Category Archives: Local growth

Great Achievements By Businesses in 2014

This year has been a year of great achievements. With a combination of a recovering economy, improved technology and innovation and a can-do attitude, local businesses have done well. Here are a few of our top successes in 2014:

Guest Nights Rise to a New Height 

Because of Queenstown’s booming tourism, New Zealand guest nights have risen to new heights in October. Guests have been both locals and eager tourists. Kiwis in particular have been eager to explore our land. Great for our hospitality businesses!

Urban Homes Sweeped Up Seven Awards

The Hamilton master builders proved they don’t just have brawns – they have brains! At the Annual Awards Gala, they won gold in the categories new homes $600,000 – $1 million, Gib show home and builders own home. They won the categories for Gib Show home and Builders own home and won two lifestyle awards – Bathroom excellence and the Interior Style and Finish award.

A Big Save Expanded Immensely 

A Rotorua Big Save got so big that it couldn’t fit it’s old premises. In fact, it needed to take up a whole block just to fit it’s expansion! More people needed to be employed to both build the new building and work in the bigger building.

Heat Pump Specialist Claims Special Title

Goldstar Heat Pumps claimed a pretty big title: the #1 Fujitsu Heat Pump Distributor in the Waikato. Considering Fujitsu is New Zealand’s favourite air, this is a very impressive title. They also sell and install heat pumps in Auckland and Tauranga.

3D Brain Company Succeeds Internationally 

Nothing like good Kiwi ingenuity! Scientifically minded creatives decided to begin selling 3D printer replicas of actual brains. Little did they know the rest of the world would take interest.

Goldstar Heat Pumps Expands in Tauranga

Yet another success for Goldstar Heat Pumps! The installer of Hamilton and Auckland heat pumps decided to set their sights bay-ward. Tauranga was a market they thought of once things got quiet, and have been excited to expand that way.

So altogether it’s been an incredibly successful year for New Zealand businesses. Let’s hope this new year goes just as well.

Starting at Grass Roots Level Paid Off

A Bay of Plenty innovator discovered that staring at grass roots level can really pay off. Today Steve Saunders is an active angel investor and a managing director at PlugGroup Horticulture. Here’s how he got there:

Steve Saunders was initially exposed to the horticulture innovation in 1990s. Little did he know that this would become a hallmark of his career! He has the chance to work with the Crown research institute MAF Technology.

He was already managing the orchards division of Te Puna Pack and cool, which is now part of DMS. He eventually founded the Tauranga based agri-tech companies which together form PlusGroup Horticulture. Now he is a board member of start0up funding group “Enterprise Angels” alongside Priority One which is a well know Tauranga economic development agency.

That isn’t all he’s been achieving lately. Recently he won the Westpac Tauranga Excellence in Business Leadership Award for his contributions to the Bay of Plenty’s business community.

“He returned a year later to Tauranga, rejoining the nursery then moving into the Te Puna Pack and Cool kiwifruit post-harvest operations. He eventually worked in a range of cool store and packing roles, before moving to run the company’s orchard management operations. When Te Puna Pack and Cool was sold, Mr Saunders and former general manager Trevor Heard set up Gro-Link, an orchard and post-harvest management company. They were also the first in the industry to set up a kiwifruit grower pool trust entity.

After five years, the partners found they were heading in different directions and Mr Saunders set up GroPlus and PollenPlus, the first companies in Plus Group Horticulture. He was joined by Andrew Scott, now the general manager, and Beverly Rawcliffe, the finance manager, who Mr Saunders described as very valued members of the team.

For the next six years, it was head down as they developed and expanded the business, then Mr Saunders handed over the operational reins to Mr Scott.”

Curated from NZ Herald, read more here

Rotorua Big Save Furniture Gets Even Bigger

Rotorua’s very own Big Save Furniture has expanded so much that it cannot be contained in it’s old building anymore! According to Trade HQ,

Big Save Furniture has been facing growth unable to be contained by their smaller premisis, according to managing director Tom McKimm. “It will be a much better environment and look a lot more professional,” he told the Rotorua Daily Post.

The expansion also means a better customer experience. The bigger floor area of the new shop improves the shopping experience by allowing better product displays and a larger product range.

A host of flats and a professional consultancy had to move over to make room for the expansion. Big Save Furniture isn’t just expanding in premises. The furniture giant is also looking to hire two more staff members following expansion.

This expansion serves as an excellent example of the growth opportunities expected under the proposed Rotorua District plan.

Goldstar Heat Pumps Expands in Tauranga

Tauranga is now being offered New Zealand’s favourite air as Goldstar Heat Pumps expands to their region. The number one distributor and installer of Fujitsu – New Zealand’s favourite air has committed to help Tauranga residents cope with Summer weather.

Tauranga is known for having an inconsistent climate throughout the year with large spikes in differences between minimum and maximum temperatures.


By expanding to Tauranga, Goldstar Heat Pumps hopes to combat those temperature ranges. They have been considering expanding into Tauranga for a while now, only to be overwhelmed by demand from their current regions.

Goldstar Heat Pumps supplies and installs Mitsubishi and Fujitsu heat pumps in Auckland and the Waikato. Recently they won an award for being the number one heat Fujitsu heat pump dealer in Hamilton! Considering Fujitsu heat pumps are New Zealand’s favourite air, this is no small feat.

For now Goldstar Heat Pumps is only servicing Tauranga and Mount Maunganui rather than the wider Bay of Plenty region. Their Tauranga sales number is (07) 579 5294.


