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Grand Business South Awards celebrated in Dunedin

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ADInstruments staff celebrate winning the supreme award at the Grand Business South awards gala dinner at the Edgar Centre last night. They are (from left) strategic partnerships manager Carly Crossan, head of marketing Sina Walker, founder Michael Macknight and chief executive Alex Black. PHOTO: LINDA ROBERTSON

Southern business success was celebrated in style in Dunedin on Friday night.

The Grand Business South Awards — the southern region’s premier celebration of business excellence — were presented at a gala dinner at the Edgar Centre.

ADInstruments won the excellence in science, technology and innovation award before going on to be named supreme winner. The Dunedin-based company created simple, flexible tools to help scientists and educators record and analyse data quickly and efficiently around the world.

Boasting more than 35 years of experience in life science, and having worked with more than 10,000 organisations worldwide, the company was described as a stand-out entrant.


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Founded in 1986 by Michael Macknight, the company now has offices in 15 countries and is ranked 62nd among technology companies in New Zealand.

A team of nearly 200 based in its Dunedin headquarters in Vogel St drive the tech development. ADI’s products have been featured in more than 43,000 research papers in peer-reviewed journals and it has partnered with such institutions as Roche, Toyota, Mayo Clinic and Harvard.

The company said it was particularly proud of its contributions to improving human health outcomes, aiding research on diseases such as dementia, epilepsy and cardiovascular issues.

Its growth included expanding into India, China and Brazil, with more than 45,000 PowerLab systems in use, and it recently ventured into a cloud-based learning platform to train future scientists.


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There were a record number of entries in this year’s awards and the judges interviewed more than 40 short-listed entrants. Grand Casino chief executive Dominique Dowding, who was one of the judges, said every business featured demonstrated unwavering commitment, resolute determination and substantial sacrifices on their journey to success.

“Tonight transcends a mere occasion; it represents the culmination of a relentless pursuit of growth, a celebration that extends beyond personal triumphs to honour the very essence of southern excellence,” she said.

The Grand Business South Awards gala dinner, held last night at the Edgar Centre, celebrated the best of business in the region. PHOTO: LINDA ROBERTSON

Business South chief executive Mike Collins said the gala dinner was an opportunity to share inspiring stories, highlight business excellence and reflect on the “awesome achievements” across the region. The awards have now become an annual event and Mr Collins urged businesses to start thinking about their award entry for next year.

Emma Hasler, of Wānaka, and her business Botanic Press won the entrepreneur of the year category. She also won the creative arts category in this year’s NZI Rural Women NZ Business Awards.

Botanic Press, which specialised in preserving flowers and bouquets from significant life events, such as weddings, has been a fast-growing success story.

Tuapeka Gold Print founder Jim Robertson won the distinguished leader award. Mr Robertson started the now Fairfield-based business in Lawrence in 1987.

Earlier this year, the promotional product supply company passed annual turnover of $100 million and opened an 8000sq m warehouse.

Award winners

• Supreme The Grand Business Excellence Award: ADInstruments.


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• Excellence in service: Remarkable People.

• Excellence in retail: Lab Supply Ltd.

• Excellence in tourism/hospitality: Southern Discoveries.

• Excellence in community contribution: Tūhura Otago Museum.

• Workplace injury prevention: PowerNet Ltd.

• Excellence in marketing: MTF Finance.


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• Business sustainability: Great South.

• Emerging business: Rostron Finance.

• Excellence in primary industries: Milligans Food Group.

• Excellence in manufacturing: Farra Engineering.

• Excellence in science, technology and innovation: ADInstruments.

• Entrepreneur of the year: Botanic Press.


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• People’s choice: Dunedin Solar.

• Distinguished leader: Jim Robertson.


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