Rural round-up

April 14, 2015

That is indeed a beautiful sound – Gravedodger:

Since around 0645 we have had the sound of rain on the roof,  steady and after two hours, around 13mm.

Here in Akaroa we were not as desperate as many pockets  around North Canterbury, a friend from Cheviot next door to where we spent three years in the mid 60s, is saying it is so parched there is not even any green in gully floors where there is normally some hope of a lunch for a rabbit.

Another comment in Farmers Weekly said their bit of unirrigated country has moved from brown to white. . .

Uneven rules costly – Neal Wallace:

Steps to control agricultural nutrient discharge could add 10c a litre to the cost of producing milk and impose wide-ranging restrictions on land management.

But there is little uniformity in regional council rules.

Most of the county’s 16 regional authorities are still to complete their regional plans but early indications are that each council has its own approach.

Rabobank sustainable farm systems manager Blake Holgate has been following the development and release of environmental regulations and said even neighbouring regional councils such as Otago and Southland have differing rules, creating uncertainty for owners of multiple properties and unknown costs. . .

Heartland Forum shaping up as South Island farming event of the year:

A speakers’ lineup of the who’s who in the primary sector makes this month’s ‘The Future of Heartland Forum’ near Cheviot in North Canterbury, a must attend.

A farmer discussion in Cheviot late last year about the spread of Chilean Needlegrass has since grown into staging a premier forum on the future of agriculture industries in New Zealand.

The event will be held at Te Mania Angus Stud, Conway Flat, Friday, April 17.

Other than Government speakers, the lineup includes; Dame Margaret Bazley from Environment Canterbury, Winton Dalley the Hurunui Mayor, Peter Townsend the Chief Executive of the Canterbury Employers Chamber of Commerce, Craige and Roz Mackenzie and Sam and Mark Zino, award winning farmers, Nicole Masters of the New Zealand Biological Farmers Association and Dr William Rolleston the National President of Federated Farmers New Zealand. . .

 Robotic milking can revive kids’ interest:

Robotic milking is coming of age in New Zealand and interest has surged in the last six months, DeLaval’s Grant Vickers says.

“I think it’s because a number of installations in New Zealand are working well,” he told Dairy News. “The perception of risk has probably lessened.”

The current inquiries, for robotics and barns, are from all sizes of farms and will result in installations in the North and South Island. 

Vickers spoke about robotic milking during a Dairy Women’s Network field trip to a 600-cow wintering barn as part of the organisation’s ‘Entering Tomorrow’s World’ conference. . .

What’s behind the longevity of Country Calendar? – Julian O’Brien:

Soon after I started producing Country Calendar, we had a minor crisis.

We thought we’d found a simple and elegant way to make new opening titles – but it quickly turned into a nightmare. 

We needed footage of people involved in typical rural activities, but to integrate the shots into our titles, they had to be shot against a neutral background – ideally a green-screen set up in a studio. 

Sheep in a studio? Achievable, but someone needs to be ready with a broom afterwards.

New Zealand’s top shearers in a studio? Impossible, if you want to keep the feel of a shearing competition – but we desperately wanted the shot.

As we pondered this, we had a crew shooting part of a story at the Taumarunui Shears – but there was no neutral background at the event to do a titles shot. . .

NZPork Annual Report 2014:

The NZPork Annual Report 2014, released today, reflects on the importance of the New Zealand consumer to the future of its business.

NZPork Chairman Ian Carter points out that it’s important to remember that our consumer is our neighbour and that we are touch with what consumers want and believe.

“We need to provoke interest in our product and our industry. We need to invoke confidence in our production standards and systems. And we need to evoke desire for our product,” said Ian Carter.

The report states the industry recognises that little is understood about pig farming in general amongst many New Zealanders, particularly the requirements of caring for its animals. In light of this, it is taking steps to be more transparent and advocate confidence to its consumers via its production systems and standards. . .

