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2018 Westpac Manawatū Business Award Winners Named

A whanau-owned early childcare provider, Tui Early Learners, has taken out the distinguished Supreme Award at the 2018 Westpac Manawatū Business Awards in Palmerston North, on Friday evening.

Tui Early Learners owns five childcare centres in Palmerston North and in addition to the Supreme Award, the business won the Powerco - Education, Research and Technology Award and the Massey Business School – Large Business Award.

The judges say Tui Early Learners have a clear guiding vision, which is key for all business decisions and actions. They not only focus on the child, but the whole family group, and exemplify best practice in everything they do. In addition to very strong business practices within their operation, they have an enviable business mindset of continuous improvement with the follow-through to implementation.

The prestigious Lifetime Service Award, sponsored by the Manawatū Standard, was awarded to OBO and founder, Simon Barnett. OBO manufactures and exports protective sports gear to 72 countries and Manawatū Standard Editor Matthew Dallas says the company is Manawatū through and through.

“OBO’s contribution to local projects belies their international reach. OBO’s commitment to business innovation and evolution is inspirational to anyone with a big idea and the guts to try and pull it off. And their ambition for the past 25 years has been unwavering; to be the best in the world at what they do.”

The biennial Westpac Manawatū Business Awards are designed to celebrate the best in business in Palmerston North and Manawatū district. Twenty-two finalists were selected from 115 unique nominations and 10 winners have been named across several categories.

The Central Economic Development Agency delivers the Awards and Chief Executive Linda Stewart says the Awards showcase those at the forefront of leading-edge thinking, innovation and excellence.

“This process isn’t only about celebrating success. The businesses who went through the Awards’ process were willing to open their doors to outside expertise; to be analysed, questioned and critiqued. They should be acknowledged for their willingness to learn and their contribution to the vibrancy of the local business community.”

More than 26 volunteer judges made running the Awards possible and CEDA would like to sincerely thank them for their time.

Area Manager, Commercial & Agribusiness - Manawatū, Commercial Corporate & Institutional, Christine Jones says the Awards provide businesses with a chance to reflect on their achievements and celebrate their successes.

“As an organisation that’s on a mission to help businesses to grow, we couldn’t be more inspired by the 2018 winners. These are businesses who know where they want to go and have a plan to get there. Our heartiest congratulations to all of the winners.”

2018 Westpac Manawatū Business Awards Sponsors and Winners

Westpac – Manawatū Supreme Business Award:

  • Tui Early Learners

Manawatū Standard – Lifetime Service Award:

  • Simon Barnett - OBO

Higgins - Spirit of the Manawatū Award:

  • Long Building Solutions

Category Winners

Central Economic Development Agency (CEDA) – Distribution and Logistics Award:

  • Base Logistics

FoodHQ - Agriculture and Food Award:

  • Norwood

Central Demolition - Construction and Manufacturing Award:

  • Beca

Powerco - Education, Research and Technology Award:

  • Tui Early

Learners BigaVision - Professional Services and Retail Award:

  • Totally Vets Limited

Palmerston North City Council and Manawatū District Council - Not for Profit Award:

  • MASH Trust

Small, Medium and Large Business Award Winners

 Universal College of Learning (UCOL) – Small Business Award:

  • Saigon Corner

Central Energy Trust – Medium Business Award:


Massey Business School – Large Business Award:

  • Tui Early Learners

CEDA would like to thank and recognise all sponsors. Without them the Westpac Manawatū Business Awards would not be possible.

Naming sponsor


Key sponsors

Massey University, NZME, The Hits, Go Media, Manawatū Standard.

Category sponsors

FoodHQ, Central Demolition, Powerco, BigaVision, Palmerston North City Council, Manawatū District Council, Higgins, UCOL, Central Energy Trust Arena, Massey Business School.

Supporting sponsors

Air New Zealand, Creative Catering, Hotel Coachman, Image Group NZ, Kevin Bills Photography, Nodero, Pivot Design, Signfusion.

This was published in the Latest News newsletter on November 18, 2018. Sign up here to receive our newsletters directly

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