New Zealand’s largest rail operator, KiwiRail, has won the supreme award at the AUT (Auckland University of Technology) Business School Excellence in Business Support Awards.
For the last 12 years, the Excellence in Business Support Awards have recognised organisations and individuals that perform high quality support services to small, medium and large businesses.
KiwiRail also won awards in the AUT International Business Export Support and Advanced Security Group Government categories, and was acknowledged for its efforts in boosting export growth in partnership with Port of Tauranga and Fonterra.
This partnership has resulted in improved supply chain, improvements to productivity, regional development, reductions in costs, and reduced CO² emissions.
Professor Kate Kearins, Dean of AUT Faculty of Business, Economics and Law, spoke of the necessity of companies involved in the supply chain and distribution joining together to tackle environmental issues.
“For any systems-based problem you need collaboration across the members of the system. These issues can’t be resolved by individual organisations working in isolation,” Kearins said.
Kearins also acknowledged KiwiRail as “vital” to New Zealand’s transport system, and to tourism across the country.
“Its resilience and ability to quickly establish alternatives to disrupted networks is part of what makes it a deserving supreme winner of the Excellence in Business Support Awards,” she said.
Eighteen million tonnes of freight (around 25% of New Zealand’s exports) are moved by KiwiRail every year, while its network services 32 million commuter journeys and over 1 million tourist passengers on scenic trains and inter-island ferries.
KiwiRail chief executive Peter Reidy said the operator was “thrilled” to receive the awards and to be recognised for its efforts in growing the economy.
“We have built strong partnerships with New Zealand’s ports, which help us to efficiently and reliably deliver our customers’ goods to New Zealand and the world,” Reidy said.
“The award also recognises our ability to quickly respond to events such as the Kaikoura earthquake, which had a significant impact on the national supply chain. It challenged us to find ways to continue to support our customers and to provide strategic resilience options.”