 Silage smells and what they mean – Ian Williams:

I grew up in town and one of my distinct memories of summer and autumn when we went to visit our farming friends was the smell of silage. 

As a kid, silage always seemed to stink and it is a smell which has been imprinted on my brain.

Now I work with the stuff. I even have a personalised number plate with the word SILAGE on it! Whenever I  introduce myself to people from town and they ask me what I do and I mention the word silage, they instantly screw up their noses and say something like “How can you work with that stuff, it stinks?” or they ask “Are you still married?” . .  .

How to install a ready-made food making business on your farm:

Making the transition from being a primary producer to processing and selling your own produce has become considerably cheaper, easier and less stressful thanks to an Anglo-French company that has created a new process that effectively builds a ‘barn inside a barn’.
Create-a-cabin has led a revolution in French farming by rapidly installing food-safe, highly flexible, and technically sophisticated food preparation rooms without the need for planning permission.
Across the Channel, Create-a-cabin’s custom-made, modular building shells have been erected quickly and cheaply for cheese-makers, poultry abattoirs, jam kitchens, meat packers, fish smokers and many more, allowing farmers to control at least one more link in the food production chain, as well as adding value to their product and thus  commanding a higher price. . .


Rural round-up

November 1, 2012

Wool’s future far from woolly:

Farmers are counting down the days to when major shareholdings in New Zealand Wool Services International (NZWSI) will be on-sold by the receivers.

“In a green-aware age, bales of wool should be flying out of our woolsheds. As they are not, is why management consultants could describe the wool industry as a ‘problem child’,” says Jeanette Maxwell, Federated Farmers Meat & Fibre chairperson. . .

New Head of Farm Environment Trust Ready for Challenge:

Well-known Wanganui farmer Alistair Polson has been elected chairperson of the New Zealand Farm Environment Trust.

He takes over from North Waikato farmer Jim Cotman who has stepped down after six years in the role.

Mr Polson’s extensive experience in farming politics and business management includes serving as national president of Federated Farmers from 1999 to 2002.

Since 2004 he has been Special Agricultural Trade Envoy for New Zealand. He is a former director or committee member of a number of rural-based organisations, including AgITO, the National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee, Veterinary Council of New Zealand and NZ Landcare Trust. . .

Deep in the current – Bruce Munro:

Graeme Martin has been described as everything from a compassionate, principled, visionary genius to an inflexible, stubborn, demanding taskmaster. Bruce Munro examines pieces of the puzzle that make up the influential, complex and soon to retire chief executive of the Otago Regional Council.

“I shan’t forget a very large fist waved very close to my face” Graeme Martin says.

He is sitting in a comfortable chair in a corner office with city, harbour and peninsula views.

Three hundred and sixty kilometres and 45 years separate him from what happened that day in the Addington railway workshops.

But there is no denying the edge to his voice.

“A fist waved in my face because I was working too hard.” . . .

Winemaker celebrates 50 years:

The staff lunchroom might not seem an obvious stop on a tour of a picturesque winery. But Villa Maria’s is immaculate – largely due to the writing on its wall. 

One side of the lunchroom at the company’s winery in Mangere, Auckland, is dominated by information about its lean manufacturing programme, Achieving Continuous Excellence (ACE), running in the company for the past two years. It’s brought efficiencies to the business, but benefits in the physical environment are also obvious. Nothing – not even in the caf – is out of place.

It’s a point of pride for founder Sir George Fistonich, but also gives an insight into how the company, which celebrates its 50th vintage this year, has continued to grow in a tough industry. . .

Soil biology is key to saving saving fertility – Peter Watson:

Complacency is costing us some of our best soils, says ecologist and educator Nicole Masters.

New Zealand is losing 11 tonnes of topsoil per hectare a year, more than 10 times the global average, she said during a recent Beef + Lamb New Zealand field day held at Claire Parkes and Simon Vincent’s farm near Wakefield, and attended by about 35 farmers.

