Sunday, 1st December, 2019

Wanaka Helicopters takes supreme award at 2019 Ignite Wanaka Business Awards

Longstanding local business Wanaka Helicopters was crowned Supreme Winner at the Ignite Wanaka Business Awards on Friday night (November 29).

The nationally recognised helicopter training and scenic flights company, which also won the Outstanding in Tourism category, was awarded the top accolade because of its dual income streams, commitment to quality, overwhelmingly positive third-party feedback and a strong company culture.
The biennial business awards – sponsored by Milford Asset Management – saw a diverse range of local businesses celebrated for their achievements locally, nationally and beyond.
Wayne Hudson, convenor of the independent judging panel, says finalists and winners all demonstrated professionalism with sensible plans for strategic growth.
“There were some exciting businesses, novel businesses and business with a novel approach towards sustainability and innovation. And they have all been good examples of how a company in a small town can grow and compete successfully at a national level,” he says.

“It is heartening to see that the Wanaka business community continues to thrive across all industries.”
More than 250 people attended the glitzy gala awards dinner, which took place at Warbirds & Wheels.
Winners of the awards categories are:
Outstanding in Tourism (supported by Lake Wanaka Tourism): Wanaka Helicopters
Outstanding in Trades & Infrastructure (supported by Findex): Roofing Hub
Outstanding in Professional Services (supported by Westpac): OCULA
Outstanding in Retail & Hospitality (supported by Cardrona): Pembroke Patisserie
Outstanding Start-up (supported by Air New Zealand): Hook
Outstanding in Innovation (supported by Aspiring Law): The Wanaka App
Outstanding in Sustainability (supported by Queenstown and Wanaka Airports): Cardrona
Outstanding Individual (supported by Ray White): Monique Kelly, ONE New Zealand and Revology

Peoples' Choice (supported by Wanaka App and Mitre 10 Wanaka)
 The Fit Collective

Supreme Winner: Wanaka Helicopters
The Ignite Wanaka Business Awards are also sponsored by: Raspberry Creek, Yello!, Maude Wines, B.Effect, Rippon, Entertainment Solutions, Fantail Events, The Film Crew, The Messenger, Scope Media, Radio Wanaka and Wanaka App.
For more information, please contact:
Wayne Hudson, Ignite Wanaka Business Awards convenor of judges
P: 64 21 688 192
Click here to download photos from the 2019 Ignite Wanaka Business Awards
About the judges
Wayne Hudson (Convenor of the Judging Panel)
Wayne Hudson has spent the last 30 years focusing on the technology sector, advising clients on commercialising intellectual property, buying and selling tech businesses, capital-raising and structuring start-ups.  He is a legal consultant through his company WHIPIT Ltd, which assists technology start-ups prepare for growth, investment and sale.  Wayne is also a trustee of Startup Queenstown Lakes and Alpine Community Development Trust, as well as being a mentor for several small business owners in Wanaka.
Anne Urlwin
Wanaka resident Anne Urlwin is a professional director with executive and governance experience across a range of sectors from energy, infrastructure, construction, IT, health and financial services.  Her current directorship roles include Tilt Renewables, Summerset Group Holdings, Steel & Tube Holdings and OnePath Life.  She is also Deputy Chairman of Southern Response Earthquake Services and the Independent Chairman of Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu’s Audit & Risk Committee.  She is a former chairman of national commercial construction group Naylor Love Construction and of the NZ Blood Service.
Mark Verbiest
Mark is an experienced company director, currently serving on the board of Freightways (Chairman), Meridian Energy (Chairman elect), ANZ Bank NZ, and PE fund Willis Bond Capital Partners (Chairman). Mark is also a member of the advisory board to NZ Treasury, a Trustee of the Festival of Colour and the Southern Alps Rescue Trust (fund which supports Wanaka search and rescue). Mark has a law degree and has previously been Chairman of Spark and a board member of the FMA.
Ann Lockhart
With 20 years’ experience in senior management roles across both the private and public sectors, Ann Lockhart has played a significant role in growing New Zealand businesses. Previously CEO for the Queenstown Chamber of Commerce, Ann is currently CEO for Great South, Southland’s newly established Regional Development Agency, a member of the board for Destination Queenstown, a trustee of the Wakatipu Community Trust and former Board member of the Otago Conservation Board.  Ann is a disputes resolution mediator and resides in Wanaka.