Building projects propel SWIFT into Waikato Chamber of Commerce Business Awards finals

Completing three major community building projects worth $21.6 million has helped to propel South Waikato Investment Fund Trust (SWIFT) into the finals of the Waikato Chamber of Commerce Business Awards.

SWIFT Chief Executive Amanda Hema says the “hero project” is the $14 million Pūkenga Rau South Waikato Trades Training Centre which is expected to train and place 500 youth into local jobs over the next five years.

“Since 1 July 2021 SWIFT has allocated over $1.7 million in major grants including providing drivers licensing to all local rangatahi, forestry training, business start-ups and scholarships.

“We also obtained a $675,000 grant for mobile forestry simulators which are moved around the central North Island into remote townships to support the upskilling of forestry graduates and attract youth into the industry.

"Since the awards announcement SWIFT has continued to focus on new opportunities with the announcement of a five-year scholarship commitment and the facilitation of a community governance programme.”

Hema said SWIFT’s ROI is measured in jobs created, economic growth and its impact through enabling community infrastructure, building business capability and increasing access to education.

SWIFT was named a finalist in the Community Contribution and For Purpose sections of the Waikato Chamber of Commerce Business Awards. Another South Waikato business, Central Kids Early Education, was also a finalist in the For Purpose section.

Head judge Dr Heather Connolly of Waikato University’s Management School said the panel of 29 judges was impressed with the quality of the 21 finalists.

“We were also pleased to see the number of entries up on last year, with a total of 76 entries this year. The calibre of entrants was excellent and it’s always encouraging to see businesses enter for the first time,” Connolly said.

“As judges we feel privileged that the entrants again have provided us with the opportunity to find out more about what makes them special. And as businesses in the region, there are some amazing things happening. Of note this year was a strong international trade element among the entries.”

Tickets for the gala dinner, to be held at Claudelands Event Centre on November 17, are available for purchase at


List of finalists

Business Growth Award

Treadlite NZ

MS Civil Construction Limited

Pure Lighting

Community Contribution

Dive Zone Whitianga

South Waikato Investment Fund Trust (SWIFT)

Ninja Valley

For Purpose Award

Hospice Waikato

Central Kids Early Education

South Waikato Investment Fund Trust (SWIFT)

Innovation Award

Helix Flight Manufacturing Machines Ltd

Flight Structures Ltd

Emergency Consult - Rethinking Healthcare Delivery

International Trade Award

Helix Flight Manufacturing Machines Ltd

Manta5 Hydrofoil Bikes

Invivo Wines

Marketing Award

Treadlite NZ

Hamilton Airport

Pure Lighting

Micro Business

Neuflow Projects



People & Culture Award

MS Civil Construction Limited

Ninja Valley


Service Excellence Award

My Mortgage

Normans Transport

Safety Genius

Sustainability Award

Dive Zone Whitianga

NZ National Fieldays Society Inc

Emerging Leader of the Year finalists

Carl Saywell

Adam Norman

Jenni Falconer

The Waikato Business Awards are supported by Foster Construction Group, while the category sponsors are Chow:Hill Architects, Company-X, Deloitte, Hamilton Airport, Mitre 10, Montana Food & Events, SkyPoint Technologies, Sleepyhead, Tompkins Wake, Trust Waikato, the University of Waikato and Wintec Te Pūkenga.

The judging process is sponsored by 2degrees, while other support sponsors include ACLX, Air New Zealand, Barker Photography, Claudelands, Emblems, Fairview, INDx Media, Virtual Print, and Waikato Business News.

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