Pye Group named Supreme Winner at South Canterbury Business Excellence Awards

South Canterbury Chamber of Commerce chief executive Wendy Smith said the Business Excellence Award finalists were named ...
JOHN BISSET/FAIRFAX NZ

South Canterbury Chamber of Commerce chief executive Wendy Smith said the Business Excellence Award finalists were named from a field of 74 "diverse entries".

A family-owned regional agricultural business scooped the top award at the South Canterbury Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards on Friday night.

The Pye Group was named the Supreme Winner at a gala awards evening at Timaru's Caroline Bay Hall.

The agribusiness owned by husband and wife Leighton and Michelle Pye, and based in Temuka and Winchester, specialised in contracting, dairying, vegetables, cropping and grazing.

Chamber chief executive Wendy Smith said Pye Group was chosen from a field of 74 "diverse entries".

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"Yet again this year was close, with quite diverse category winners all displaying quite exceptional attributes."

Smith said all the organisations who put their names forward had "yet again demonstrated the depth and calibre of South Canterbury businesses".

"It shows why our region outperforms much of New Zealand.

"We have been inspired by the businesses creativity, innovation and commercial drive and humbled by the contribution that is so obviously made to our community."

Fonterra Clandeboye received a newly introduced award, the Innovation and Technology Award, while High Country Contracting won another new category, the Workplace Safety Award.

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The Emerging Business Award went to New Zealand Agri Brokers, Small Business Award to Craighead Kindergarten and the Medium Business Award to Hunting and Fishing Timaru.

The Timaru outlet of the outdoor activity's brand also picked up the Retail Award.

Bidwill Hospital and the Central South Island Charity Bike Ride shared the Community Organisation Award, while a staff member at another community group, Michelle Keggenhoff of the YMCA, was named Employee of the Year.

"Every finalist should be exceptionally proud of their achievements and their opportunity to profile their business now and into the future," Smith said.

Washdyke firm Bernie's Bakery HQ picked up the Peoples Choice Award.

Smith said the judges praised the excellent philosophy, work ethic and customer relations of many of the entries.

Judges' comments included "a privilege to be able to understand the passion and drive that is behind some of these incredible businesses", "unfortunately only one winner per category", "these guys present on all fronts" and "excellent philosophy, work ethic and customer relations, a pleasure to judge".

The winners were chosen after each judge completed an independent evaluation of each business.

The mystery shopper's marks were also considered as the finalists and winners in the categories were identified.

Once each category winner was finalised, the results were sent back to the judges for the Supreme Winner to be chosen, Smith said.

 - Stuff

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