“We live in one of the most blessed soil environments in the world.

“We are fertile, we have good carbon and beautiful rainfall, but we are losing all this topsoil and it’s not sustainable.” . .

Convert to sustainability – Tim Cronshaw:

A farmer with nearly 9000 deer who once never put much thought into improving the environment on his farm, has become a fully converted believer.

Graham Carr estimates he has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars during the past four years fencing off waterways and putting in settling ponds, so the water coming off his farm at Peel Forest Estate in South Canterbury is crystal clear.

Carr has built up one of the largest deer herds in the country, since emigrating to New Zealand 25 years ago from Britain, where he came from a joinery background. . .

A2 Corp to take control of NZ marketing, enter North America:

 A2 Corp, which markets milk products with a protein variant claimed to have health benefits, wants to directly enter the New Zealand market and is looking to expand into North America and some European nations having wrapped up a strategic review to speed up growth.

The alternative-market listed company will shift its focus to a number of opportunities in a bid to ramp up growth, including directly marketing into New Zealand, it said in a statement. A2 plans to expand rapidly include entering markets in North America, German, France Italy and Spain via joint ventures, using local contract manufacturers or investing in regional processing, it said. . .


16 finalists in Enterprising Rural Women awards

April 5, 2012

Sixteen finalists have been selected for Rural Women NZ’s  Enterprising Rural Women Awards:

The judges now face the challenging task of choosing the North and South Island and Online Business category finalists.  These three category winners will go on to compete for the title of Supreme winner, Enterprising Rural Women Award 2012.

 “This is the fourth year we’ve run the Enterprising Rural Women Award, and it’s encouraging to see the diversity of businesses being run by women in rural areas,” says RWNZ National President, Liz Evans. 

“Celebrating their success and raising awareness of women’s entrepreneurship is an important way in which we can help grow dynamic communities.”

Entries in this year’s Telecom North Island category include an alpaca farmer, a bra designer and manufacturer, an importer/retailer, an export-focused food and beverage consultant, a writer, a soil specialist and an educator on biological farming.

The variety of entrants in the new Online Business Award category, sponsored by Fly Buys, illustrates the opportunities that the internet offers and the way it is levelling the playing field when it comes to doing business in a rural location.  The entrants include an online store focused on motherhood resources and products, a writer and author, a natural skincare manufacturer and a dog equipment company.

 The South Island category, sponsored by Access Homehealth Ltd, attracted the most entries this year, with businesses ranging from an eco-based tourist park, to a designer clothing manufacturer and retailer, a tourism publisher, a livestock brokering software and support company, a travel broker and a beauty and day spa.

The finalists are:

NORTH ISLAND AWARD
Kim Fagan, Cluster of small businesses, Te Kuiti
www.3gteak.co.nz; www.bb-nz.com; www.smarty-pants.co.nz; www.buykiwimade.co.nz.

Kim Fagan began her retailing hub company in 2003 in a vibrant cluster of buildings in Te Kuiti.  3G Teak stands for three girls, three generations, three girls.  Kim, her mother and her daughter.  The retail outlets 3G Teak selling handcrafted gifts and homeware; Cantik Living – designs for the home; BB NZ (corporate and promotional marketing); Elements (outdoor pots, waterfeatures and landscape products); Smarty Pants (creative and educational play for kids); BuyKiwiMade.  Kim has won many awards for business and in 2010 3G Teak was officially named the Top Giftware and Homewares Shop in the Waikato by the NZ Retailers’ Association and in 2011 was one of three finalists in the 2011 Waikato Business Excellence Awards Leader of the Year.  Kim undertakes the marketing and operational requirements of each business.

Kim uses interesting marketing strategies.  All stores have an in store web kiosk available for customers browsing to promote products offered online.  3G Teak now trades nationwide and internationally.  In order to meet compliance 3G Teak has its own devanning facility so imported containers can be unloaded onsite.  Kim has a MAF Facility Operators Licence and MAF Accredited Persons Licence.

