West Coast businesses celebrated at Awards

20 May 2022
Development West Coast
Franz Josef-based Waiho Hot Tubs has taken the Supreme Award at the 2022 Development West Coast Leading Light Business Excellence Awards, held at Shantytown on Friday evening.

Adam Haugh’s business also took out top honours for the Greymouth Star Rising Star Award.

The creation of Waiho Hot Tubs was a response to the impact COVID-19 was having on his existing businesses. Adam took the brave decision to start something new and something that would support other struggling businesses, not just his own.

“Franz Josef’s isolation creates a special community spirit and strong interdependence between businesses. We need each other to be successful in order to succeed ourselves,” Adam said.

Development West Coast chief executive Heath Milne said: “Our Supreme Winner, Adam Haugh from Waiho Hot Tubs, is to be congratulated for his deserving win.”

“His decision to start a new business has not only meant keeping his own staff employed but provided work for a lot of other businesses in the glacier townships.”

Heath Milne, Development West Coast chief executive

“The last two years has been extremely challenging for business nationwide and the Leading Light Awards was a wonderful opportunity to get together and celebrate the hard work, innovation and commitment it has taken to keep running a successful business throughout the pandemic.”

“It was particularly wonderful to see so many tourism businesses from all over the West Coast in amongst the finalists and winners, many of whom, have had to think hard and operate well outside their comfort zone in order to survive.”

“The Great Journeys of New Zealand Covid Hero Award was created to showcase businesses who were inspirational in their efforts to not only survive but to serve the business and wider community during the height of the pandemic in New Zealand.”

The Covid Hero Award went to Rainforest Retreat.

Barry and Gemma Hughes from Okarito Kayaks took home the Department of Conservation Sustainability Award.

“Superficially, businesses are valued on their financial metrics, but few of us on the Coast live here to make money as our end goal – we choose to work and live here primarily to support a rich life, in a stunning environment enjoyed by healthy, vibrant and genuinely sustainable communities,” Barry said.

Leading Light chief judge, Mr Stephen Caunter from ANZ made it clear that, unlike previous years, he placed far less weight on the financial section of the entries this time around due to the impact of Covid.

Winners of all Categories are as follows:

  • Duncan Cotterill Large Enterprise Award: WestReef Services Limited
  • Crombie Lockwood Medium Enterprise Award: Jeff Evans Limited
  • NZME Small Enterprise Award: SkyDive Franz and Fox Glacier
  • Greymouth Star Rising Star Award: Waiho Hot Tubs
  • Isaac Workplace Wellbeing Award: Jeff Evans Limited
  • The Great Journeys of New Zealand COVID Hero Award: Rainforest Retreat
  • Department of Conservation Sustainability Award: Okarito Kayaks
  • Development West Coast Supreme Award: Waiho Hot Tubs

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Heath Milne (DWC chief executive), Adam Haugh (Waiho Hot Tubs), Renee Rooney (DWC chair), Reuben Levermore (AirNZ)