Spark Boasts of the Rebrand’s Success

Earlier this year, Telecom made a much contested decision to rebrand the company to Spark. A lot of arguments were made about whether the Telecommunications giant would recover the $20 million efforts of rebranding.

However at an annual meeting, the company boasted that the rebranding was well worth it. said, “Taking into account dividends and Spark’s rising share price, shareholders would have seen a 53 per cent return on their investment since it embarked on its “transformation strategy” in June last year, Verbiest said. Spark shares broke through $3 last month for the first time since 2008.”

Online Brands claimed, “Although Spark was attempting to cut costs quickly, sales were falling faster.Operating earnings were down by 5.8% and net earnings from ongoing business fell by 12.5%. Although rebranding is potentially a risky venture amidst financial uncertainty, It has been largely successful. Following rebranding, Spark’s annual profit almost doubled. “

Company Puts Their Brains Together to Put Your Brain Together

New Zealand based Brainform have found an innovative way to use 3D printing: make replicas of people’s brains. The company accepts worldwide orders to send out multiple replica’s formed on each users unique brain.

Geek Tamin explained the technology best saying,

“MRI scans are used to map out contours of your grey matter. This map is then used to created a plastic nylon replica of your brain. So in layman terms, advanced photocopying your brain.”

The Wellington company didn’t initially start out to make money. Rather Will Brown started by making models for friends at Victoria University. Brown realised the potential for this product and it blossomed into a business.

However this isn’t for the mass market like building fiber optic cables for Christchurch is. Rather this is targeted to a very niche market. Although some would see a replica of a brain as art or intriguing, others would find it a bit bizarre.

Brainform has higher hopes for their company. In their mission they claim “We believe that science education is crucial for the continuing development of our global society… we want to play our part in helping create the scientific wonder that drives sustained science education. We want to add brain replicas to the list of iconic science models that help spark such wonder alongside models of the space shuttle, tesla coils, planets, and fossils.”

Watch this space: Christchurch’s Future Cash Cow

A Christchurch City-Council owned company is showing great potential as a future cash cow. Enable Services is an ambitious company building a fiber optic broadband network in Christchurch in partnership with the Crown.

Steve Fuller runs the company and is no stranger to fiber optics. Fuller has been working with telecommunications for 31 years at Spark. He started the company from scratch in 2007 with very few staff. These staff managed the building of a 350 kilometer network providing fast internet connections for local businesses, the heath sector and schools.

The Council are not the only ones seeing potential in Fuller’s work. Christchurch City Holdings will contribute between $300 million to $440 million worth of debt and equity.

This project is not just for financial gain. At a presentation it was stated, “”Our city will be transformed – ultrafast broadband is a key enabler to transform economic and social development.” summarised the Council’s estimates for pay-off:

  • $1.7 billion in dividends from Enable in 50 years if the council owns just over half of the company.
  • $2.5b of dividends if the council owns 100 per cent.
  • 48 per cent of households connected by 10 years.
  • 74 per cent connected by 20 years.
  • Enable’s revenue should reach $200m a year in year 40, the year to June 2051.

For further information, read the whole article here.

Local Heat Pump Specialist Claims Big Title

A local heat pump installer has won an impressive title; distributors of New Zealand’s favourite air! Goldstar Heat Pumps have been deemed the #1 Fujitsu Heat Pump Dealer in Hamilton!

But Goldstar Heat pumps don’t only deliver to Hamilton. They also install heat pumps in Auckland and Tauranga.


Goldstar Heat Pumps also offer Mitsubishi heat pumps. When small and medium sized businesses offer products from recognised brands, it improves their own brand’s standing.

Small Businesses Hard Work Pays Off

Small to medium sized businesses are being well rewarded for their hard work says the latest MYOB Business Monitor Report. The ghosts of the global financial crisis are no longer affecting small to medium New Zealand businesses. claims, “The latest MYOB Business Monitor Report, which analysed more than 1000 small and medium enterprises since July 2009, found 39 per cent of SMEs reported an increase in revenue in the past 12 months compared to 19 per cent that reported a drop in revenue.

By contrast, in 2009 just 22 per cent of SMEs reported an increase in revenue compared to 35 per cent reporting a decrease in revenue.

MYOB chief executive Tim Reed said New Zealand SMEs had worked hard to climb back to growth since 2009, particularly in the past two years, which was largely a result of improved productivity.”

Reed also claimed that our SME’s are outperforming Australia’s, which have been relatively static. Reed said, “New Zealand’s SMEs have really shown how it’s done, in terms of building growth and making the most of their resources in often challenging circumstances.”

This doesn’t mean New Zealand businesses wanting to jump the ditch should plan otherwise. Here are some great tips for succeeding as a Kiwi brand in Australia.

Innovation for dairy farms

With New Zealand recieving so much of our annual earnings from farming, it is no wonder that kiwi’s are constantly innovating and improving farming systems! It’s even less of a surprise when new innovations com from the Waikato, hub of many dairy farms and Gallagher.

PETA Enterprises is a great example of this. Based in the Waikato, they manufacture agricultural dispensers. But these dispensers aren’t any boring old invention. They control animal’s metabolic diseases by administering prophylatic materials. This is incredibly difficult considering too much or too little could be catastrophic. And with changes in temperature, water consumption and animal size this complicates the process even further.

Dispensers offered by PETA include bloat dispensers, multi-purpose solid dispensers and zinc dispensers. Clever local and international merchants have picked up on the value provided by PETA’s dispensers. They are sold by local farming merchants, dairy cattle and large animal vets, by RD1 and through the Australian agent Shoof Agstar.