1999 Business Development Quality Awards LaunchEnterprise and Commerce
It is a real pleasure to be here for the third year in succession to launch the 1999 Business Development Quality Awards.
These awards are an international concept.
They aim to cultivate best practice in business by focusing on the themes of innovation, competition, and the importance of feedback to improve business performance.
I see the Business Development Quality Awards as a valuable tool in lifting the performance of New Zealand enterprises.
A tool that reinforces the message of innovation and business growth given at the Five Steps Ahead Forums that I have been hosting throughout New Zealand over the past two months.
A central theme of the forums and indeed the Business Development Quality Awards is business, educators, researchers and government partnerships working together in partnerships' to meet the needs of the knowledge based economy.
I would like to outline the five steps:
* Firstly we need to lift New Zealander's skills and New Zealand's intellectual knowledge base. Our tertiary education system can be improved to help achieve this.
* Secondly, we can better focus the Government's efforts in research and development. Last week's budget announced $28.1 million for a new economy research fund. This will fund basic research in areas that support high-technology business opportunities.
* Thirdly, the Government is also committed to improving access to risk and investment capital. The Government will be investing a further 3.3 million over the next three years to promote New Zealand as a good place to invest. We will announce further initiatives to free up the access to capital in the very near future.
* The fourth step is to ensure our regulations and laws support innovation. We have a long way to go to fully achieve this.
The last step is about promoting success and building a successful culture for creative and innovative New Zealanders.
We need to get rid of the damaging Tall Poppy syndrome. The Business Development Quality Awards make a positive contribution to celebrating the success of New Zealand business and help them strive for excellence.
The Awards are a partnership between public and private sectors. This partnership thrives because of the close working relationship and support from the four sponsors; Air New Zealand Ltd, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu and the Ministries of Commerce and Environment.
Also, the BDQA use the Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award criteria which is an enormous and powerful tool in promoting a vigorous best practice culture in New Zealand.
Since the awards were started in 1993 almost 700 applications from New Zealand businesses and public sector agencies have been received.
Many have submitted applications on more than one occasion.
Last years' winner Synergy International Ltd had entered the Business Development Quality Awards on four occasions. The feedback they received each year helped Synergy International to learn more about the criteria and how to apply these criteria to improving their business operations.
It is good to see that the Public Sector involvment in the awards is growing and I urge all government departments to consider following the lead of public sector organisations like the City Planning Group of Auckland City Council, who were last year's highest scoring public sector applicant.
I understand the series of workshops held last week and yesterday were heavily subscribed. This is one of the very real benefits of the awards, having the opportunity to learn about the award criteria and how they apply to enhancing organisations' growth and development.
I wish all applicants well.