Judging underway in NZ toughest business awards

Published: Wed 21 Oct 2009 02:10 PM
Media Release
Judging underway in New Zealand’s toughest and most prestigious business excellence awards
The New Zealand Business Excellence Awards are unique in that they are based on an international criteria and scoring system and a lengthy 4 stage assessment process. They are the only awards in the country which are fully aligned to the internationally respected US Baldrige criteria.
The awards are administered by the New Zealand Business Excellence Foundation. Foundation CEO, Mike Watson, says “These awards are about exclusivity. Applicants have to really earn their status as they’re competing against a rigorous international benchmark. An organisation achieving a NZ Business Excellence Award Gold can genuinely claim to be among the best in the world.”
There are two distinct tiers to the awards. Three organisations are in the running for the highly prestigious 2009 New Zealand Business Excellence Awards and two for the 2009 NZ Business Achievement Awards. The Business Achievement Awards are an abridged but still tough version of the full Baldrige aligned New Zealand Business Excellence Awards. Both tiers are to be presented at a gala luncheon in Auckland on 20th November.
Mike Watson says “Being points based rather than competing against other applicants, the number of awards granted varies from year to year. In the past 13 years only two of the coveted Gold level NZ Business Excellence Awards have been presented. In 2007 New Zealand Aluminium Smelters Ltd achieved this level, followed last year by Vero Insurance NZ Ltd.”
Applicants for the 2009 NZ Business Excellence Awards are: the Royal New Zealand Navy, the New Zealand Fire Service and Western Bay of Plenty District Council.
Applicants for the 2009 NZ Business Achievement Awards are: St Clair Family Estate Winery and Recreational Services Limited.
After leading his company to a Gold level NZ Business Excellence Award, Vero Insurance NZ Ltd Chief Executive, Roger Bell was earlier this year appointed Chairman of the Board of the Foundation. Roger says “Vero Insurance now has this accreditation which only about 3 or 4 companies a year get in America and there’s only one other company in New Zealand that currently has this. You always get better financial returns when you’re world class. It’s like a catch 22; you have to prove you’ve got world class financial returns to get a Gold Award, but of course getting Gold itself drives better financial returns.”
Established in 1992 the New Zealand Business Excellence Foundation is a not-for-profit Incorporated Society, set up by private and public enterprise to help improve the overall performance of New Zealand organizations.
The 2009 New Zealand Business Excellence Awards Gala Luncheon takes place at the National Maritime Museum in Auckland, 11.45 – 3.30 on Friday 20th November. Some tables are still available.

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