Masterwood Joinery win prestigious international design award

In true Kiwi fashion, small-town company – Cromwell’s Masterwood Joinery – staffers were elated and somewhat surprised when announced as winners of a prestigious, international design award in London.

The Society of British and International Interior Design’s (SBID) International Design Awards named Masterwood Joinery’s kitchen the winner in the KBB Design category (kitchen, bedroom, bathroom) on Friday (October 25, 2019).

Masterwood Joinery’s General Manager Jim Cleveland, who attended the high-end ceremony at JW Marriott Grosvenor House, said being proud was an understatement.

“The quality of our competitors was very high and to be honest we thought we would be outclassed, albeit extremely happy just to be finalists,” Jim says.

“When they announced Masterwood as the winner it was a feeling of elation unlike any I’d felt before – we are world champions in the design sector!”

The kitchen in a Lake Hayes home near Queenstown fuses Oriental and commercial chic to create a beautiful, cohesive space, which flawlessly interpreted the design brief of the owners.

“Apparently we were the most excited winners of the night and were crowd and organiser favourites,” Jim says.

“I think the small town joinery shop from a small country beating the big guns from all around the world was the catalyst for that feeling.”

SBID Founder and CEO, Dr Vanessa Brady OBE says the awards continue to grow from strength to strength.

“With a sell-out ceremony and more countries represented this year than any other, it truly is held as the premier interior design awards by the global industry and SBID is proud to present it each year.”

Finalists were chosen by a technical panel of judges which accounted for 70% of marks, while the remaining 30% was via public vote.

Masterwood’s inhouse designer Stefan Sonntag, who also attended the awards, designed the kitchen alongside Stuart Bateman of SB Design, who did the preliminary design and brief.

This is not the first time this kitchen has been in the limelight having has also claimed five major awards at the National Kitchen & Bathroom Association Awards in Melbourne earlier this year.

About the kitchen

Clean, straight lines, natural materials and earthy tones set the scene for the stunning kitchen. Heavy-duty powder coated steel box section legs support two islands, with an unapologetically commercial stainless-steel kitchen extractor suspended above the chef’s island.

At one end of the chef’s island is a cantilevered teppanyaki grill mounted in Ceasarstone, an engineered stone that is also the island’s work surface.

A favourite place in the kitchen for the lucky owners is the self-contained coffee-making area with sweeping views that include The Remarkables mountain range.

While many functional elements are hidden behind six-coat Ameron-lacquered soft close doors and panels, the owners were very definite about having as a ‘feature wall’ – in this case an impressive six door glass-fronted display cabinet.

This effectively distracts the eye from two pantry areas, one being a plumbed and fully equipped butler’s pantry. True to the Oriental theme, form and function are in perfect harmony in these pantries.

About the Awards

The SBID International Design Awards are awarded purely on the quality of the design, innovation, aesthetic and value-added to the project.

Each entry undergoes an exhaustive two-tier judging process by panels of leading industry experts for both technical content and aesthetic creativity. evaluating essential elements such as compliance with the brief, budget, health and safety and fit-for-purpose design.

The Public Vote is the final tier of scoring.

Masterwood’s Queenstown kitchen was a finalist in one of 14 categories from across 48 countries.

All winners for each category received a bespoke crystal trophy crafted by Sans Souci glass deco. Winners are also been featured in the SBID Global Interior Design 2019 coffee table book, which is available to purchase online at www.sbidawards.com

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Go Orange appoints new Kayak Experience Manager Courtney Quintrell

A love of the great outdoors and a quest for adventure are behind the appointment of a new Go Orange Kayak Experience Manager.

Courtney Quintrell has over 20 years’ experience working in tourism and hospitality, six of those in stunning Fiordland National Park.

And now she’s living her “dream job” enabling visitors to discover the serenity and beauty of Doubtful and Milford sounds on sea kayaking adventures in this remote part of the world, and kayak trips in the heart of Queenstown.

Born and raised in the US, Courtney says she loves to travel “anywhere and everywhere”, which ultimately brought her to New Zealand.

Her first New Zealand role saw her learning the ropes as a guide, driver and 2IC for a Milford Sound kayak company, interspersed with time in Alaska as a river guide and lodge guest services manager.

Joining Go Orange in November last year, she managed the daily operations of a full-service café on its newly-renovated scenic cruise boat the Milford Haven, catering for 500-plus guests each day.

And as the 2019/20 summer season cranks into gear she’s thrilled to take up her new role as Kayak Experience Manager.

“I have paddled a few places in the world, but nothing competes with kayaking in Fiordland!” she says. “The landscape is awe-inspiring, and the weather makes it even better. You haven’t really seen the place at it’s best until you’ve paddled in proper Fiordland rain. It’s incredible!

“It’s hugely rewarding to be in a position to have fun with our guests while working in such an exciting industry in the most beautiful place in the world.

