SMI wins 2007 Export New Zealand National Emerging Exporter of the Year
15 November 2007
Specialist Marine Interiors Ltd has scooped up the title of 2007 Export New Zealand National Emerging Exporter of the
The Whangarei company was chosen from the six winners of the ANZ Regional Emerging Exporter of the Year awards during
the 2007 New Zealand Export Awards at Sky City on Thursday (15 November). Specialist Marine was The Air New Zealand
Cargo Auckland Emerging Exporter of the Year.
Managing Director Grant Willis with interior-designer wife Tracey Barnier-Willis motored into Whangarei on their
converted trawler 10 years ago. They liked the city and stayed to create a niche in the industry now reaching worldwide.
Growth in export sales has been excellent and orders are strong
The company developed modular construction allowing rapid installation for super-yacht fit-out or refit. This means
swift turnaround for service or maintenance, an excellent result for the client. Through Specialist Aerospace it
provides world-class interiors for luxury aircraft.
The judges were impressed Specialist Marine displayed initiative with outstanding design, manufacturing and in-market
installation. The top two finalists were very close and little separated them but Specialist Marine came out on top
because it supported so many other local companies.
“Their commitment to supporting other New Zealand marine suppliers by using their products and services has contributed
to not only their own but other’s export success,” the judges wrote. “Export sales have been a multi-million dollar
contributor to the company’s profitability in the past three years.”
Export New Zealand National Board Member Philippa Ivory, Auckland Region President Lyall Pacey and CEO Bob Walters
judged the category.
“All the entries were of a very high quality,” the judges said. “We enjoyed hearing about all the great new NZ companies
which are building successes in overseas markets.”
A number of the other entrants were very new to exporting and exhibited great potential, the judges were hopeful that
these companies would meet their exporting targets and enter again in 2008.
The other five finalists were:
•Open Country Cheese of Waharoa, The Gallagher Waikato Emerging Exporter of the Year;
•Florentines Patisserie of Tauranga, The United Travel Corporate Bay of Plenty Emerging Exporter of the Year;
•Vortex Holdings Ltd of Tikokino, GoReefers Hawke's Bay Emerging Exporter of the Year;
•Particle Systems Ltd of Christchurch; , The Solid Energy Canterbury Emerging Exporter of the Year;
•Pure New Zealand Foods Ltd of Wellington, The Openside Wellington Emerging Exporter of the Year.
Export New Zealand congratulates all the finalists and winners for their participation during Export Year 2007 and looks
forward to another year of excellence in 2008.