released the 1600 Fisher – Carbon Series which has challenged the entire industry through great aesthetic, ergonomic and performance design. “The new¬ 1600 Fisher - Carbon Series, with its uncompromisingly sharp contours is the essence of our brand, poured into an extreme, awe-inspiring look which is eternally different but unmistakably Stabicraft.”

Winner of The Southland Times Retail Business Award, E Hayes and Sons, Managing Director Neville Hayes said “We’re proud of what we’ve achieved, not only for staff and customers, but also for the whole Southland region.” The general hardware and engineering supply company is 100% locally-owned serving generations of Southland industries, trades and the public since 1932. Today, the company holds a unique position in the region providing an exceptional range of products and services and also as a showcase for the E Hayes Motorworks Collection featuring Burt Munro’s original “World’s Fastest Indian”.

Invercargill Musical Theatre (IMT) won not only the Invercargill Licensing Trust Not for Profit Award but were the popular winner of the new Southland Times People’s Choice Award. President, Mr Mark Holmes, said “IMT continues to produce high quality musical theatre productions, drawing on enthusiastic and talented local volunteers both on stage and off. We are very proud to have produced our biggest show to date, Phantom of the Opera, in 2015. The show was a creative and financial success and is testament to the work by many volunteers and the support of our generous sponsors.”