Cambridge businesses come out on top at Waipa Business Awards

Richard Wright of PaperPlus Cambridge with the Outstanding Services to Business Award, pictured with Waipa Mayor Jim Mylchreest. Photo – Barker Photography.

The Waipa Networks 2017 Business Awards were held on Friday at the Mystery Creek Events Centre, where more than 370 people, including several dignitaries such as Waipa District Mayor Jim Mylchreest, Hon. Louise Upston (MP for Taupo), Barbara Kuriger (MP for Taranaki-King Country) and Andrew Little (Labour List MP).

Finalists, along with their colleagues, friends, clients, family, mentors and advisors gathered for the to celebrate business success in Waipa and Raglan. “The exceptional quality of entries into the Awards created a great contest between a diverse range of businesses, resulting in the judges awarding joint winners in two categories,” said Cambridge Chamber of Commerce CEO Tania Witheford.

The prestigious customer choice award, as voted by the public, went to The Lily Pad Café.

The team from The Lily Pad Café were quite happy to have won the customer choice award. Photo – Barker Photography.

Two Cambridge businesses were joint winners of the Digital Strategy and Implementation Award, Jigsaw Professional Development and Nova Health.

Judges said they strongly considered Jigsaw’s impressive international reach and strong use of digital platforms when awarding the local business Judges said they were also impressed with Nova’s application of digital technologies in order to achieve business goals.

The Nova Health team, joint winners of the Digital Strategy and Implementation Award. Photo – Barker Photography.

Two Cambridge businesses were also named as winners in the Excellence in Business rounds, with The Stakeholder Agent winning the sole trader category and Alpha Street Kitchen & Bar winning the “new and emerging” division.

The Excellence in Customer Service – Cambridge Award went to Onyx, and Onyx employee Neraaj (Cheta) Mamgain was also awarded winner of the Cambridge Employee of the Year Award.

Tania Witheford, Cambridge Chamber of Commerce CEO, said, “This year was the first time we received feedback directly from the public regarding the Employee of the Year finalists for Cambridge.  Sir Patrick Hogan made contact with us saying, ‘I have travelled the world and have experienced some outstanding service,  this young fellow could be at any of those restaurants.   Onyx have a great asset in Cheta.’”

Onyx employee Neraaj (Cheta) Mamgain was winner of the Cambridge Employee of the Year Award and Onyx won the Excellence in Customer Service – Cambridge Award. Photo – Barker Photography.

Mayor Jim Mylchreest presented well known, long time local businessman Richard Wright of Wright’s Bookshop (now PaperPlus Cambridge) with the Outstanding Services to Business award. Judges said Richard’s service to his community and the business sector has been long and varied, making him a very deserving winner.

Richard Wright opened a business in Cambridge in 1984 and quickly became involved in the community, especially the business. He was heavily involved in the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce and it’s revitalisation as it emerged from a period of non operation. He was on the Retail Committee, was a long standing elected member of the Cambridge Community Board, is currently on the Safer Communities Trust Board and Executive as well as being pivotal in the Sister Cities programmes that Cambridge is involved in (Bihoro and Le Quesnoy).

Richard was humbled by the receipt of the Award, saying that he was simply “doing what he believes in”, investing in the community he is a part of.

Full results from the Awards, and additional photos, are available at

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