Capital Dead? Yeah Right, Finalists Say
Companies in the capital are "too busy to be dead", say the organisers of the 2013 Wellington Gold Awards.
The annual awards, sponsored by The Dominion Post, recognise high achieving companies across key sectors and celebrate the vibrancy of the capital's business scene.
In a function at the new NEC Technology Innovation Centre last night, 44 finalists were named.
Technology companies, winemakers, educators, gaming firms, breast cancer screens and book publishers feature among the finalists. They include online learning portfolio Educa, pinot noir producer and exporter Ata Rangi, GNS Science's metal strengthener Tough Metal, Kelburn handmade jewellery business Inspired and e-commerce company Smallfish.
Wellington-based retirement village company Summerset Group Holdings, which has 15 villages, was named a finalist in the Supporting Gold professional services category.
The best-selling Wellington Book's publisher FitzBeck and web design company Springload are finalists for the Creative Gold category.
Matakina's breast tissue density cancer screening Volpara 1.5.8 is a finalist in the Discovering Gold research and development category.
Beervana, the festival that had 271 beers on tap, and The Hobbit world premiere which hosted more than 100 media crews, are finalists for the Vibrant Gold events, hospitality and visitor facilities category.
Awards director John Dow said they proved how wrong Prime Minister John Key was to claim that the capital was "dying". Companies in the capital were working harder, reinventing themselves, collaborating with others, innovating and opening up new markets.
"Despite the impact of public sector cutbacks, head offices drifting out of town, central and local government conflict continuing to be played out very publicly, the Wellington business community was, despite these obstacles, proving itself resilient and capable, and was successfully getting on with its business," Dow said.
There was particular emphasis on technology's increasingly important role in enabling businesses to be productive and competitive in international markets, he said. Creativity was a key attribute of Wellington businesses.
One finalist will receive the Supreme Award, which last year went to listed online accounting company Xero. Previous winners include Icebreaker, Trilogy, Kiwibank and Weta Workshop. Winners will be announced on June 20.
- Jazial Crossley, Dominion Post, 10 May 2013