Tour set’s win­ning for­mula

Matamata Chronicle - - Front Page - LAWRENCE GULLERY

When it comes to pro­mot­ing busi­ness over­seas, it’s all about putting New Zealand first, your re­gion sec­ond and ‘‘to be hon­est’’ your prod­uct third.

That’s the strat­egy the win­ner of this year’s Mata­mata Bay­leys Busi­ness Ex­cel­lence Awards em­ploys when ed­u­cat­ing peo­ple over­seas about the Hob­biton Movie Set and Farm Tours.

The award was among six pre­sented at a spe­cial event at the Mata­mata Civic and Me­mo­rial Cen­tre.

Hob­biton Movie Set and Farm Tours gen­eral man­ager Rus­sell Alexan­der said he reg­u­larly trav­els over­seas on busi­ness and most peo­ple have an un­der­stand­ing of what the movie set tours are all about.

‘‘There is an aware­ness of the busi­ness but there’s al­ways a bit of ed­u­ca­tion to do to help peo­ple un­der­stand what we do, to un­der­stand more about New Zealand, the re­gion and our prod­uct. ‘‘It’s about get­ting the right mix.’’ Alexan­der said work­ing over­seas had de­liv­ered a lot of op­por­tu­ni­ties for the busi­ness but also made him re­alise how lucky he was to live in Mata­mata.

‘‘The world is a big place and you re­alise that New Zealand is minute. You re­alise that we are bloody spoilt to live here in Mata­mata.

‘‘This is the land of op­por­tu­nity and it’s up to us to take those op­por­tu­ni­ties.’’

Alexan­der said he was hum­bled the busi­ness had won the award, which was among six others pre­sented at a spe­cial func­tion or­gan­ised by the Mata­mata-Pi­ako Dis­trict Coun­cil to ac­knowl­edge dis­tinc­tion in the dis­trict’s en­ter­prise.

Over 300 peo­ple at­tended in­clud­ing guest speaker Theresa Gat­tung, the for­mer CEO of Tele­com and co­founder of My Food Bag.

Alexan­der said he hoped the award would serve as some recog­ni­tion for the work his staff had put into the tours.

He had been par­tic­u­larly ac­tive

Con­tri­bu­tion to Com­mu­ni­tyAward: Maber Fam­ily.

Gull Cus­tomer Ser­vice Award: For­get Me Not Florist (Mata­mata); Unichem Phar­macy (Mor­rinsville); Te Aroha Vet­eri­nary Ser­vices (Te Aroha).

Bay­leys Busi­ness Ex­cel­lence Award: Hob­biton Movie Set and Farm Tours (Mata­mata); Dir­pose Miller (Mor­rinsville); K9 Coun­try Ken­nels (Te Aroha). in pro­mot­ing young peo­ple through the busi­ness and in­di­cated the award was a re­sult of their con­tri­bu­tion.

‘‘Theresa Gat­tung men­tioned in her pre­sen­ta­tion, that you sur­round your­self with peo­ple that have bet­ter skills than you.

‘‘And that’s what we’ve been do­ing. Young peo­ple have a lot more skills, knowl­edge and abil­ity than what I have got.

‘‘So they’re able to fill the gaps in your busi­ness that need at­ten­tion.’’

Alexan­der said when he started the tour busi­ness over a decade ago peo­ple doubted its longevity.

But he says there are plenty of op­por­tu­ni­ties to fur­ther the busi­ness.

‘‘New Zealand tourism is re­ally grow­ing at the mo­ment, it’s go­ing mad.

‘‘The po­ten­tial for us to grow as a com­pany, for us as [Mata­mata/Pi­ako] re­gion is un­lim­ited.

‘‘It’s all about how we de­cide to em­brace the op­por­tu­ni­ties out there.

‘‘We won’t get then all right but if we take a punt, some of them will prove suc­cess­ful.’’

Alexan­der said he thought the an­nual busi­ness awards event was a great way to demon­strate the busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties and en­trepreneur­ship of the Mata­mata-Pi­ako dis­trict.

‘‘It’s not just about those that got up [to re­ceive awards] tonight it’s about giv­ing ev­ery­one a chance to come to­gether and to high­light the work we’ve been do­ing.’’

More from the busi­ness awards, pages 3 & 12.

‘‘The world is a big place ... you re­alise that we are bloody spoilt to live here in Mata­mata.’’

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