“I am excited to work with our amazing kayaking team who deliver an outstanding experience, day in, day out.”

Go Orange is thrilled to welcome Courtney to her new role.

“We’re looking forward to working with her, especially knowing the level of experience and fun she’ll bring to the kayaking team,” says Go Orange Head of Experience Russell Thomas.

When she’s not busy working, Courtney’s renowned for the five years of time and energy she’s put into coordinating the Milford Sound Wild Foods and Brews Festival, the largest community event in the Sound.

And in what’s left of her ‘spare’ time she’s into tramping, camping, hunting, motorbike riding, fishing, skydiving, rock climbing, mountain biking, paddle boarding, rafting and snowboarding.

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Canyon Brewing makes its mark in beer awards

New Zealand’s most scenic brewery made its mark on the beer scene with a haul of medals in the country’s most prestigious awards, less than 18 months after opening.

Canyon Brewing, which crafts its award-winning beer alongside the iconic Shotover River, was up against stiff competition in the Brewers Guild of New Zealand annual awards.

There were a record number of 955 entries across beer and cider categories for this year’s competition, just over half of them from small breweries like Canyon.

That didn’t stop the brewery from bringing home a silver medal for its Red IPA, and bronze accolades for its NZ Ale, Pale Ale, Haven XPA, and its Sour Cherry Ale in the fruit and flavoured category.

The awards, in their 13th year, have a huge reputation across the globe as one of the most prestigious accolades a brewer can win.

All Canyon’s beer is handcrafted on site in the ‘on-display’ microbrewery, which also serves up fresh, flavoursome food in its restaurant, open seven days a week.

Head brewer Jono Kauri and his team are delighted with the awards wins, which reflect the brewery’s mantra to deliver well-constructed, balanced and clean beers that while approachable, are also memorable.

“It’s about letting the raw materials and ingredients shine through into the finished beer,” says Product Development Manager Justin Koen.

“We pay close attention to detail throughout the brewing process, from paddock to pint, to ensure our brews are of outstanding quality, and the awards are testament to that.

“We’re thrilled to have shown that the beer we produce down here in Queenstown more than stacks up against many larger and more established breweries. It shows it shows the standard of success a small dedicated team can have.”

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Accolades come thick and fast for Ziptrek Ecotours

The accolades are flowing thick and fast for the team at Queenstown’s Ziptrek Ecotours.

Last Thursday (October 24) Trent Yeo won the PATA New Zealand Trust Emerging Tourism Leader Award in the prestigious New Zealand Tourism Awards, recognising his work as an outstanding tourism professional.

And last Friday (October 25) Ziptrek Sales Executive Kenny Wynter was announced as the only Queenstown-based member on the seven-strong YoungTEC Executive team for 2020.

YoungTEC is an arm of the Tourism Export Council which offers support, education and networking opportunities to young tourism professionals.

Trent says his award, while recognising his achievements in setting up the pioneering zipline company in tandem with multiple roles in industry organisations, events and working groups throughout New Zealand, could not have been achieved without his ‘team’.

“The tourism leader award isn’t just about me; it recognises the hard work of all the crew, past and present, who have contributed so much in the almost ten years we’ve been in operation,” he says.

Ziptrek Ecotours is a recognised leader in business innovation, eco-tourism and sustainable business practice, and Trent says the award could not have come at a better time for the business and the industry as a whole.

“Entering the award brought into sharp focus how much time and effort I’ve put not only into  Ziptrek but into the wider industry,” he says. “I’m really excited to be at the peak of my career when the New Zealand tourism industry is moving so strongly towards developing our sustainability on a global scale.”

The judges recognised Trent’s ability and commitment to go beyond his own business and demonstrate what they called “great examples of transformational leadership”, impressed with giving his time and generosity to the industry at the same time as the business recorded excellent achievements.

They also praised his entrepreneurial approach and innovation, and his dedication to responsible and sustainable tourism.

Meanwhile, Kenny said he was “excited to contribute, collaborate, learn and listen” in his role on the YoungTEC executive to continue to improve on New Zealand’s unique tourism offering.

New YoungTEC executive team member Kenny Wynter of Ziptrek Ecotours

He began his tourism journey by studying for a degree in International Tourism Management, and his passion for social licence meant his dissertation explored Corporate Social Responsibility.

After graduating he was naturally drawn to work for Ziptrek Ecotours, giving him an introduction to the world of eco-tourism. After working for them for a year, he left to gain international experience before returning to Ziptrek in 2017.

“I’ve been working to spread the word about their stance as the pioneers in eco-exhilaration ever since,” he says.

His other industry roles include being a member of the BYATA steering group for Queenstown, taking issues and initiatives to a national level, and also being an active member of Queenstown Young Professionals.

Multi-award-winning Zipline Ecotours is celebrating ten years in business this year, as the pioneers of ziplining and eco-tourism in New Zealand.

For a little more on Trent, check out this awesome Destination Queenstown clip:

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