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.

NZ Guest Nights Rise, Thanks to Booming Queenstown

For the fourth month in a row, New Zealand guest nights have risen.  The high profile tourist destination Queenstown is the major contributor to the increase.

Altogether, seasonally adjusted quest nights rose by 0.6% in October. The South Island guest numbers jumped an impressive 3.7%. The North Island didn’t face the same success. Guest nights fell by 1.4%.

So which regions were the main contributors to our tourism industry’s success? Statistic NZ’s business indicators manager Neil Kelly said, “Otago, which includes Queenstown, was the main contributor to the national increase in October.”

So one might ask why Queenstown proved New Zealand’s shining glory. Queenstown is well regarded as a kiwi tourism hot spot. Another contributor may have been the filming of part of the Hobbit trilogy. This trilogy has significantly boosted New zealand tourism nationwide. Either way, it’s great to see our land is being explored, whether it’s by locals or tourists!

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 Airport Still Has a Chance to Fly High

Although mistakes have been made regarding the Rototura Airport, there are still chances for it to fly high like it did in it’s glory days of the early 2000’s. Rotorua Airport Chief Executive Alastair Rhodes believes that while the airport has faced challenges, it still has ample opportunities.

Rhodes told NZ Herald, “It was all very well to get consultants in. However, unless they were actively involved in Tasman aviation, it would have been difficult to provide the council with the right information to make the right decisions, especially when externally it looked like Hamilton and even Palmerston North had sustainable and growing Tasman services.

“I know those lessons have been learned and the current council has made the very difficult decision after spending more than $9 million to keep it here.

“Stopping funding these flights was a sound commercial decision. Whereas continuing to fund them would have been political, not commercial.”

Even though Rotorua Airport has lost it’s opportunities to fly to Sydney, there are still opportunities for commercial development in and around the airport. The land around the airport has state highway access.

Rhodes is focusing on three ideas for the future – discussions with larger airports and their links to Rotorua, commercial development and attracting back general aviation activities.

Curated from the 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.


NZ Firms Trim Inflation Expectations

New Zealand firms have trimmed their expectations about inflation as the consumers price index rises. Two-year inflation expectations were lowered to 2.06 per cent from 2.23 per cent, and respondents anticipate a 0.26 per cent lift in CPI in the December quarter, followed by a 0.4 per cent rise in March.

“The Reserve Bank recently adjusted its interest rate guidance, suggesting that fewer OCR hikes will be necessary because inflation has turned out surprisingly tame,” Westpac Banking Corp’s New Zealand chief economist Dominick Stephens said in a note. “This fall in inflation expectations helps to vindicate the Reserve Bank’s stance.

Indeed, the magnitude of this decline in expectations might even contribute towards a further downgrade in the RBNZ’s interest rate forecasts.”

The CPI rose at an annual pace of 1 per cent in the September quarter, below expectations, and only just within the Reserve Bank’s target band of between 1 per cent and 3 per cent.

Strong inbound migration and a depreciation in the kiwi dollar during that period had been expected to put pressure on consumer prices, and the central bank has been surprised by the lack of inflation in the economy.

However unemployment is expected to fall in the upcoming years. But this won’t translate into higher wages.

Sourced from the NZ Herald

Urban Homes Win National Home of the Year

Urban Homes have proved they don’t just succeed in building urban homes by winning yet another title. The Hamilton master builders have won the Registered Master Builder 2014 House of the Year award which is no small feat! Here is a photo of the award:

National Home of Year

Urban Homes have been incredibly successful this year. Here is a coalition of other impressive awards they have won this year.