Helicopter business in top spot at awards

Showing off their trophies at the Wanaka Business Awards on Friday evening are Wanaka Helicopters...
Showing off their trophies at the Wanaka Business Awards on Friday evening are Wanaka Helicopters owners Carolyn and Simon Spencer-Bower. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
A helicopter business soared above the rest to claim the top spot at the Wanaka Business Awards.

At a ceremony held on Friday night, Wanaka Helicopters won the Supreme Award.

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 company is owned by Simon Spencer-Bower, one of New Zealand’s most experienced helicopter flight instructors.

The two-yearly business awards celebrated a diverse range of businesses for their achievements locally, nationally and beyond.

Other winners included Monique Kelly, of ONE New Zealand and Revology, who won the Outstanding Individual title, and Cardrona, which won the Outstanding in Sustainability category.

Independent judging panel convener Wayne Hudson said 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."

It was "heartening" to see that the Wanaka business community continued to thrive across all industries, he said.

More than 250 people attended the glitzy gala awards dinner, which took place at Warbirds & Wheels.

As well as Mr Hudson, other judges included professional director and former Naylor Love Construction chairwoman Anne Urlwin, Meridian Energy chairman-elect Mark Verbiest and Great South chief executive Ann Lockhart.

The winners at the Wanaka Business Awards

Tourism: Wanaka Helicopters
Trades and infrastructure: Roofing Hub
Professional services: OCULA
Retail and hospitality: Pembroke Patisserie
Start-up: Hook
Innovation: The Wanaka App
Sustainability: Cardrona
Individual: Monique Kelly, ONE New Zealand and Revology
Supreme winner: Wanaka Helicopters

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