Tora Coastal Walk, a boutique Wairarapa tourism, venture won the inaugural Rural Women’s Enterprising Rural Woman Award.
The business is run by Jenny Bargh and Kiri and Kath Elworthy.
RWNZ president and one of the judges, Margaret Chapman, said passion for their business, economic success and community contribution were factors which determined the winner. Judges were also looking for businesses which couldn’t operate anywhere other than in rural areas rather than those which happened to operate there.
The award attracted 46 entries and Tora Coastal Walk was one of three finalists.
“The business has been running for 14 years, but the women’s enthusiasm is still strong. They live in a very special part of the country and love to share it with others. They make a special effort to bridge the urban-rural divide, talking to their guests about what’s happening on the farm and making it a total rural experience,” says Ms Chapman. “Attention to detail and personal touches are an important part of the Tora Coastal Walk and its success.”
Rural Women New Zealand set up the Enterprising Rural Woman Award to highlight the innovative ways women are contributing to the rural economy, and their determination to succeed in the face of the extra challenges presented by the difficulties in accessing technology and geographical location.
The winning partnership won $1500 in prize money and the opportunity to attend a BNZ Women in Agribusiness course.
The runners up were Jan Bolton of Kaingaroa Roading Contractors Ltd, from Murupara and Beverley Forrester of ‘Blackhills’, a paddock to catwalk sheep farming and designer wool operation based in Hurunui, North Canterbury.
The other two judges were Theresa Gattung of Wool Partners International and Amber Quinell from the BNZ, which was the main sponsor for the award.
Rural Women has achieved a lot through this award. It has brought positive publicity for the organisation and the finalists; it’s shown the variety of enterprises rural women are involved in and that business opportunities for women don’t stop at the town boundary.