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West Auckland Business Awards help grow local business and jobs


West Auckland continues to showcase its exceptional range of high quality businesses, through the Westpac Auckland West Business Awards, of which The Trusts is both a sponsor and an entrant.

The Awards, organised by the West Auckland office of Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED), are now in their 19th year. Entries are assessed using the Baldridge Criteria, an internationally-used system designed to help organisations become the best in their field, to identify and recognize role-model organisations for others to emulate and to identify and share best management practices, principles, and strategies.

Under the Baldridge system, organisations are awarded points for business performance and the way the business is organised to achieve performance. Typically, winners in the West Auckland Business Awards will achieve at a level which marks them out as world class operations that will grow from here.

Because of this system, the West Auckland event is far more than just “Gongs for good work”; it’s also about providing tools, assistance and mentoring so that our businesses can measure where they’re at and what they can do to grow performance. Entrants can be mentored at workshops when creating their entries, the judges will visit each entrant to examine the operation for themselves and judges’ feedback is available to entrants so they can see themselves through an objective professional assessment by experts outside their company.

“Quite a lot of companies enter the awards not to win, but to put themselves through this assessment process and learn where they stand on their own development path and how they can improve their performance,” says Zane Taylor, Manager of ATEED Business Group, West.

The Awards complement the work of the very dynamic and active West Auckland Business Club. With some 2,000 members under the leadership of UHY Haines Norton’s Tim Livingstone, the Club provides networking and mentoring support for members and holds regular business breakfasts and Business after Five functions. It also acts as an advocate for West Auckland businesses, to Auckland Council, Government and various Government Ministries whose decisions impact on “The West.”

“This emphasis on businesses helping each other for the good of the whole community and the West Auckland economy, is why we support both the Awards and the Business Club,” says The Trusts CEO, Simon Wickham.

“As one of the larger businesses in West Auckland and being community-owned, we feel it is our duty to support such constructive activity. I know other companies bring a similar ‘one-for-all and all-for-one’ attitude. It’s part of the muchtalked about “Waitakere Way” that sets West Auckland apart and makes it so aspirational,” he says.

The Trusts’ sponsorship supports the organisational side of the Awards. Not being a category sponsor means it can also be an entrant, and benefit from being assessed by professional judges as it seeks to become a world-class operation.

The Finalists’ function on 14 August at The Trusts Arena, is generally attended by around 700 business people and provides a high value networking opportunity. This is free. And then there’s the glitzy, nationally significant, Awards Gala Dinner in October, again at The Trusts Arena, to honour the entrants in general and the winners in particular.

This year’s awards have attracted more than 100 entries from across the region, of which The Trusts is one. Each is entitled to enter up to three of the eight categories and the Westpac Supreme Business Excellence Award winner is chosen from one of the category winners. Because the categories are specifically for different-sized businesses new, small and midsized companies can earn a share of the awards equally with large well established businesses.

At least some of the entrants and possibly winners will be newcomers to the Awards. This means that each year, West Auckland’s business sector is growing in size and competence, adding to the strength of the local economy and its capacity to provide local jobs and local wealth and steadily improving community wellbeing.