Waiheke Islanders Bruce Plested and Rob Fenwick will be joining six other notable New Zealanders, including Sir Peter Jackson, in the 2016 New Zealand Business Hall of Fame.
Established in 1994 by the Young Enterprise Trust, the organisation celebrates enterprise, hard work and success.
Most of its laureates, who include such global figures as Sir Peter Blake, have contributed generously to their communities as well as making a significant contribution to the economic and social development of New Zealand.
An environmental entrepreneur, Rob Fenwick’s business ventures include organic waste processor Living Earth, bottled water brand NZ Natural and Te Matuku Bay Oysters.
He has held governance roles with many organisations including Landcare Research, TVNZ, St John, Antarctica NZ, the New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development and Ngati Whatua Orakei.
He was also a finalist in this year’s Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year Awards, alongside Richie McCaw and Louise Nicholas.
Mr Fenwick says he is “very happy to be sharing this stage with my friend and fellow Waihekian, Bruce Plested”.
“This unexpected honour should go to my many business partners, colleagues and staff over the years. I hope my award reflects an acknowledgement by the adjudicators of the value of sustainability and environmental responsibility in business.”
He say a lot has changed in his 45-year business career.
“Most satisfying has been the slow dawning realisation that the purpose of business is more than reward for shareholders … a wider duty to deliver a better society and protected environment.
“Private enterprise is at the heart of civilised society. No one advances (gets a job, pays tax) until someone sells something. But the transaction is only the beginning. Business can drive social and environmental outcomes that governments can’t.”
Bruce Plested founded Mainfreight in 1978 and since then has overseen its growth into a global logistics provider with more than 6000 employees, 243 branches around the world and a $2 billion annual turnover.
Mr Plested and Mainfreight are long-time supporters of Duffy Books in Homes, The Life Education Trust and Bairds Mainfreight Primary School.
He regularly opens his Pie Melon Bay property to events like the Waiheke Island Garden Safari and the Waiheke Walking Festival, as well as the recent Matiatia: Let it Be concerts.
The New Zealand Business Hall of Fame inductions will be held on 9 June at The Langham in Auckland. Tickets are available online at www.businesshalloffame.co.nz or by calling (09) 375 3940. • Julianne Evans