Bread Plant Manager Brings In the Dough

A bread plant manager in Christchurch is set to bring in the dough when he receives a payout of $87,300. Keith Wills was forced to resign after his role became unclear following the 2011 earthquakes.

Wills challenged an Employment Relations Authority decision that ruled he was not constructively dismissed from Goodman Fielder’s Christchurch site. The Employment Court believes the company’s Christchurch site in Essex St made operational changes after sustaining major damage in the February 2011 earthquake.

Since it was believed that the baking manufacturing plant’s rebuild would take two years, it seemed unsustainable to continue employing bakers. Wills found his role as manager seemed uncertain and asked to be considered for redundancy.

Wills wrote in his resignation letter “I have enquired several times about my position and my future within within Goodman Fielder, however no one has been able to give me any answers. This decision has not been an easy one to make after 33.5 years working for Goodman Fielder, however the ongoing uncertainty and stress has unfortunately left me with no choice but to resign.”

Judge Corkill ordered the company to pay Wills $13,437.15 in loss of wages, $61,907 in redundancy compensation and $12,000 for humiliation, loss of dignity and injury to feelings – totaling $87,344.15.

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Gattung Savours Latest Business Success

Business whizz and foodie Theresa Gattung has managed to combine her two passions into one delicacy of a business. And it’s all mixed together perfectly to form one very successful business. Gattung chairs My Food Bag, a business dedicated to delivering ingredients and recipes approved by Nadia Lim.

Gattung puts every moment of her time to good use. When she’s not heading the succesful business witha  turnover of $30 million, she’s an award winning philanthropist. Last year the company tapped into the Australian market and plans to continue doing so in the foreseeable future.

Meringue Queen Says Let Them Eat Cake

Self proclaimed meringue master Stacey O’Gorman supplies meringues all the way across the world to London. However at her wedding celebration she insists her loyal subjects (read: wedding guests) will just need to eat cake.

O’Gorman’s company Meringue Girls doesn’t create puffy delicacies for just anybody. Upmarket stores Selfridges, Fortnum and Mason, Harvey Nichols and Jamie Oliver’s Recipease all get to supply and enjoy such posh pleasures as lemongrass and ginger, pistachio and rosewater, honey and salsa peanut, and watermelon meringues.

Unfortunately O’Gorman is all puffed out. She told Stuff, “thought of whipping up a batch for her big day “is all too stressful, really – so my wedding is going to be cake-ified”. After making up to 10,000 meringues a week, it’s easy to see why she wouldn’t want them staining her big day!

Meringue Girls follows a “quality over quantity” model that has seen it embraced by top food stores and the London in-crowd. Its soft-hued meringues are sought after for society weddings and press and fashion PR events. The best seller is a vintage wooden apple crate of 170 rainbow meringue kisses in 11 flavours, which costs £140 (NZ$270).




Failed Fashion Firm Owes 2.3 Million

Catherine’s Fashionwear found itself being collapsed into receivership after being fashionably late in repaying creditors. The store imported sporting apparel and outfitted numerous sporting teams. That was until it’s collapse in July 2013 when the court took action, bought about by Heartland Bank.

Reports by receivers James Greenway and Andrew Bethell of BDO told NZ Herald that creditors were owed $2.3 million and a complaint had been laid with the Serious Fraud Office after discrepancies were found in the accounts.

“These practices resulted in the level of accounts receivable and stock being substantially overstated in the company’s financial accounts,” the reports said.

Liquidator Jurgen Herbke said Catherine Casey, founder of Catherine’s Footwear and the owner of CGG were in dispute over who to blame for Casey’s failure. “She blames the funder and owner, and he blames her – but because of holidays I haven’t yet had time to get to the bottom of these claims,” he said.

World’s First Mobile Power Company Electrifying NZ

Powershop has been New Zealand’s pride and joy in the power company industry. They were the first to sell carbon offset energy through their online store. Now they have shocked us once more. Powershop has positioned itself as the world’s first mobile power company.

Their new mobile technology makes power usage and wastage much more visible to environmentally conscious consumers. Anyone with an iPhone, Samsung or any smartphone can clean up their act. CEO Ari Sargent told NZ Herald,

“Mobile makes viewing and understanding energy consumption radically simpler, easier to understand and, importantly, more fun… It gives you an incentive to really understand where you’re using or wasting the most power, which leads to lower usage.”

The mobile app allows mass tracking through days. If you bought a heat pump in Hamilton from Waikato’s number 1 Fujitsu dealer, you can track whether you turned it on or left it running. This tool has already been useful. An Auckland man discovered that it used the same amount of energy to leave his heat pumps running overnight rather than turn them on in the morning!

Mr Sargent is very optimistic about the use of mobile. “Mobile makes it real. If you can literally see the difference between switching lights off or leaving them on, you’re far more likely to change your habits and behaviour,” he said.

Hopefully other New Zealand businesses jump on this mobile trend in 2015!

Oversleeping chef awarded $10,000

An oversleeping chef in Wellington has been awarded nearly $10,000 after being sacked on the spot. Luke Keirsey slept through his alarm twice and missed a busy shift due to a sore leg. After he was fired from a Wellington restaurant owned by Betty White Limited, the Employment Relations Authority found favour in him.

Authority member Greg Wood told NZ Herald,

“”Mr Keirsey was dismissed without notice, without investigation and without [the company] raising any of its concerns with Mr Keirsey formally.”

Mr Keirsey was first employed Hummingbird, a restaurant and bar owned by Gina and Nick Mills. He was employed as a demi chef on a trial basis. However shortly after Mr Mills and Executive Chef Sahil Hussein decided he didn’t have the skills required at a near fine dining restaurant.

They decided the most appropriate course of action would be to send him to The Spruce Goose, a new cafe opened at Lynall Bay. Mr Keirsey worked long hours between December 6 and January 3rd in 2014, often working 12 hour days.

With this in mind, Mr Wood said you would expect some sympathy from an employer after sleeping in. Mr Keirsey’s lack of sleep also slowed him down. This frustrated the Executive chef.

After six months and 20 job applications, Mr Keirsey has found employment in the hospitality industry.

He has been awarded $9820 for loss of earning and emotional-harm compensation.


NZ’s Only Tea Plantation Brews Excellent Business

A plantation far away from the hustle and bustle of Hamilton and the cow-filled paddocks is a tea plantation. The Zealong Tea Estate is New Zealand’s only tea plantation. There is also a restaurant on site offering tea-infused savories and delicious delicacies.

The tea estate is quite out of the way but it is well worth it. Even Aucklander’s drive 90 minutes just to have the Zealong experience. An experience which can be likened to a storybook coming alive.

All tea offered by Zealong is freshly brewed and organic. It is also certified to produce tea to food safety standards.

Taiwanese-born Vincent Chen founded Zealong Tea Estate with a dream to offer a cultural taste experience. Mr Chen told NZHerald, “My aim is that people who come here can experience the true traditional Chinese and Taiwanese tea culture.”

This is a dream he was willing to pursue at any cost. His family invested $10 million into the venture. A venture well worth the cost.