A Marlborough hotel has been awarded back-to-back wins at a prestigious Australasian hotel competition.
Chateau Marlborough won the HM Australasian Hotel of the Year for Best NZ Regional Hotel for the second year running, one of only two hotels to achieve the award twice and in their second year of attending the ceremony.
General manager Lynley McKinnon says winning the award was very much a team effort.
“We’ve got a dedicated team of staff that is striving for excellence, which makes the success fantastic for the hotel,” she says.
The 2019 HM Awards for Hotel and Accommodation Excellence, now in their 17th year, are the leading industry in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific.
More than 900 people attended the awards dinner at the Sydney’s International Convention Centre last Friday and over 60 awards were handed out across 48 categories.
Chief executive officer Brent Marshall says to be the second hotel in 17 years to win the award in consecutive years was a “very pleasing surprise”.
“We were up against 15 others of an exceedingly high standard, to be announced as the winner was satisfying and humbling at the same time,” Brent says.
“There has been a lot of continual work to wh? And improve.
“It’s great for the Marlborough region to be acknowledged as a province that offers a quality experience.
“The awards are a reflection of the staff, from the manager down.”
Lynley was a finalist in the NZ General Manager of the Year category and executive chef James Sievewright was a finalist for the Australasian Hotel Chef of the Year.
The judging panel was made up of industry leaders and travel writers from the Australasian region.
HM editor-in-chief and chief judge of the HM Awards James Wilkinson says the calibre of this year’s entries were the best in the event’s history.
“The quality of entries in the HM Awards this year was unlike anything we have seen before. It was a challenge to even choose the finalists from up to 80 entries in some cases, let alone decide on a winner and highly commended,” James says.
“To even be a finalist this year was a massive effort and many of our winners have also been employee of the year or hotel of the year in their own organisations, so it was an incredibly strong field of entries in 2019.”
In a first for New Zealand rugby, the region’s health board has signed up with the Tasman union to become its official health and wellbeing partner.
Nelson Marlborough Health (NMH) has replaced the union’s former partner, Coca Cola Powerade, and will see the Mako players promote health initiatives.
As part of the three-year, $15,000 deal, the Tasman Rugby Union will encourage positive health-related decisions and behaviour among its stadium audiences, club rugby communities and schools.
Its focus will be on the reduction of sugar consumption, the promotion of smoke free environments, alcohol harm reduction and promoting metal wellbeing and resilience.
NMH chief executive Peter Bramley says the partnership as an “innovative and powerful” public health initiative.
“As the official health and wellbeing partner of the Tasman Rugby Union, we can leverage the influence that Mako players have among youngsters in our region. We can also the reach the TRU has into clubs, schools and the wider community, to inspire positive health decisions and behaviour.”
He says the sponsorship is a “prudent investment”, even amid revelations that the health board is in a $20 million deficit.
“It costs as much as $5000 to remove one child’s teeth under general anaesthetic and we are seeing far too many children needing this kind of unnecessary hospital care in our region.
“The terrible health effects of sugary drinks don’t stop at teeth – sugary drinks are the cause of obesity, diabetes and other serious health conditions that are a heavy burden on every DHB’s finances.”
Tasman Rugby Union chief executive Tony Lewis says that promoting healthier living to its player base is important to them individually and as players in an active competitive sport.
“As a union we are excited to be working progressively with NMH over three years to achieve our collective goal of encouraging our players to reduce their sugar intake and to be mentally and physically healthier.”
NMH health promotion manager Lauren Ensor says being sponsored by Coca Cola seemed to be “inappropriate” because surgery drinks were the main cause of sugar in New Zealander’s diets.
“We aim to see an increasing health focus within rugby locally over the coming years and hopefully that inspires other unions and New Zealand Rugby to follow suit.”
The owner of an Indian restaurant who tried to cheat staff out of wages has been ordered to pay them nearly $60,000.
Blenheim man Subash Raizada, 57, also known as Roger Raizada, owns Maharajah India Ltd.
Staff accused him of harassment and trying to pressure them to hand over money or risk their immigration status.
