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10 Dec 2015
All too often the Far North is in the national press for the wrong reasons. The national press seem to miss the positive stories coming out of the Far North, just focusing on the negative.
As well as all the good work which happens throughout the area by community groups and the iwi, our local businesses often lead the field in their respective industries.
Our building prowess has been acclaimed over the recent past with both the Te Ahu Centre and Te Kura Kaupapa Maori O Pukemiro recognised for nationwide awards. The work on these projects were performed by local firms. KPH Construction and Stonecraft Construction both of whom have established strong reputations and as a result have been asked to undertake work outside of the Far North. Far North Roading and a number of other local trade firms were also involved in these projects. Locals doing work for locals but being recognised nationally for their expertise. Not bad for little old Kaitaia.
The trend has continued more recently with both Printing.com and Totalspan Kaitaia leading the way in their respective franchises.
John and Rachel Stewart and their team are leading the way for the Printing.com franchise. There are over 40 operators around New Zealand, but the Kaitaia team were named Franchise of the year last year. It is often said that it is hard to get to the top, but even tougher to stay there. The Kaitaia team showing their success in 2014 was no fluke, as they were once again named the best franchise for 2015. Will they be able to make it a hat-trick next year?
To lead the way takes a lot of hard work, but it is also about being innovative and coming up with new ideas or products which will excite customers.
An example of this is Printing.com's Demand Creation product. John was asked to present this to our PKF New Zealand conference. As well as being attended by all the New Zealand PKF firms, there were also representatives from Australia, London and Thailand. John made such an impact that he is now supplying products to all PKF New Zealand firms and has been in discussions with PKF Frankfurt in Germany.
Another husband and wife team who are leading the way in their franchise is Andrew and Yvonne Eason who operate the Totalspan Kaitaia franchise.
Andrew and Yvonne took over the Kaitaia franchise in March 2012, and have won an award at the National Totalspan awards every year since. In 2013 and 2014 they won the Operational Excellence award. In 2015 they added the Customer Excellence award and the Habitable Building of the Year award.
The customer excellence award was of no surprise to me. I know a number of their customers (some of whom are now my neighbours). They are all impressed with the attention to detail, and the personal service. Andrew often emails clients over the weekend or late in the evening with a progress report on the build and a few photos. This is especially important when the customer isn't local.
Andrew and Yvonne would be the first to admit that they would not be able to win these awards without the help of the staff and local tradies, whose excellence has enabled them to succeed at national level.
The past year has also seen some really significant business developments around Kaitaia. Sadly, one of them was negative, when the FNDC failed to renew the contract of one of New Zealand's most innovation recycling companies, CBEC. This Kaitaia business has had to take that hit on the nose, but is moving on to try and add value locally with it's local area electricity buying initiative. Good on you CBEC!
And to complete the roll call, a recognition should be recorded for the initiative and achievement of the local not for profit security firm Total Security Management. This innovation is rolling out benefits for Kaitaia business and residents alike. The key people are Bill Frost, Community Constable Jeff Phillips, and all of the businesses that have decided to get in behind them.
PKF Francis Aickin is proud to be associated with all the above local businesses. Go Kaitaia business!
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