1997 Business Development Quality Awards

  • Max Bradford
Business Development

A Taumarunui-based tourism company and a department of the Hamilton City Council are the national winners of the 1997 Business Development Quality Awards, Business Development Minister Max Bradford announced tonight.

Taumarunui-based Mountain Air and the Regulatory Support Group of the Hamilton City Council were the highest ranking applicants out of eight public and private sector organisations who achieved the Business Development Quality Awards standard this year. A total of 49 organisations entered the 1997 awards.

"The Business Development Quality Awards are part of the Government's strategy to foster enterprise and innovation through promoting business excellence, best practice and total quality management among all New Zealand organisations," Mr Bradford said at the awards ceremony in Wellington.

"New Zealand depends on the on-going excellence of its small and medium sized businesses which account for around 99 percent of all New Zealand enterprises. But it is equally important that central and local government are committed to quality and best practice.

"At every level, whether exporting their own products, supplying larger business or offering services, the quality and practices of all New Zealand organisations affects our country's international competitiveness and our ability to grow."

At last count small and medium sized businesses accounted for about 680,000 full time jobs for New Zealanders - an amount which has increased by about 65,000 jobs since 1994. That is more than two thirds of the total 95,000 increase in full time equivalent jobs during that period.

Mr Bradford said the Government was committed to a programme of economic growth in order to create more jobs, raise the living standards of all New Zealanders and pay for education and health and our other social goals. Mr Bradford congratulated Les Wills and his team at the Regulatory Group of the Hamilton City Council, and Robyn and Keith McKenzie of Mountain Air.

"The assessment panel was unanimous in its decision on our 1997 national winners."

As highest ranking public and private sector applicants, representatives of their organisations will have the opportunity to meet the world's leading quality management exponents on a 10-day study visit to the USA.

The eight organisations awarded 1997 Business Development Quality Awards, including the two national winners, are:

Axon Computer-time - an Auckland company with a staff of 90, specialising in computer systems.

While many IT companies may have a narrow view of their direction and potential, this company is broadsighted and outward looking in its strategic development.
Staff performance is recognised through incentives and evaluation, and an active commitment to quality at senior level.
Company policy promotes legal and ethical responsibilities.
Financial results are benchmarked against competitors.
(Contact general marketing and client service manager, Scott Green)

Grandma's Paradise Cat Motel - a Napier-based husband and wife partnership who were also successful in last year's awards for their region.

They demonstrate a drive for excellence in all areas of their business.
Their approach to strategic planning is sophisticated.
They constantly monitor, compare and improve their services in line with the latest overseas operations.
In fact, I have heard they set the standard for their sector here in New Zealand.
(Contact: Lin and Tony Ives)

The Regulatory Support group of the Hamilton City Council - a group whose philosophy is "leadership is not who you are - it is what you do".

This group was noted for:

its customer focus
its commitment to continuous improvement of performance and action plans,
comparative studies with other local authorities
its comprehensive data maintenance focusing on improving service
and its steadily improving financial and market results against budget.
(Contact: Business Support manager Les Wills)

Mountain Air - a Taumarunui-based tourism company which has used the quality criteria to become a vigorous, growing enterprise.

This tourism business was noted for its vision, values and philosophy which are communicated to staff at monthly meetings and through individual coaching.
It is a strongly community spirited business.
It seeks customer and market feedback to continually develop its services and improve performance.
(Contact: Robyn and Keith McKenzie)

Mercy Parklands Hospital and Retirement Home.

This organisation employs 45 fulltime and 50 part-time staff.
Its CEO is visibly involved in the development of quality principles and the organisation follows well-integrated strategic, operating and quality plans.
Customer feedback is actively and regularly sought and assessed.
Self-assessment and reviews with suppliers are also used to improve services and reduce costs.
(Contact: CEO Jacki Richardson)

The Waikato Mail Centre of NZ Post - an organisation has taken the goals and objectives of its national corporation and translated them into a local plan.

This Waikato-based employer of 72 motivated and committed staff has:

developed a staff charter to foster teamwork
developed quality manuals and work systems to maintain consistently high standards
a clear focus on customer satisfaction.
(Contact: Mark Henderson - site quality coordinator

Specialist Education Services of Southland - a Crown agency in the education field which employs 17 fulltime and 26 part-time staff. In the face of a declining population base this next organisation from the deep South has increased its customer base and diversified its services. Its particular strengths are:

a collaborative and cooperative work culture
long term commitment to quality
strong leadership and a team based approach
progressive improvement through annual cycles, and assessment of collected information.
(Contact Area manager Murray Witheford )

The Boltholder Limited - a small Matamata-based business which has used the award criteria over three years to build an impressive building supply enterprise in a rural town.

This organisation was noted for:

its absolute customer focus, including an emphasis on long term customer relationships
focus on accuracy to measure staff performance
discussion of targets at monthly staff meetings
hands-on leadership
use of systematic process to spot and shoot problems
optimum use of current information technology
strategic planning for growth and a start in exporting
(Contact Peter Thissen, managing director)