The Employment Relations Authority found in favour of three former employees, Vibha Sood, Kulijeet Kaur and Akshay Dame.
The announcement come as it was revealed the business was to be struck off the Register of Companies.
In his findings, chief of the Employment Relations Authority James Crichton says the company, of which Raizada was sole director, owed the trio money.
“I am satisfied that Maharaja India Limited owes a total sum of $59,390.47 in respect to minimum wages and holiday pay for the credit of three employees, namely Ms Vibha Sood, Ms Kuljeet Kaur and Mr Akshay Dame”.
Raizada’s son bought the Seymour St restaurant in 2015, changing it to Raizada Indian Restaurant.
An Employment Relations Authority (ERA) hearing in Blenheim in May was told how a labour inspectorate began an investigation in March 2015.
Staff claimed several incidents where they had been underpaid or not paid at all.
Kaur revealed she was told by Raizada that her visa was dependant on him and that she should pay him $35,000.
Dame did a week’s work with Raizada, as a trial. In a statement Raizada told him he would need to pay $35,000 if he wanted the manager’s position. Dame turned him down.
Raizada responded by saying the staff had never worked for him and accused them of fraud.
“But those stories simply are not credible,” Crighton says.
“Mr Raizada’s position appeared to be that none of these folk actually worked for the company and that the documents were simply structured to suggest that they had worked there.
“Ms Sood gave evidence that she had to pay back wages to the employer after she had been paid them.
“The evidence from Ms Sood’s bank account quite clearly supports her testimony that she was paid wages and then was required to rebate some of that payment either back to Mr Raizada or to another employee who then provided that sum to Mr Raizada,” he wrote.
Raizada was convicted in the Blenheim District Court on representative charges following guilty pleas to offences under the Immigration Act 2009 and the Crimes Act 1961 in February 2019.
He was ordered to pay $5000 to Kaur in part recompense of her managerial services and complete 80 hours of community service.
A humiliated part-time bar manager whose bosses told her she had a “superiority complex” has won a $28,606 payout.
Dawn Langdon told the Employment Relations Authority that her job at the Junction Hotel left her “so stressed” she was forced to resign.
Owner Mike Pink was ordered to pay compensation of $18,000 plus additional costs including reimbursement of lost wages, holiday pay and Kiwisaver contributions.
An Employment Relations Authority (ERA) decision released last week by authority Helen Doyle found in favour of Dawn.
She ruled the Marlborough woman was “unjustifiably constructively dismissed and unjustifiably disadvantaged.”
“Mike Pink is ordered to pay to Dawn Langdon the sum of $18,000 without deduction being compensation for humiliation, loss of dignity and injury to feelings.
“There were other actions by Mr Pink in breach of good faith obligations that seriously damaged the employment relationship,” she says in her findings.
The findings come after Mike told the tribunal hearing that the Junction Hotel was owned by a company and not himself personally.
The ERA could find no evidence of that, they said.
Dawn worked at the pub, which has since been sold, from 1 August 2017 to 4 March 2018. She was paid $16 gross per hour.
She told Mike about worries she had concerning bullying behaviour directed at her but says she was made to feel like she was the cause of the problem.
In response to what he called a “tirade” of emails about the situation, Mike told his unhappy employee that she owed him $500.
“In view of the constant e-mails, personal meetings and other contacts you have bombarded me with since you commenced employment with us … I feel it only fair that I should be recompensed for the time wasted unnecessarily.
“I have had to spend hours in replying to your tirades which has kept me away from doing my normal work and as I am partially incapacitated at present, I find this totally unacceptable.
“I think that a figure of $500 is fair and I expect to receive this within 7 days,” he wrote.
Mike also claimed he had lost customers and in one case a company has “discontinued to lodge and eat here” with a loss of up to $1000 per week.
Langdon resigned on the grounds that her employer had breached his duty.
She later said at an ERA investigation meeting in Blenheim on 23 May that Pink made her feel like a “complete failure”.
“I am extremely upset and humiliated over the way I have been treated, when measured against the commitment and loyalty I have shown your business during my employment,” she wrote.
Mike and wife Hazel have sent bought the Wave Café and Courtyard in Picton.