Thursday, 28th July, 2016

Queenstown’s booming business is fueling what could be the biggest Westpac Queenstown Chamber Business Awards yet.

The biennial Awards, hosted by the Queenstown Chamber of Commerce, encourage business excellence and celebrate local, regional and national achievements in the business arena.

Diversity in Queenstown’s vibrant business community is at an all-time high and Queenstown’s Chamber currently promotes, supports and encourages sustainable, profitable business growth.

This month the Chamber celebrated a milestone moment as it notched up a membership numbering 600 businesses.

Supporting the Chamber awards for the third year running, Queenstown communications company Southern PR is again running a popular series of workshops to encourage and facilitate business entries into the awards.

Itself an awards finalist in 2007, Southern PR has worked with dozens of businesses in ensuing years to ensure they put their “best foot forward” with their entry.

2016 award categories include McCulloch & Partners SME Business of the Year, Lane Neave Large Business of the Year, Real Journeys Excellence in Tourism, Activities or Events, SIT Excellence in Construction, Trade or Services, Air New Zealand Excellence in Hospitality or Accommodation, Heartland Technology Excellence in Professional Services, Queenstown Resort College Employer of the Year and Destination Queenstown Best Emerging Business.

Businesses can enter multiple categories, and category winners are automatically nominated for the Supreme Business of the Year Award.

Queenstown Chamber chief executive Ann Lockhart said Queenstown had enjoyed an “extremely busy” business environment over the last 12 to 18 months.

“Business owners will find that by entering the awards, the process can be a timely and practical exercise in itself.

“Taking the opportunity to review business, marketing and strategic plans, the awards process helps business owners monitor progress to date as well as helping with the development of future plans. Employees also find it a highly motivating process by sharing in the successes of their workplace.” 

 Ms Lockhart stressed there was a “wide range” of categories to choose from.

“I encourage all businesses, no matter their size or industry, to take advantage of this incredibly worthwhile process and enter the 2016 awards.”

Major sponsor Westpac is “proud” to support the Awards, continuing its tradition of recognising the vital role business plays in the local and New Zealand economies.

The 2016 judging panel consists of Westpac’s Business Banking Commercial Manager Mike Sutherland, Otago University senior lecturer Dr John Guthrie and tourism consultant Trish May from May Communications and Marketing.

Judges tips include, “aim high and don’t hold back”, “demonstrate where you have led with innovation” and “enter multiple categories”.

Southern Public Relations is putting on two workshops to de-mystify the awards process and offer top tips for making the finals. Its follow-up service for existing and new clients includes advice, writing or proofing services to help execute enticing award entries.

 “We’ve been thrilled to work with a wide range of businesses over the years that have become finalists, including many who’ve gone on to win their categories,” said Southern PR managing director Fiona Woodham.

 “It’s a hugely rewarding exercise for any business to shine the spotlight on their own business practices, have others share in their success stories and acknowledge how much ‘Queenstown Inc’ benefits from our robust and thriving business community.”

Back in 2014, world-renowned business Fergburger struck gold, winning its category and taking out the prestigious supreme business award.

Award entries close on September 22, and the ‘best of the best’ will learn their fate at the Awards Gala Dinner with MC Duncan Garner on October 29.

Entering is open to all businesses in the region - members and non-members. To enter the Awards or for more information go to

For more information please contact:
Ann Lockhart
Queenstown Chamber of Commerce
Chief Executive
T: 03 441 8254
Laura Nicol
Southern PR
T: 03 451 0444