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2018 New Zealand Business Hall of Fame Gala Dinner

Issue date: 
Friday, 27 July 2018
The Rt Hon Dame Patsy Reddy, GNZM, CVO, QSO

Rau rangatira mā, e huihui nei, tēnei aku mihi māhana ki a koutou.  Kia ora tātou katoa.

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, warm greetings to you all.

I specifically acknowledge:

The Chair of Young Enterprise, Norm Thompson, its trustees and ambassadors;

Sir Eion Edgar and members of the selection panel; and

all of the New Zealand Business Hall of Fame laureates present this evening - tēnā koutou katoa.

As patron of Young Enterprise, it’s a great pleasure to be here with you again.  The business world is one I am familiar with and I’m delighted to join you in paying tribute to the achievements of those being honoured here tonight.

It’s a special evening in another way, supporting, as it does, the aspirations and ambitions of the next generation of New Zealand entrepreneurs. 

Young Enterprise has a valuable role to play in demystifying the business world for our upcoming entrepreneurs and giving them hands-on experience at running their own companies.  It’s wonderful to see so many of you giving this organisation your endorsement.

The world of business offers many rewards for those who are keen to get involved.  The thrill of developing a product or service that fulfils a need, the satisfaction of providing employment for others, and the pride in playing a role in our community are all strong incentives for involvement.

However, business is tough.  Products can fail to find buyers and economic conditions and fashions can change overnight.  Hard work and great ideas are sometimes not enough.  Long-term, sustained business success is far less common than many people realise and as such, is worthy of celebration.

The stories of this year’s nine inductees encompass all facets of business – international and national success, innovation, creativity and of course, the determination to succeed.

Some of this year’s laureates have taken their family businesses to new heights. The late Tony Nightingale transformed the entire paint industry with the innovations he made at Resene Paints. 

Graeme and Craig Turner have created over 1200 jobs around Australasia while ensuring Sleepyhead remains one of this country’s most trusted brands.

Others have left legacies that are still having an impact today and are wonderful examples of social enterprise.  As well as developing profitable and enduring businesses, they applied their profits to improve social wellbeing and our environment.

James Dilworth’s business enterprises funded a school for boys that continues to provide a world-class fully funded secondary education with full board for its students. 

Sir Russell Matthew’s main business may have been roading but he was also a dedicated horticulturalist and the two magnificent gardens he helped develop - Tupare and Pukeiti, continue to delight the public.

Bill Buckley and Alan Gibbs have been world leading inventors and innovators.  Alongside their business success, both have been able to devote considerable energy to their other passions – maxi yachts and motorsport for Bill, while Alan has had ‘serious fun’ and has also developed a world-class sculpture park on the shores of Kaipara Harbour. 

I’m delighted to see that the Hall of Fame is continuing to recognise the contribution of our trailblazing business women.   As the first woman to become a member of the New Zealand stock exchange, Elspeth Kennedy led the way for others in what was a staunchly masculine world.

Dame Trelise Cooper started with a single fashion boutique and has built a global brand that boasts 10 flagship stores worldwide, and more than 200 retail stockists.   A huge achievement in the notoriously fickle fashion industry.

I offer my congratulations to the 2018 New Zealand Business Hall of Fame inductees here tonight and to the families and representatives of those whose legacies we are honouring with posthumous awards.

The nine people honoured this evening have succeeded in good times and in bad and have made major contributions to the economic fabric of Aotearoa New Zealand.

As a wise person once said “Success isn't just about what you accomplish in your life; it's about what you inspire others to do." The stories of tonight’s laureates stand as testament to their achievements and will serve to inspire future generations.

Kia ora huihui tātou katoa






Last updated: 
Friday, 10 August 2018

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