I-SITE staff take ma­jor award

Matamata Chronicle - - News -

The team be­hind the reimag­ined Mata­mata i-SITE Gate­house came away one of the big win­ners from the Mata­mata- Pi­ako Dis­trict Coun­cil Busi­ness Awards last week.

About 280 peo­ple turned up at the Mata­mata Me­mo­rial Cen­tre for the event, or­gan­ised by the coun­cil to ac­knowl­edge merit in lo­cal busi­ness.

Awards were given out in two main cat­e­gories, busi­ness ex­cel­lence and cus­tomer ser­vice, with a win­ner named in each field for Mata­mata, Mor­rinsville and Te Aroha. Busi­nesses nom­i­nated their peers and the lo­cal busi­ness as­so­ci­a­tions acted as judgse, with pub­lic votes also taken into con­sid­er­a­tion for the cus­tomer ser­vice awards.

Mata­mata’s Tolkien­themed vis­i­tor in­for­ma­tion cen­tre was named as the town’s pick for the busi­ness ex­cel­lence gong, beat­ing eight other nom­i­nees for the prize.

Mata­mata Pub­lic Re­la­tions As­so­ci­a­tion man­ager Sue Whit­ing ac­cepted the award and said it was a credit to her staff and all those in­volved with the Gate­house project, who work tire­lessly and don’t ex­pect recog­ni­tion or praise.

The Gate­house un­der­went a $250,000 re­vamp in Novem­ber last year, re­launched with a Hob­biton fa­cade to co­in­cide with the re­lease of the first film in Peter Jack­son’s The Hob­bit tril­ogy.

From five fi­nal­ists pub­licly no­ti­fied and voted on in each town for the cus­tomer ser­vice awards, Re­doubt Bar and Eatery was given the nod in Mata­mata

‘‘It’s great isn’t it, it’s fan­tas­tic. We cer­tainly pride our­selves on our ser­vice so to get some recog­ni­tion is out­stand­ing,’’ Re­doubt Bar and Eatery pro­pri­etor Ja­cob Hen­der­son said.

‘‘Our rule is if you have been here three times, we should know your name and what you drink.’’

Out­go­ing Mata­mataPi­ako Mayor Hugh Ver­coe pre­sented Mor­rinsville man Dar­rell Rus­sell with the busi­ness per­son­al­ity of the year award.

Rus­sell is the owner­op­er­a­tor of Pi­ako Group, which runs Pi­ako Trac­tors, Pi­ako Mit­subishi and the Mor­rinsville Mo­bil.

Mr Ver­coe also pre­sented the best kept busi­ness awards, which the as­so­ci­a­tions se­lect. That award was pre­sented to Di­a­mond Jewellers in Mata­mata.

Di­rec­tors Neil and Joan Gibbs said it was un­ex­pected to get the award two years in a row and it felt fan­tas­tic.

‘‘It cer­tainly is very grati- fy­ing and it’s cer­tainly an hon­our to be recog­nised for hav­ing one of the best kept busi­nesses in Mata­mata be­cause that’s what it’s all about,’’ Mr Gibbs said.

‘‘ Our to­tal pack­age is from the front of the shop to the back of the shop. It’s our pre­sen­ta­tion and how we are seen by the pub­lic ev­ery day. They’ll see me out there at 7.30 in the morn­ing sweep­ing the foot­path and out there at 5.30 at night bring­ing in the signs and tak­ing the ban­ners down.’’

Busi­ness ex­cel­lence: Mata­mata i-SITE Gate­house man­ager Sue Whit­ing with Hay­ley Horne and Mem­o­rie Brooky.

Cus­tomer ser­vice: Re­doubt Bar and Eatery pro­pri­etor Ja­cob Hen­der­son, man­ager Clif­ford Wil­liams, head chef Cherie Nathan and ap­pren­tice chef Marese Pru­jean.

Pho­tos: NI­COLA STEWART AND KA­T­RINA TANIRAU

Best Kept Busi­ness: Neil and Joan Gibbs from Di­a­mond Jewellers.

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