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Mr Hughes, who has an employee in the Territorial Force, will represent the region in April at the national finals in Wellington.
The other regional finalist for the Territorial Force was Cindy Davies, of Mediaworks, while Warren Laing, of Stevenson and Williams Builders, and the Otago District Health Board were finalists for supporting employees in the Royal New Zealand Navy Reserve.
Lieutenant-colonel Roger McElwain, commanding officer of the 4th Otago-Southland Battalion Group, addressing last night's reception in Dunedin, said the support of employers was invaluable because without it territorials and navy reservists would be unable to train.
Employers were nominated by their employees.