Orange Dog is 2018 Supreme Business Winner

2018 Nelson Pine Industries Nelson Tasman Chamber of Commerce Business Awards Winners

2018 Supreme Business Winner Orange Dog

The winners in the 2018 Nelson Pine Industries Nelson Tasman Chamber of Commerce Business Award winners have been described by the judges as “caring as much for our people as their do their bottom line”.

The strong theme of wishing to do community or environmental came through at the annual Business Awards across all the categories, according to the independent judging panel.

This year was the 30th anniversary of the Chamber of Commerce Business Awards, so it was only fitting that the overall major sponsor of the Awards was Nelson Pine Industries, who won the inaugural Supreme Business Award in 1988.

Nelson Tasman Chamber of Commerce Acting CEO Ru Collin said the Awards evening was a wonderful reflection of the region’s diverse and thriving business community.

“We’re very proud of the 30 year history of the Awards. The evening itself is always a great opportunity to celebrate the great things that business does for our community.

“This year also marks 160 years of the Nelson Tasman Chamber of Commerce. We’ve been around for a long period of time, helping to shape the region into what it is today”.

This year the Nelson Tasman Chamber of Commerce introduced new categories to mark the 30th anniversary of the Awards, and to reflect all aspects of business excellence. These included:

  • Datacom Clever Business Award
  • New Zealand King Salmon Community Impact Award
  • Wakatū Incorporation Young Business Person of the Year
  • Nelson Forests Ltd Business Person of the Year

39 entries and nominations were received across all categories. Nominations for Business Person and Young Business Person of the Year were whittled down to five finalists in each category which then went out to public vote. More than 4,000 votes were received.

In addition, two members of the Nelson Tasman business community were inducted into the Chamber’s Hall of Fame. Recipients of the Hall of Fame award are recognised for their long-standing commitment and involvement with the Chamber, the business community and the wider Nelson Tasman community.

The 2018 Award winners are:


The Winner is Orange Dog.

The judges were impressed with this clever local business. Orange Dog developed their own market where none existed before and they have continued to expand it.

This involves research and development at significant effort along the way. They provide outstanding customer service with innovative business practices…. the judges called this business a true kiwi success story.

There is a great staff culture and it is a fun place to work. Civic care is an important part of the culture, for example their ‘Scooter survivor’ programme, and they also identify charities that fit with their culture (for example Nelson Ark and volleyball).


The winner is Hemisphere Health.

Hemisphere Health is taking the visionary approach to occupational health and safety.

The judges admired the business for providing a wraparound service with the objective of getting people in the Nelson Tasman region back to work.


The winner is Big Brothers Big Sisters of Nelson-Tasman (BBBS).

The demand for what BBBS offer in our community is very strong, and essential to our community health.

The strong board leadership assists the organisation’s success, with the staff being driven, efficient and passionate about providing successful relationships between mentors and mentees.

The social return to the community is eighteen times every dollar spent.
The objective was clearly articulated and understood by the BBBS team, and the procedures and policies that support this are evident in their success.


The winner is Orange Dog.

Orange Dog created their own market where previously one didn’t exist.
The business now has a number of competitors but continue to deepen their existing customer base through innovation and identifying what their customers need.

Orange Dog export outside the region and into Australia while employing 13 locals to do so.


The winner is Crombie Lockwood Nelson.

Crombie Lockwood is the deserved winner of this award due to the character of the people and their desire to improve.

Crombie Lockwood Nelson stood out for their transformation story and pursuit of excellence in their field, both at the firm and at the individual levels. Within the Nelson Tasman community they have established a strong local identity focused on partnerships within the region.


The winner is Volunteer Nelson.

The benefits to our community of all entrants in this category is immense. The judges hope that all present at the awards take the time to thank, celebrate and where possible look to help the entrants in this category and all their peer charities. We are a better community because of them.

The judges felt that despite the relatively low profile, Volunteer Nelson has the greatest reach into so many areas of our community. They are the ‘busiest, behind the scenes organisation you might never have heard of’.


The winner is Nelson Weekly Ltd.

Nelson Weekly Ltd ticked all the boxes in regards to added value to the region through their Nelson App. Digital innovation was identified as a way to move their business forward to become the leading media organisation in the top of the south.


Benjamin Clark, Master Jeweller, Benjamin Black Goldsmiths

Benjamin is a young and talented jeweller and entrepreneur, who launched Benjamin Black Goldsmiths in 2013 alongside his partner Amy.

