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Westpac Champion Business Awards

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Westpac Champion Business Awards: Seequent and City Harvest Food Rescue Take Supreme Honours, and Dame Adrienne Stewart Recognised for Contribution to Business and the Arts

Seequent and City Harvest Food Rescue took the Supreme Awards at last night’s Westpac Champion Business Awards, said Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce CEO Leeann Watson.

"It was fantastic to see the worlds of technology and community impact meet last night. It is a wonderful reflection of the regions’ diverse and thriving business community, and a great chance to reflect and celebrate the great things business does for our community and our region," says Leeann Watson.

1200 people packed Horncastle Arena to enjoy Canterbury’s biggest night of business celebrations, which saw 13 awards presented in an exciting gala evening. This year saw the 35 judges adjudicating over four new categories and several refreshed categories, reflecting the changing business environment, and the increased focus on impact and purpose. Once again 156 entries were judged.

The awards have been strongly supported by Westpac New Zealand, who this increased their commitment to our region this year and became naming partner.

Westpac NZ general manager of commercial, corporate and institutional banking, Karen Silk, says the awards provide businesses with a chance to reflect on their achievements and celebrate their successes.

"As an organisation that’s on a mission to help businesses to grow, we couldn’t be more inspired by this year’s finalists. These are businesses who know where they want to go, and have a plan to get there. Our heartiest congratulations to all of the winners."

City Harvest Food Rescue won the Rata Foundation Champion Community Impact, Small Enterprise Award and were then rewarded at the end of the night with The Westpac Champion Supreme award for Small Enterprise, for their food rescue efforts.

City Harvest Food Rescue redistributes 6.5 tonnes of food per week, providing more than 18,000 healthy meals to Cantabrians in need. Their support means that other agencies can focus their resources on delivering vital medical, financial and counselling support rather than spending on food and groceries."City Harvest Food Rescue is magnificent organisation puts food in the bellies of the disadvantaged in our community and ensures we can broaden the support base. They are a worthy and inspiring winner," says Leeann Watson.

Visual data science software developers, Seequent, took out the medium-large enterprise Westpac Champion Supreme Award, in addition to the Lyttelton Port Company Champion Exporter Medium/Large Award and have been entered into the New Zealand International Business Awards as a result of this export award.

Seequent are a world leader in visual data software, and a massive export success with customers in over 90 countries. Their revolutionary Leapfrog software has now been successful across the mining, minerals, civil engineering, geothermal energy and environmental sectors.

"Seequent have been delivering innovative solutions for 15 years, and continually raising the bar in the world of visual data. Combined with their export success this makes them a fantastic recipient of the Medium/Large Supreme Award," says Leeann Watson.

The WCBA Special Commendation recipient for 2018 was Dame Adrienne Stewart, DNZM, in recognition of her contribution to business and her advocacy and support for the arts.

"Dame Adrienne Stewart was New Zealand’s first female public company director, and her contribution to Canterbury and New Zealand business has been extensive. Dame Adrienne is a fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Management and was the first woman to join their board, and was inducted into the Business Hall of Fame in 2014."

Her commitment to the Arts and the community in Canterbury have also been immense. She has been a generous supporter of a huge range of artists, community projects and emerging artists, as well as twice being the patron of Zonta. Dame Adrienne is currently the Chair of the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra Foundation.

"We are extraordinarily pleased to be honouring such a pioneering female business leader in this, the 125th Anniversary of Women’s Suffrage in New Zealand," says Leeann Watson.

Now in their 16th year, the Awards recognise and celebrate business success as well as bringing the region’s best and brightest together under one roof.

"Once again this has been a fantastic night of celebrations built around or region’s extraordinary business success and recognising the role businesses play in our community. We’re already thinking about how we can make next year’s celebrations an even greater success," said Leeann Watson.

For further information on the 2018 finalists and winners and general information about the awards go to

  • Source: A Canterbury Chamber of Commerce release