Awards recognise business leaders who make a difference to Tongan-New Zealand trade

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Kitekei'aho Tu'akalau (L) and Makahokovalu Pailate who receives Businessmen Entrepreneurs’s award. Photo/Kalino Latu

Tongan business people were recognised at the first Tonga Business Excellence Dinner on November 2 with awards in six categories.

Women in Business awards went to  Emeline Afeaki-Mafileo (Affirming Works, Fofola Consultancy, Tupu’anga Coffee); Eithne Curran (Eithne Curran); Kimberley Ramsay-Reid and Jennifer Boggiss (Heilala Vanilla).

The Business Executive awards went to Jack Bourke (Digicel International); Rachel Skudder (BEST Training); Debbie Sorrenson (Pacific Futures) and Saia Latu (Trow Group).

The Exporter from Tonga awards went to Heilala Vanilla (Jennifer Boggiss); Nishi Trading (Minoru Nishi); Tinopai (Pousima Afeaki); Tupu’anga Coffee (Albert Mafileo).

The award for New Zealand  Mainstream Business selling  into Tonga went to Alrite Steel and Service Ltd (Bhaskar Sharma); Pacific Direct Line (Alan Foote); Fonterra (Eun Hee Park) and Scenic Hotel (Leigh Lewis).

The Businessmen Entrepreneurs’s award went to Butch Riechelmann (BR and Associates Ltd); Vaine Niuhulu (Coin Total Upgrade); Maka Pailate and Matt Bourke (Th1nk Project Ltd).

The Social Enterprise award went to the Langimalie Clinic (Dr Glen Doherty); Affirming Works (Emeline Afeaki—Mafileo) and Dr Simione Lolohea (Surgeons on Clarence).

Special Recognition awards were made to Lopi Faleafa (Faleafa Investments Consultancy Ltd) for best Business Entrepreneur Navigator and Leopino Foliaki (PWC) as a Business Leadership Navigator.

Guest speakers at the function included New Zealand’s first Tongan-born member of Cabinet, Jenny Salesa, who is Minister of Building and Construction and Ethnic Communities.

She was joined by Minister of Pacific Peoples Aupito Sua William Sio.

New Zealand Tonga Business Council (NZTBC) Vice Chairperson Rachel Afeaki-Taumoepeau said it was important to identify and celebrate business excellence and the impact these recipients had on trade relations between the two countries.

The main points

  • Tongan business people were recognised at the first Tonga Business Excellence Dinner on November 2 with awards in six categories.
  • The awards recognised people who had had an impact on trade between Tonga and New Zealand.
  • Guest speakers at the function included New Zealand’s first Tongan-born member of Cabinet, Jenny Salesa, who is Minister of Building and Construction and Ethnic Communities.
  • She was joined by Minister of Pacific Peoples Aupito Sua William Sio.

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