Over the past five years they have built a Deloitte Fast 50 award-winning business manufacturing, retailing and wholesaling jewellery to domestic and international markets.

Driven by Benjamin’s vision to help people leave a legacy, Benjamin Black Goldsmiths works with people around New Zealand and the world, creating custom, personalised jewellery that is made by hand and made to last for generations.

His diverse approach to business has included implementing multiple revenue streams, including the introduction of a sister brand, Black Matter Jewellery.

Catering to a niche market, Black Matter has very quickly grown in popularity, most recently being picked up by a leading department store in New Zealand and international buyers in New York.

Benjamin is a proficient business person with a humble nature and exciting future ahead.


Pic Picot, Pic’s Peanut Butter

In 2007, Pic Picot, a visually impaired 55-year-old, began making peanut butter in his garage and selling it at the Nelson Market.

The company now employs 45 people across three Nelson locations, produces 20,000 jars of peanut butter daily and its premium peanut butter is sold in 13 countries, including China and the USA.

In 2015 Picot Productions was overall winner of the Commerce Nelson Business Awards, and in 2019 Pic was made a member of the NZ Order of Merit for services to business.

Pic’s Peanut Butter World, a 4000m2 purpose-built factory and visitor experience will be opening in Saxton Road early 2019.


Posthumous Award – Terry McCashin
Chris Bowater


A link to official photos will be provided here soon.

Seeking your views on advocacy issues

The Chamber’s five pillar strategy, rolled out in late 2017, concentrated on refreshing our approach across the Nelson Tasman region. Events and luncheons were increased, and we have seen more networking between members. We continue to advance our trade and membership value aims. The next pillar is advocating for our members.

The Chamber will be looking to lift its advocacy over the coming year, however we need to ensure Chamber advocacy is focused, and represents the views of our members. Throughout October and into November 2018 we are looking for your views on broad areas that affect your business. Topics include information, environment, infrastructure, people, opportunities that could increase our competitive advantage, and science, research and innovation. We know your time is valuable, so the questionnaires should take you less than five minutes to complete.

Once the survey series is complete we will compile the results and identify the key topics of most interest to most of our members, and summarise them in our December issue of Commerce Comment and across our other communication channels.

You are welcome to complete the surveys at any time until the series closes in November. The survey links will be added below as they are created.

Survey one: Nelson Tasman infrastructure

Survey two: Regional information

Survey three: People – attraction, retention and development

Survey four: Business and the environment

Survey five: Science, research and technology

The Chamber has moved to Mahitahi Colab

The Mahitahi Colab, located at the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology, is about working collaboratively to support and inspire clever business and talent.

The Mahitahi Colab will provide an extraordinary location for existing and aspiring clever businesses to easily connect with local and national business development, and create opportunities to nurture and develop talent.
It will help to build a more connected ecosystem by creating stronger links between clever business, investors, researchers, business development providers, government and the education sector, in order to influence and inspire economic development in the region.

The Chamber is one of three founding partners of the Mahitahi Colab, along with the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology and the Nelson Regional Development Agency. We will be working more closely with our partners to help support the growth of the Nelson Tasman region.

In addition to the founding partners, a range of key public good focused businesses and talent development organisations have been invited to be part of the Mahitahi Colab.

The Mahitahi Colab has been designed to include a range of collaboration facilities, including:

  • access to the business and talent development service providers
  • access to a range of events designed to support and inspire business growth, innovation and education in Nelson Tasman
  • collaborative shared working spaces
  • a range of event and meeting spaces
  • access to NMIT graduate students for projects and intern work placements

Some benefits of the Mahitahi Colab are already being realised, with an NMIT graduate and a current NMIT student engaged by the Colab partners to provide the interior design fit out and branding and design. This provides the students with valuable project work experience.

So drop in and visit us any time, and experience the Mahitahi Colab shared working space. You can find us by coming to the main entrance of the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology at 322 Hardy Street.

Find out more about the Mahitahi Colab here.

Atmosphere, Productivity & Cashflow in your Hospitality Business

Get Ready to Make Some Really Great Money in Your Café/Restaurant or Bakery this Summer!

Being successful in the food and beverage industry means keeping your focus on the three magic elements: Atmosphere, Productivity and Cashflow…

Atmosphere – how do we create that buzz that gets people coming back because repeat business is the secret to long term viability and profitability

Productivity – balancing staffing hours with revenue plus getting people motivated to give the excellent service to make your business memorable

Cashflow – making sure the money you bring in each week gives you the money to take home which you deserve in return for the risks of running a business

This workshop is packed full of bottom-line, common-sense strategy and techniques which is an excellent refresher for experienced operators and gives guaranteed light-bulb moments for owners in the early phases of running their business.