Through her business Kim contributes to the wider rural community attracting people to come and shop in Te Kuiti and providing employment for nine families in the community.

Kylie Gibbard, Emkay Limited Levin,  www.emkaygirl.com

Emkay Ltd designs, manufactures and wholesales the Emkay Bra.  Its unique design was launched onto the NZ market in November 2010.  The bra evolved from Kylie’s need to find a bra that provided comfort and support and that she could wear all day out on the farm.  It was originally designed for the 14DD+ market and took five years of design and component testing before it was released.  It’s now available in 8B to 40HH.  Production is based on the farm at Koputaroa, 10 minutes north of Levin and are proud of their Kiwi-designed and made product, made with highest quality components and a local labour force which now includes 4 full time and 2 part time factory staff, 1 NZ sales rep, 1 admin and customer services manager as well as Kylie and her partner Darrell Stratton.  Kylie has a sales focus and Darrell focuses on the running of the factory and business.

The company now has 35 NZ stockists and has broken into the Australian market.

Emkay is a truly rural based company with its design at the heart of rural living.  With a number 8 wire and can do attitude, Kylie and Darrell’s unique Emkay Bra is set to revolutionise the bra industry.

Leonie Walker, Nevalea Alpacas, Taumarunui, www.nevaleaalpacas.co.nz.

Leonie began her business in 2007 with the purchase of two female alpacas with cria at foot.  Now she has a herd of 340 alpacas and she employs six part time hand knitters.  The fibre is used in the garments and products sold in Leonie’s farm shop.  Each animal’s fleece is individually processed, and Leonie designs the garments and felted products.  All garments are hand sewn, and they offer a made to measure service.  Products are also sold via an online shop.

Lucy Cruickshank, Innov8 Aotearoa Ltd – Masterton.

Two years ago Lucy Cruickshank decided it was time to set up her own export-focused food and beverage consultancy with the skills she’d gleaned from 10 years in the international sales and marketing sector of NZ agri business.

The business works with start-ups through to large multi-million dollar operations.  She not only assists client with strategies, but also gives the operator the confidence to follow through with implementation.

Lucy says her point of difference is the business’ focus on rural based food and beverage producers.

She has done consultancy work for a range of businesses, providing innovative marketing and sales strategies and implementation, and analysing global market trends.  She has also established and sold her first brand – Pure Aotearoa – to a large trading company.  She has also set up a national food distribution business – Pure Wairarapa Limited – to complement the food and beverage consultancy work she does.  Lucy won a trip to Japan sponsored by the Japanese Government to further relationships in the agri-business sector with the JENESYS programme, which allowed her to develop exports to Japan for Innov8 and her clients.  She recently won a Grow Wellington scholarship to attend the Activate programme.

Sue Edmonds, The Farming Writer,  Eureka Waikato.

Sue Edmonds is a regular attendee at farming events and conferences and is a keen analyst, interpreting the significant issues arising and then translating them into ‘farmer speak’ for her readers.  She currently writes for Coast & Country, Rural News and Dairy News and contributes heavily to the New Farm Dairies publication which is distributed nationally.  She has spent the last fourteen odd years living on a lifestyle block in Eureka in the Waikato where she cares for a pair of cows, donkeys and goats.

Nicole Masters, Integrity Soils – Waipukurau www.integritysoils.co.nz.

Integrity Soils is a specialist business providing educational services and books to the rural sector throughout NZ and Australia.  In a ‘soils first’ approach the business focuses on putting control back into farmers’ hands in regards to nutrients and soil, crop and animal management.  It aims to support farmer learning to ensure food quality produced is the best in the world.  As biological farming moves into the mainstream, Nicole’s passion that she has pursued for the last 10 years since graduating from Otago, is becoming a reality.  She says “many on farm issues can be solved through improved observation skills and proactive management as opposed to the reactive model currently favoured.”

