5 October 2018
Awards winner keeps exports on track
KiwiRail has taken out the supreme award at the AUT Business School Excellence in Business Support Awards.
Now in its 12th year, the Excellence in Business Support Awards is the only national performance measure for business
It recognises and celebrates organisations and individuals that deliver quality products and services to help small,
medium and large businesses maximise their potential.
KiwiRail, which also won the AUT International Business Export Support and Advanced Security Group Government
categories, was acknowledged for its partnership with Port of Tauranga and Fonterra aimed at boosting export growth.
The three-way alliance resulted in an improved supply chain, productivity, regional development, reduced CO² emissions
and cost cutting.
Professor Kate Kearins, Dean of AUT Faculty of Business, Economics and Law, says companies along distribution and supply
chains need to join hands to solve bigger environmental issues, such as climate change.
“For any systems-based problem you need collaboration across the members of the system. These issues can’t be resolved
by individual organisations working in isolation,” Kearins says.
Not only does KiwiRail move 18 million tonnes of freight each year – around 25% of New Zealand’s exports – its network
is used for 32 million commuter journeys and it transports more than one million tourist passengers on its scenic trains
and inter-island ferries.
“KiwiRail is a vital part of the transport and multi-billion dollar tourism network,” says Kearins.
“Its resilience and ability to quickly establish alternatives to disrupted networks is part of what makes it a deserving
supreme winner of the Excellence in Business Support Awards.”
Winner of the leadership category, Candice Kinser, has a career spanning the New Zealand technology and biotechnology
sectors, ranging from advising government and working with local councils and business, through to helping school
leavers and disadvantaged youth develop their career ideas and improve their career prospects.
Kinser is currently director of Livestock Improvement Corporation, ERoad, Talent International, the Well Foundation and
former chief executive of the New Zealand Technology Industry Association and the biotechnology research software
When asked how she deals with often being the only woman in the boardroom together with regularly being the only one
with experience both starting up and heading businesses, she reflects on her childhood karate classes where she was the
only girl in a room full of boys.
Kinser says she learned in order to manage strong opposition, when an opponent throws a powerful blow, the best way to
deal with it – in karate and life on a board – is neither resisting nor giving in to the power, but just going with it,
maintaining sound footing and balance, and then transitioning into the next move.
“In a business context, this means not allowing others to derail you, and focusing on what is important to help people
develop their capabilities, and help businesses grow.”
Kearins says the organisations that support successful businesses are the unsung heroes of New Zealand’s business
community, often going unrecognised by end-consumers.
“We would like to congratulate all the finalists and winners across the AUT Business School Excellence in Business
Support awards. Without your innovation, enthusiasm, judgement and backing New Zealand businesses, big and small, would
fail to reach their full potential,” says Kearins.
A 600-strong audience of from the New Zealand government and business sector, joined staff and academics from AUT, in
honouring the AUT Business School Excellence in Business Support Award winners at a gala dinner at the Langham Hotel.
Among the guest speakers were Fatumata Bah, a third-year student, studying for a conjoint Bachelor of Business in
Management and Bachelor of Health Science in Psychology and Amritpal Kaur, a second-year Bachelor of Engineering in
Mechatronics Engineering student, and founder and president of AUT STEM Women.
The 2017 awards were sponsored by ICG, Fuji Xerox, Idealog, CPA Australia, Colab, New Zealand Business Excellence
Foundation, and Advanced Security Group.
2017 AUT Business School Excellence in Business Support Awards WINNERS
ICG Business < $5M T/O
ICG Business < $5M T/O Sales & Marketing
Idealog Business $5M - $20M T/O
Fuji Xerox Large Business
Christchurch International Airport
Idealog Sustainability Support
CPA Australia Financial Services Support
Colab Design and Creative Technology Support
New Zealand Business Excellence Foundation Not for Profit
Advanced Security Group Government
AUT International Business Export Support
Fuji Xerox Leadership
AUT Business School Supreme Winner - KiwiRail