Interviews

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Xeroing In

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Xeroing In

by Karen Pasco A Hawke’s Bay surfer with some sharp ideas has made accounting a simple task for small business owners worldwide. Xero founder Rod Drury talks about how, with the right attitude, staff and strategy, truly remarkable things can happen. Rapturous applause in recognition of an outstanding performance is enough to flatter any artist. When the management team at Xero received just that from the 400 shareholders at the company’s annual general meeting this year, it was indeed an indication of the solidarity and devotion the financial...

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High Flyer

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High Flyer

The Garden City is heading straight for a building boom; new plans, new buildings and new spaces are all on the cards. Workers and their tools are becoming a customary part of the visual landscape, so much so that we barely blink an eye except to give a cursory groan and perhaps an expletive or two, if said construction gets in our way. However, not often do we think of the “who” and the “what” that transforms an empty space into a new building, or rubble into a piece of art. So here we take an in-depth look into one Christchurch-born and...

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Business Calls

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Business Calls

by Corazon Miller For many years New Zealand mobile customers were caught between a rock and hard place, under what was considered a mobile telecommunications duopoly between Vodafone and Telecom. The lack of competition meant prices barely budged as the two corporate giants remained unchallenged, and consumers were left with little choice. However, in recent years a new kid has joined the block – 2degrees – and is doing what it can to give the market a little shake-up. We talk to the 2degrees business chief sales officer Mike Cleary about...

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Making It Her Way

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Making It Her Way

By Corazon Miller Her first memory of cooking was standing by her mother’s side in a Hawke’s Bay kitchen back in the 1950s, helping pour fragrant vanilla essence into a fluffy white pavlova mixture. The little Jo would watch as her mother beat the whites into soft, perfect white peaks of the long-time Kiwi favourite. This image, paired with the taste of rubber as she would gleefully lick the batter off the rubber spatula, make up some of Jo Seager’s earliest culinary memories. These days Jo has gone back to her country girl roots,...

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Food For Thought

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Food For Thought

By Karen Pasco Almost 48 years ago David and Joan Ward returned early from their honeymoon to look into a business venture. The bakery and catering business they bought more than four decades ago has grown well beyond expectations. Joan and son Greg tell Canterbury Today how family business Continental has stood the test of time. When a natural disaster hits the first response is to set up essential services. Through the chaos of February 22, 2011, people stopped what they were doing in order to help others. This took great fortitude as many...

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Dare To Dream

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Dare To Dream

By Karen Pasco Some may call him a business evangelist, some may describe him as a visionary – in fact what Michael E. Gerber is, is a man who had a dream – a dream to help others in their businesses and in their lives. Now he is living his dream and passing it on to others so they can live theirs too. Throughout our lifetime we are constantly told “be careful”, “don’t do that you might hurt yourself”, “don’t fail”. Although the intentions are that parents, teachers, caregivers and any adult that may be involved in the upbringing of a...

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Number Seven’s Stellar Opportunity

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Number Seven’s Stellar Opportunity

By Karen Pasco Photo by Kelly Shakespeare Photography Anonymity is one thing Richie McCaw finds hard to come by. Being able to wander down a street without a barrage of fans keen to meet disputably New Zealand’s most famous resident is an unfamiliar novelty for the All Blacks’ captain. He is currently trying his hardest to be anonymous, travelling the world during his six month sabbatical. But travelling is not the only endeavour that will fill McCaw’s time during the break. It’s no secret that McCaw is contemplating life after rugby....

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Chips Off The Old Block

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Chips Off The Old Block

By Melinda Collins Ben and Libby Crawford get recognised all the time; there’s those awkward moments when someone actually thinks they know them, or the times someone says hello and they have just seconds to work out if they actually know them. However, it was the family ties which the pair believes secured them the winning spot on The Block New Zealand. “Being brother and sister, we didn’t have to deal with relationship crap,” Ben laughs. “We went into this almost like a business transaction; we went in there with a plan and always looking...

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Aaradhna’s Awakening

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Aaradhna’s Awakening

By Davina Richards Losing your passion for music must be crushing for any performer, but for Kiwi artist Aaradhna it really hit hard when she tried to break into America and almost gave up on music entirely. Now, she stands with a smile on her face and a glint in her eye as she moves forward to realise her dream. Signed to Frequency Media Group and Dawn Raid Entertainment, Aaradhna’s catchy single ‘Wake Up’ was exactly that; a wake up call to herself in an attempt to prompt herself to get up, get out and get on with life. Much to her surprise...

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Turning Points

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Turning Points

One can envisage the likely curriculum vitae of someone who has crafted a significant business with 20 outlets nationwide, a 45 percent market share, an annual turnover of $28 million and 170 employees. It certainly wouldn’t be a high school dropout. But then when life gives him lemons, Steve Lange has always been one to make… an entire lemon empire. Melinda Collins sits down for a chat with the serial entrepreneur and creator of Tony’s Tyre Service. Although his path to success was lined with tyres rather than lemons, the journey has been...

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