Nicole started her business to fit around being a single mum in a rural community, starting with a commercial worm farm supplying worm products, compost works and delivering school education programmes.  In 2003-4 she became the youngest chair on the board of Soil & Health in its 70 year history.  She is now an independent agricultural extension agent, working out of Waipukurau in Central Hawke’s Bay.  She organises conferences on biological farming, runs workshops here and in Australia, and promotes eco-agriculture through writing articles in rural papers, establishing farming networks and covering all sectors from dairy, beef, viticulture, horticulture, market gardening etc.

Nicole believes there are many incredible women who have played pivotal roles in shaping agriculture, and she believes now more than ever farming requires this feminine quality, working with nature in a more nurturing and empathetic manner.

ONLINE AWARD

Frances McInnes, Breastmates, Cambridge  www.breastmates.co.nz

Breastmates is an online store that started from humble beginnings in 2004 with $50 start up  and a one page website.  It started as a hobby while Frances was on maternity leave when a bad shopping experience helped identify a gap in the market for a breastfeeding specialty store.  This has now evolved into a trusted maternity brand with quality products and reputation.  The business operates solely through online sales and retails many brands, plus the company’s own designs and branded product range.  The online store focuses on motherhood and supporting mothers with their choices as well as selling products.  It has a large community of 13,000 Facebook followers, and an extensive base of resources (over 2,500 articles).  It also has a child birth educator and lactation consultant available to answer questions and an easy to use website.

The community and article base builds trust and potential customers and Frances believes that if they help people and give their time they will come back and purchase, or refer the store to their friends.  Supporting mothers is the key to the business, rather than selling products, and that is the key to Breastmates’ success.  The company has had steady increasing sales and performance since start up and is currently building international sales.

Rae Roadley – Writer and author – Maungaturoto, www.raeroadley.co.nz.

After moving to the city to a beef and sheep farm in Kaipara, Northland, in 2000, Rae’s work as a writer has evolved to accommodate her rural location, dreams and goals.  She has transitioned from being a full time newspaper journalist to being self-employed.  Initially she wrote for business and freelance articles, but is now also an author, columnist and writing tutor.  Rae currently writes for the Northern Advocate, NZ Concrete Society and Scene magazine. After several years as a columnist she submitted some of her columns to Penguin Books, which led to her publishing a memoir about her life at Batley, the Roadley family’s historic home, and the area’s history.  Love at the End of the Road was published in 2011, fulfilling a long held dream to become an author.  She tutors the Non-Fiction programme at NorthTec, with all the work done online.  In fact 95% of Rae’s work is now done online, and her promotional tools have grown to encompass social media.  Rae and husband Rex will feature in an episode of Country Calendar, filmed in early March.

Stephanie Kimpton – Oasis Beauty NZ Limited – Oxford – www.oasisbeauty.co.nz.

Stephanie says Oasis Beauty is a perfect example of what can happen when a person gets carried away with their hobby.  It happened to her 12 years ago when she discovered a book on how to make your own skincare products.  After producing a range of products with sister in law Donna Evans they began to sell by party plan, “the best product development any company could do”.  With this first hand feedback she researched, consulted suppliers and fine tuned her products.  Now Oasis Beauty offers a natural skincare range, with the point of difference being its specialisation in sensitive skin, sun protection and skin repair.  The company sells through beauty clinics, health stores and pharmacies and online.  All products are manufactured in a Christchurch GM-approved factory and each batch undergoes lab testing before going out into the market.  Ingredients are sourced in NZ as much as possible and the products are ‘cruelty free’. Oasis has grown from kitchen enterprise to factory-made in Christchurch and despite the Canterbury earthquakes and their aftermath has continued to grow its business, now employing two permanent part time staff and  casual labour to assist with preparing product samples and packing orders.  Stephanie works by the rule ‘treat people the way you want to be treated’.

