Insurer takes top business award

19:00, Nov 16 2012
 Conrad Wilkshire from FMG
WINNERS: Conrad Wilkshire from FMG accepts the supreme award for business of the year.

Palmerston North-based insurer FMG has been crowned Business of the Year at the Manawatu Business Awards.

The company was put together in its current form in the 1970s when farmers mutuals across the company - some started in 1903 - merged, and the base for FMG was set up in Palmerston North.

FMG also took out the spirit of the Manawatu award and professional service for a large business awards at last night's awards ceremony.

General manager of advice and insurance Conrad Wilkshire said the awards were an important reward for the company.

The company had recently grown its Palmerston North staff base from 107 to 170, and was looking to increase to more than 200 by March next year.

"The awards signify three years of hard growth."


Palmerston North company Carpenters Dental were awarded the professional service award for small business.

Ashhurst-based skincare and healthcare boutique The Herb Farm took out the sustainable business, and integrity and ethics awards.

Powa Products was given the micro business award. Founded in 1989, it produces rugby training products that are exported as far as the United States and Japan. Powa also provided products for teams during the Rugby World Cup last year.

Foxton-based fuel distribution business and last year's supreme winner Rural Fuel took home the workplace safety award.

Fielding company Handypiece, which manufactures a multi-purpose sheep shearing tool, won the emerging business and Innovation awards.

Palmerston North museum and art gallery Te Manawa won the Maori business award, while Shaddz and Idea Development Services were both given a highly commended in the investment in skilled migrants category. Property Brokers founder Tim Mordaunt was awarded the lifetime service award.

Palmerston North Mayor Jono Naylor took the opportunity to thank those who owned and ran businesses for their hard work and investment in the region.

"I thank you because our economy is going better than lots of other places around New Zealand and the world."

Vision Manawatu chief executive Elaine O'Reilly said Manawatu businesses were in a great position to take advantage of their location, infrastructure and access to education providers such as Massey University and UCOL.

Manawatu Standard