Date: Tuesday 16 October 
Time: 5:30 PM – 8 PM 
Venue: Mahitahi Colab Boardroom, 322 Hardy Street, Nelson
Presenter: Bruce Wilson and Martin Barnes, ActionCOACH
Cost: Members $35 + GST, Non-members $50 + GST
Click Here to register

Acting Chamber CEO

The Chamber team welcomes Ru Collin as our acting Chief Executive. Ru will remain in this role until a new Chief Executive is appointed, supporting both the Nelson Tasman and Marlborough Chambers of Commerce.  

Ru has sat on the Chamber Board since 2015, and for the last 12 months as one of two Chamber Vice Presidents. Ru is well placed to lead the Chamber in this acting capacity, with a background in the agribusiness sector and has served in numerous roles and various boards as a professional director and trustee. He also sits on the steering committee overseeing the relationship with the Marlborough Chamber.

In terms of the recruitment process for a new CEO, a recruitment committee has been focused on finding the right person to continue to implement the Chamber’s strategy and provide membership value and advocacy, and ensure we are part of the development of the regional growth strategy. Other key areas of focus include the ongoing relationship with the Marlborough Chamber, and the establishment of the Mahitahi Colab at NMIT.

Despite excellent interest in the role and a thorough recruitment process to date, the committee has been unable to find the person with the right attributes to fill the role. Whilst disappointing, getting the right person is critical so we will be going to market again.

The Chamber Board would like to acknowledge the important role former CEO Grant Kerr has had as CEO of the Chamber. Grant has taken the Chamber to the “next level” and has significantly lifted the Chamber’s profile and has increased engagement with partners, sponsors and members. He has done a wonderful job and we thank Grant for his term and we wish him all the best in his new role at NMIT. 

Lees Seymour (Chamber President) and Peter Pattullo (Chamber Vice President) will also step up to support the Chamber as required.

Thank you all for your support during this time of change. We will keep you posted when recruitment begins again.

2018 NPI Business Awards early bird tickets on sale now!

The annual Nelson Tasman Chamber of Commerce Business Awards recognise innovation and creativity in the business sector, and this year we’re celebrating our 30th anniversary. To mark this significant milestone we’ve made some changes to the categories to recognise and celebrate all aspects business excellence in our community.

The Awards bring together our region’s business heart, and are a true showcase of local success. The premier black tie dinner on Friday 2 November is widely acknowledged as a very special night of networking and celebrating success, and your ticket includes drinks, canapes, 3-course dinner, high-profile MC and a line up of top quality entertainment.

Reward and inspire your staff while networking with around 500 top business people. Secure your tickets early and take advantage of our early bird rate.

All guests who attend the 2018 Business Awards will go into a special draw on the night to win two return tickets to Australia (your choice of Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane) courtesy of our Cornerstone Partner Air New Zealand. Terms and conditions apply.

Buy your early bird ticket here.

Find out more about entering the Awards here.

July issue of Commerce Comment out now!

Our latest issue of Commerce Comment is out now!

We take a look at the issue of sustainability in business, and meet two local businesses winning the war for a more sustainable future for our region – New Zealand King Salmon and Ideal Cup.

We also introduce you to our new Business Building Block workstreams and sponsors, helping you to map out your professional development in the year ahead.

We also acknowledge our Partners and sponsors, and encourage you to enter the 2018 NPI Chamber of Commerce Business Awards.

Read the July issue of Commerce Comment here


Chamber relocating to Mahitahi COLAB

Nelson Tasman ‘Mahitahi COLAB’ to become region’s innovation, economic and business hub

NMIT, Nelson Regional Development Agency (NRDA) and the Nelson Tasman Chamber of Commerce (NTCC) are establishing the region’s first COLAB – Mahitahi COLAB – designed to place local businesses and the tertiary sector at the heart of the innovation and business community.

The Mahitahi COLAB will provide a hub for new, existing and aspiring start-up businesses to easily connect, learn, develop and grow. The vision behind the venture is to provide the right environment for the three strategic partners to work together to influence the region’s economic development. It will provide a prime location for local and national business development, nurturing and developing talent, and creating opportunities.

The name Mahitahi COLAB was created by the NMIT, NRDA and NTCC teams and it delivers the message of coming or working together and of course it is this collaborative approach which is an important aspect of the business hub. The intention of the Mahitahi COLAB is to focus on collaboration and alignment between the “public good” and private innovation focused entities.

