Friday, 30th September, 2016

North Auckland-based, Northern Arena was awarded the Supreme Business Excellence Award last night at the Westpac Auckland Business Awards 2016 – North.
Going from strength to strength over the last five years, single swim school and fitness facility Northern Arena, has fulfilled a vital role in the community as an innovative centre for health and wellness. At the same time, they are strongly business focused.

“The cool thing is that we’re a solution-based company, so we seek some really ambitious goals. Things that even some of us are going, ‘Oh, geez, I don’t know,’ says Gym & Group Fitness Manager, Kelly Howarth. “But, we’ve hit all of them, because we’re about figuring out how we’re going to do it.”

Earlier in the evening, Northern Arena had won Employer of the Year. “It’s all about challenging ourselves. Challenging what we think is the norm and then trying to beat what is best standard, or best practice in the industry. That’s our goal,” says Kelly.

“What we love at Northern Arena is we believe it’s an experience from the moment our customers walk in the door, all the way from reception through to the swim school, or the gym. We aim to know peoples’ names, know their family, and make them feel welcome and a part of our family. It’s like we open the door to our facility and our home. And, that’s what we absolutely pride ourselves in at Northern Arena.”

Auckland Chamber of Commerce CEO Michael Barnett congratulates Northern Arena and all the Auckland North awards category winners who represent the diversity of Auckland’s economy in size, management style and commitment to business excellence.

Winning businesses included Manawanui Incharge, a not-for-profit NGO providing individualised funding for people who have a disability, Max Marketing, and PBF. Other winners were Provincial Childcare Holdings Limited, which is focused on providing high quality, affordable childcare for families, Safety Nets NZ Limited and Straker Translations.

“These Awards are all about celebrating the businesses in our community that are making a difference. These are the employers, producers and leaders for today and tomorrow – who make Auckland the thriving centre it is,” adds Michael Barnett.

Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) – Auckland Council’s economic growth agency – partners the Chamber to present the Awards.

ATEED’s Chief Executive Brett O’Riley says: “ATEED is very proud to support these Awards, and we congratulate those businesses that were recognised for standing out in their chosen fields.

“Auckland North is growing quickly, with strong population and employment growth and significant residential and commercial development planned over coming years.

“The quality of businesses represented at the Awards are a testament to this positive future outlook for the region,” he says.

Karen Silk, Westpac GM Commercial, and Corporate & Institutional, says: “It’s been great to see all the fantastic entries in this year’s Auckland Business Excellence Awards. I know the winners are all thoroughly deserving of a win, and I’ve been impressed with the extremely high calibre of entries. A thriving Auckland economy is fundamentally important to New Zealand’s global success and recognising the achievements of these businesses through these Awards, helps to highlight that contribution.”

The Westpac Auckland Business Awards, hosted by Auckland Chamber of Commerce with the support of ATEED, offer businesses a chance to be rewarded for their excellence, to share their stories and to celebrate their successes. For a complete list of finalists and details of the Gala Dinner and Awards Ceremonies please visit

Westpac Auckland Business Awards 2016 – North Winners

Best Emerging Business sponsored by Air New Zealand
Provincial Childcare Holdings Limited

Excellence in Customer Service Delivery sponsored by Barfoot & Thompson

Excellence in Innovation sponsored by Massey University
Safety Nets NZ Limited

Excellence in International Trade sponsored by Ports of Auckland
Straker Translations

Excellence in Marketing sponsored by Benefitz
Max Marketing

Excellence in Strategy and Planning sponsored by Business North Harbour
Manawanui Incharge

Employer of the Year sponsored by Blackcat Consulting Limited
Northern Arena

Supreme Business Excellence sponsored by Westpac
Northern Arena



Password for downloading photos: westpac2016

For more information contact Michael Barnett, mobile: 0275 631 150.
Michael Barnett, Chief Executive, Auckland Chamber of Commerce.