Jellicoe’s father and son team take out Te Puke awards

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Jellicoe Industrial Park, run by John and Warren Dohnt, took out the Supreme Award at this year’s Te Puke Business Excellence Awards.

John Dohnt said the awards provided good recognition for local businesses.

“It’s an accolade to be judged by the rest of your peers and to come out on top,” he said. “It means you must be doing something right.”

For the full list of winners, please see the accompanying table.

The awards night was well-supported with a crowd of 120 at the Te Puke Memorial Hall, and featured a special Sikh theme in recognition of the significant commitment they made to the local business community.

“The awards are in their twelfth year now and it’s always a celebration of excellence and achievement and has solid support,” said Mark Boyle, from event organiser Te Puke Economic Development Group.
“Our sponsors are terrific.”

Lance Ewens, from Bennetts proactive, which has been a long-term principal sponsor of the awards, said the local business characteristics could be summed up by the words “diversity, innovation, success, development and growth.”

Supreme Award Winners Jellicoe – which also won the Zespri Agricultural, Horticultural and Industrial Award – owns and leases out premises to a diversified variety of businesses in buildings it has developed or improved on the site of the former Te Puke dairy factory.

The industrial park is located on Jellicoe St, opposite Donovan Park and includes the Waipuna Hospice on its site.

“We bought it several years ago and have slowly brought it up to standard,” said
John Dohnt.

“We make an effort for our tenants – you have to make sure you look after them well.”

Jellicoe also has other commercial properties in Te Puke.

John Donht said he brought his son Warren into the business three years ago when he completed 18 years of naval service after reaching a senior ranking.

“Since I brought my son into the business as general manager we’ve expanded and have done another five buildings in Te Puke,” said Dohn.

He added that Warren had brought to the business systems and management experience and expertise from his time serving in the navy and had made a big difference to Jellicoe’s.

The judges said the supreme winners operated with excellent systems and were committed to the wellbeing, growth and development of Te Puke.

Significant business scale

“They are a business of significant scale with plans for continuing growth,” the judges said.

A highlight of the evening was a special presentation given to Des and Shirley McGregor, who came to Te Puke in 1960 to purchase a grocery business on Jellicoe Street.

They have since gone on to play a major role in the Te Puke business community with the Te Puke Hotel, and the couple received a standing ovation in acknowledgement of their 58 years of service and business life in the community.

Guest speaker and former Sevens Rugby coach Sir Gordon Tietjens spoke of how both business and sport revolved around values like honesty, respect, humility and leadership.

He’s a believer in the TEAM acronym – “together everyone achieves more” – and said he believed victories came from the best teams, not the best players.

Jellicoe’s Dohnt said that the completion of the new highway and bypass had initially been met with “doom and gloom” in Te Puke.

“But we’ve found we’re seeing five or six businesses who came from the Mount and established themselves over here,” he said.

“There is plenty of space, the traffic isn’t as bad as the Mount, we’re close to the port and the rental cost per sqm is cheaper than the Mount.

“That’s why a lot of people have been looking to re-establish themselves in Te Puke.”

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