The earthquakes caused Stephanie to review the business and a decision to focus more strongly on online sales to improve cash flow and profitability.  ‘The internet gives Oasis Beauty’ the same platform as every other business to showcase its products, services and points of difference.  It doesn’t matter whether a business is big, small, town or country-based, the internet levels the playing field.

SOUTH ISLAND AND ONLINE AWARD
Lynn Bridson, Bellbird Ranch Ltd, Owaka –
  www.catlinsnz.com

Bellbird Ranch Ltd in which Lynn is a 50% shareholder is a company that operates McLean Falls Holiday Park and Whistling Frog Cafe & Bar in the Catlins.  Having bought and run a sheep farm and planted a forest in the region (over 1 million seedlings) in 1996, Lynn recognised the tourist potential.  In 2001 Lynn purchased a farm that was located at a strategic intersection on the Southern Scenic Route and the iconic Cathedral Caves and McLean Falls intersection.  The run down sheep farm also included 100 ha of native bush, since fenced off.  Coming from a hospitality background, Lynn and her husband’s introduction to sheep and beef farming was a steep learning curve.  When the Southern Scenic Route was tar sealed in 2005 the couple gauged there were sufficient travellers to support a tourism business including a holiday park, motel and chalets and on site cafe and bar.

The extremely remote location presented its own challenges  with no cellphone coverage or broadband.  But despite being ‘the worst place in New Zealand to do business’ Lynn recognised the potential of the scenic wonderland.  They used an eco theme and recycled buildings and cabins, and based the decor on a Kiwiana theme.  They planted 10,000 natives to attract bird life, and a pond to offer habitat to the resident endangered Whistling frogs.  Lynn handles the daily operations for the park which can now offers 60 beds and accommodation for 100 tenters and campervaners.  It is often full. The business has boosted the local economy and employs 7 fulltime workers during the high season.  Tour buses also regularly stop by.

Rose Voice, The Real Dog Equipment Company Limited, Ranfurly; www.realdog.co.nz.

Rose’s passion for dogs has been with her for 30 years.  At that stage she was immersed in sled dog racing with Alaskan Malamute dogs, and imported gear from the US.  Being ‘a fairly sufficient sort of girl’ Rose thought ‘I can make that’.  She purchased an industrial sewing machine and set up costs came partly from the sale of a litter of puppies.  She developed a few articles of gear, and then a website to sell it through.  Her idea was that if she had a website and a courier she could live anywhere.  She sources materials, hardware and fabrics of high quality and guarantees her work.  A musterer came to the Southern Field days with his collar that he’d bought 9 years ago that had out-lived two dogs!

Her business has grown and diversified, including lifting strops for search & rescue dogs, collars for seeing-eye dogs and dog backpacks, life jackets, bungy leads all designed and tested by Rose.  She has expanded into the alpaca industry making halters, ropes and backpacks, as well as award winning Limited Slip dog collars used by the country’s top sheep dog trialists, and bull show halters and horse handling ropes.

Last year her husband retired from Police work to work with Rose and they moved to the Maniototo building a home and purpose built workshop and space for their 14 dogs.

Now they send gear all over the world, and even send sled dog equipment to Alaska!

They use YouTube and Facebook to make and show instruction movies for people struggling with a training issue or use of a piece of equipment.

SOUTH ISLAND AWARD

Christine Wardell, ChritinZ – Balclutha –  www.christinz.co.nz.

Christine started out designing a comfortable pair of pants to wear while recovering from an operation in 2006 and the business grew as she started making pants for friends and family until it became a full time occupation and the ChristinZ label was born.  The range grew to include skirts, jackets, tunics, dresses cardigans, coats and more. Clothes are made to order and many different fabrics are used to provide garments with an individualised look. Now she sells ‘on the road’ at shows and fieldays, as well as ‘pop up shops’ where she bases herself at a different South Island locate for three days at a time.

