In 2015 the North Harbour Club and Charitable Trust proudly assumed responsibility for the North Shore Business Hall of Fame. This was the programme that acknowledged the contributions made by business people on the North Shore. It was initially set-up by North Shore City Council but went into recess when the combined Auckland Council was formed in 2010.
With an appropriate name change – to ‘North Harbour Business Hall of Fame’ – a relaunch was conducted in late 2015 with the aim to make our first new inductions from 2016. All existing laureattes were automatically inducted into the relaunched entity. Those were:- Ralph Roberts, the late Jim and Geoff Smale, Sir Stephen Tindall, Sir Graeme Avery, Sir David Levene, Sir Peter Maire, Diane Foreman, Peter Menzies, Ian Calderwood, David Charlesworth, Colin Harvey, Gary Monk and Jan Dawson.
So 2016 was a hugely exciting time for the club with the first inductions made at the inaugural North Harbour Business Hall of Fame black tie dinner held at The Wharf function centre at Northcote Point. The club was also thrilled to welcome a valued sponsor for the Business Hall of Fame, Milford Asset Management.
The four new inductees were chosen by a judging panel consisting of former North Harbour Club President Matthew Bellingham as chair, along with Sir Peter Maire, club trustee Ngaio Merrick, life member Gary Monk and member Jan Dawson.
"I couldn't think of a more deserving group of people to lead the beginning of a new era of recognising business success in the North Harbour region,” said Matthew Bellingham, when announcing the new laureattes at the mid-September function. "We have so many inspirational leaders that either live in our region or have their main place of work in our region, and who apply their wealth of experience to benefit our community. It is a privilege to be involved in recognising these people."
The first inductees were Paul and Liz Blackwell, who own Pak'n Save Albany, New Zealand’s largest and busiest supermarket, the SkyCity Breakers, and publishing company PQ Blackwell. They are great believers in giving back to the community and youth, and their philanthropy is wide reaching supporting the Well Foundation, YES Disability Centre, Heart Kids of New Zealand and Starship Hospital.
The third inductee was John Spooner, the joint owner (with his brother Roger) of New Zealand’s largest electrical wholesaler, JA Russell Ltd, which is 100% Zealand owned and operated. Three friends Jack Spooner, Albert Hopkins and Russell Williamson originally founded the business in 1951. 65 years later there are 68 branches employing more than 600 staff. John Spooner is a life-long resident of the North Shore, a member of the Rotary Club of Takapuna North and Trustee for YES Disability from the inception of the Resource Centre. The giving of his time and expertise continues to be a valuable resource for local charitable organisations and the community.
The fourth inductee was Annette Presley, who founded her first company, the IT recruitment firm Stratum, in 1987 at the age of 24. Since then she has co-founded several successful telecommunications and information technology companies in New Zealand and Australia, including Call Australia, CallPlus and i4free and Slingshot. Annette encourages women technology entrepreneurs, supports start-up businesses, was patron of the charity StepUP and has actively supported Dress for Success, Shine and Kidz First Children’s Hospital. Annette has her own charity Elicit to inspire and encourage young girls to cast off personal limitations and change their lives by dreaming big.
Closing the formal part of the night the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to well-known and hugely respected local businessperson and philanthropist Sir David Levene.
About the North Harbour Business Hall of Fame:- Established originally in 2004 it celebrates exemplary efforts in North Harbour business and the community. To be considered for induction, a nominee must be a current business leader, whom has applied their skills and success to benefit the community. Nominations are open on an ongoing basis for the North Harbour Business Hall of Fame and laureates will be inducted at an annual dinner event. For more information regarding the nomination process visit: www.northharbourclub.co.nz
Thanks to the ongoing support of our fantastic sponsors