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There was more than a touch of magic in the air on the night of March 25th at Sky City as winners of the 2015 New Zealand International Business Awards were announced, with Queenstown-based experiential tourism company Magic Memories sweeping up four awards, including the coveted Judges’ Supreme Award for International Business.
Launched 20 years ago to offer photography services for the Queenstown Gondola, the company now operates in 100 sites globally. It was Magic Memories’ focus on maintaining high quality operations at each site, whilst ensuring considerable autonomy is given to local teams within global processes, which made an impact on the judges.
“The judging panel was particularly impressed by the effort that Magic Memories puts into implementation and set-up of new sites, with the results showing through in customer advocacy, site revenue growth and customer retention,” commented the judges. 
Magic Memories also took home accolades for categories ‘ANZ Best Business Operating Internationally – $10m-$50m’, ‘Excellence in Marketing’, supported by AUT Business School, and ‘Excellence in Operations’, supported by The Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade.
The Awards, run by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) and Strategic Partner ANZ, celebrate the passion, vision and new approaches that New Zealand businesses are taking to achieve international success. 
Further international success was exemplified by the night’s other winners; New Plymouth’s International Volunteer HQ, Rakaia’s Synlait Milk, Wellington’s Powershop, Auckland’s Milmeq and Taupo-based Miraka, who was named winner of the inaugural ‘He kai kei aku ringa for Māori Excellence in Export’ award, supported by The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), Te Puni Kōkiri and The Treasury.
Dr John Penno, CEO and Managing Director of Synlait Milk, picked up the final accolade for ‘Excellence in Leadership’, supported by KPMG. Judges were impressed by John’s role in helping the firm rise up the value chain, his entrepreneurial spirit, the company culture and team dynamics he has built, and his leadership amongst the primary sector.
NZTE Chief Executive Peter Chrisp said this year’s winners demonstrate the lateral thinking that is becoming characteristic of New Zealand business, with each winners shaking up traditional markets by providing innovative, bespoke and cutting-edge solutions.
“All of these companies are immersing themselves in their markets, designing bespoke products and services to suit their current and future customers, and rapidly evolving their businesses to deliver.  
“There is no shortage of opportunities for New Zealand businesses, but the challenge is to design businesses to be relevant to the markets. Magic Memories has taken the traditional model of attraction photography and shaken it up by creating a much more personal experience for users who are happy to pay a premium for a truly bespoke product. The benefits extend to Magic Memories’ partners, who also reap the rewards of that premium.”
David Green, Managing Director Institutional at ANZ New Zealand, said: “These outstanding companies have demonstrated the international success that can be achieved when owners have the courage to take their business into new markets, and are prepared to commit the considerable time, investment and hard work, and have the resilience needed to ensure success.
 “These awards give them deserved recognition.  But they also offer a great source of inspiration for other business owners who aspire to international growth. And they add exciting new chapters to the success story of New Zealand businesses going offshore, creating value, supporting the creation of jobs and growth in our economy.”
Follow the winners on Twitter: @NZTEnews #NZIBA, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+ and check out photos from the Awards ceremony at Full profile information on each winners can be found at
Glenn Baker

Glenn is a professional writer/editor with 50-plus years’ experience across radio, television and magazine publishing.


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