(from left) Westpac area business manager Phil Moore, Otago Chamber of Commerce president Ali Copeman and Business Excellence Awards chief judge John Sear. Photo by Linda Robertson.
The launch last night of the Westpac Otago Chamber of
Commerce Business Excellence Awards was a chance to shake off
some of the negative images about the region, chamber
president Ali Copeman said.
The awards, which are held every two years, were a chance for
the region to celebrate its successes.
''We all know the Otago has suffered a few hits and some
perceptions are of us as a backwater. Nothing is further from
''This is our chance to say 'this is what's really happening
down here','' she said.
The 2014 O-Biz awards were launched with the distribution of
nomination and entry forms. Closing date for nominations is
August 14. The awards dinner will be held on November 7.
Mrs Copeman said Otago people did not ''shout out'' enough
about their successes but she hoped the awards would attract
entries from owner-operators through to people working
Westpac was the major sponsor, but the variety of other
sponsors showed the community's support for the awards.
In 2012, there were 800 nominations which were reduced to 170
official entries, she said.
''Each time we see operators we have not previously heard of.
We have a great depth and range of businesses here in the
It was always exciting when somebody new came along with an
innovative business. Sometimes, those people did not have a
presence in Dunedin - other than living and working in the
city - because they sold 100% of their goods or services
internationally, Mrs Copeman said.
The emerging business award was significant, because a
business had to have been operating for three years to
qualify, meaning it had survived the initial set-up costs and
had established itself.
Companies which regularly entered the awards used it as a
self-audit to ensure they had stuck to their business plan in
the previous two years, she said.