She also has a website shop and mail order service, meaning location is not  a barrier to supply.

She now employs a part time sewer and some of her clothing manufacture is outsourced.  Despite the range now including over 30 different garments , her original pants are still her Number 1 seller.

 

Amy Lamb, Tourist Times – Waikari, www.holidayhere.co.nz.

Five years ago, Amy Lamb purchased her first business, Tourist Times Canterbury.  After proving doubters wrong about the ability to run a business such as this from Waikari, along with farming and raising children, she has gone on to purchase the Otago/Southland and Nelson/Marlborough/West Coast regions of the monthly tabloid regional newspaper business.  The publications promote local businesses and regional destinations, with each newspaper run under a licence agreement.  Amy’s introduction to the media began at the NZ Broadcasting School where she studied for a Bachelor of Broadcasting Communications.  She is married to a North Canterbury sheep and beef farmer, and she sees her business as being all about communications and providing opportunities to allow businesses, regions, destinations, communities and people she works with to grow.  Building strong partnerships in her business meant that after the Canterbury earthquakes she didn’t miss an edition, and in fact provided the only updated printed information directly intended for visitors.

Jennifer Scott, Livestock Office, Cromwell  www.livestockoffice.com

After many years developing and selling software products relating to farming businesses, Jennifer now focuses on promoting Livestock Office a professional, specialised and comprehensive software package incorporating the latest advances in technology.  The aim is to provide the agricultural sector with innovative, reliable and affordable software.

Jennifer undertakes sales, training and support.  LivestockOffice is the only specialised Livestock Brokering software developed in New Zealand for NZ conditions, but with potential to be used internationally, which is the company’s focus for the immediate future.  It can be tailored to suit any livestock business from a one man band to the corporate level.  Modules available include mass communications, auction transfer, document manager, web sale using hand held devices and eSale using smart phones.  It includes debtors, creditors, cashbook and general ledger, GST calculator, reporting etc. It can handle all types of sales private, grazing, auction etc.

Lynne Sinclair, NZ Travel Broker – Five Forks.

Lynne is a self-employed travel broker living at Five Forks, 20 minutes inland from Oamaru.  Not restricted to the bricks and mortar of a traditional travel agency, she is able to fulfil her clients needs around the clock, from home.  She deals with air travel, accommodation, rental cars, cruising, coach tours, groups and special interest, sightseeing, foreign exchange, insurance, visas passports and more.  She’s been a travel broker for 15 years and is still passionate about travel.  In November 2011 she was placed 1st in QBE Travel Insurance Broker of the Year, and GO Holidays Broker of the Year.  When not travelling, virtually or actually, she helps on the family’s 305 hectare farm.

Sarah Huggins, Inspire Beauty & Day Spa – Waimate.

Sarah’s vision is to create an oasis of peace and tranquillity where you can soothe your mind, relax your body and renew your spirit.  She is the operator of Inspire Beauty and Day Spa in Waimate, where she’s lived most of her life, and lives on a farm.  But she’s no country bumpkin.  She has a strong passion for living on the cutting edge of style and fashion and says her calling is to make people feel good about themselves.  After graduating from beauty training school in Christchurch nine and a half years ago, she worked in Oamaru and Timaru, honing her product knowledge and developing her passion for specialised skincare.  She was however keen to help Waimate to become more self-sufficient in service and retail, with many people shopping and spending outside of the local area.  And so Inspire was born in 2008 and she became her own boss.  She now employs another person, and brings the benefits of the big city experience to the small town Pop. 3000.  She offers facials, skincare consultation, manicures, pedicures, massage, waxing, electrolysis, tanning, make up, weight loss programmes, botox and more.

The winners will be announced at a special ceremony to be held on the opening night of the RWNZ national conference in Hawera on Monday 21 May.


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