Located in shared space in the current NMIT campus on Nelson’s Hardy Street, the venture came about after the three partners identified several collaborative opportunities that if pursued, could assist in creating a more aligned innovation ecosystem in the Nelson region.

Each organisation will retain their own offices and will share common spaces and meeting rooms. The three partners anticipate having the shared space available later this year. The concept has been designed to complement existing private sector focused co-working spaces such as the Bridge St Collective.

“NRDA’s purpose is to partner with the public and private sectors in the attraction and retention of investment, visitors and talent who want to add value to the identity of our extraordinary region. One of our focus areas in delivering on our mission is inspiring and supporting existing and new businesses and business people to think differently, embrace new behaviours and collaborate. We should lead by example. It makes sense for us to be working more closely with our future learners and our business community to create a platform to contribute to this outcome” said John Palmer, NRDA Chairman.

Mahitahi COLAB provides multiple opportunities that will clearly benefit NMIT team members and learners and will contribute to the organisational vision of preparing graduates that are work and world ready. Learners will benefit from having direct access to real-life work experience, create new professional networks and will work with businesses on real life project briefs and identification of solutions for customers. Team members from NMIT will benefit from a range of professional development opportunities.

“Growing and developing the existing strong relationships between the partners will ensure that NMIT is better informed, connected and abreast of the employment, economic and commercial opportunities within our regions. Mahitahi COLAB will provide an exciting platform for NMIT to continue in its role as a pivotal partner in ensuring Nelson Tasman continues to thrive and develop,” said NMIT’s Council Chair, Daryl Wehner.

Chamber President Lees Seymour sees the co-location as a great opportunity for its members. “Working more closely together will allow us to connect our region’s businesses with economic opportunities, and with future capability. We know the skills shortage across the country is not going to get better any time soon, so we see the Mahitahi COLAB really helping employers tap into rising talent to help strengthen our region’s workforce. It also helps us to have a more joined-up approached when advocating to local and central government.”

NMIT will oversee the development of the Mahitahi COLAB premises on Hardy Street to minimise impact on NMIT staff and students and maximise opportunities for collaboration.

The cost of the fit-out will be shared by the core partners with the support of the Innovate Trust.

“Although each organisation will have their own designated space, the fit-out will be designed to break down barriers, ensure collaboration and creativity. There will also be some space available for partner members and others within the business community to use. This is all part of creating smarter and closer working relationships to help the region thrive and we anticipate that as the partnership develops, additional entities may choose to join us” said NMIT Chief Executive Liam Sloan.

Mayor Rachel Reese highlighted the benefits of a partnership approach such as this. “The partnership approach has been a really successful one for Council, and it is encouraging to see these three entities working together with the future of Nelson in mind. Together they will be able to position both business and education on a stronger platform to attract talent to our Smart Little city. I look forward to seeing the positive outcomes generated from this collaborative approach.”

Chamber seeking new CEO

The Chamber of Commerce is seeking a high performing CE with a strategic perspective, strong commercial acumen and a leadership presence to manage the Nelson Tasman and Marlborough Chambers of Commerce.

The Nelson Tasman Chamber of Commerce (NTCoC) and the Marlborough Chamber of Commerce (MCoC) are not for profit organisations, with a combined membership of over 860 businesses. The key purpose of the Chambers is to unlock business vitality across the regions, and to help create the best commercial environment for diverse businesses to thrive and reach their aspirations. The Chambers achieve this by offering a wide range of services including: lobbying, advocacy, representation to local and central government, economic reporting, training across a wide range of topics and bringing people together.

This exciting senior role is focused on collaborating and advocating with key strategic partners and stakeholders, providing support and tools to assist business in innovation and skills and knowledge for the future, building and connecting wide reaching business networks and delivering value added services that really make a difference to the way business is done. They also have the responsibility of managing the affairs and activities of the Chambers including gaining the necessary sponsorship and growing membership.

The successful person for this role will be visionary, focused and driven, demonstrate strong commercial acumen, and have an ability to build exceptional networks across a diverse range of stakeholders. They will have a high level of leadership presence that demands the attention of others and empowers a small and motivated team over two locations. Essential will be the ability to demonstrate a strong passion and enthusiasm for the growth, success and sustainability of businesses within the region.

Intepeople is managing the recruitment process on behalf of the Chamber of Commerce. 

To view the job description, visit Intepeople, or for further enquiries please contact Melisa Kappely at Intepeople on 027 734 0392. 

Applications close on Friday 6 July 2018