Love of the Land: Rahui Coastal Loop – Lucinda Maunsell

The land that Lucinda Maunsell lives and works on has been in her family for 6 generations.  You can hear her passion for the land and how much she values that heritage when she speaks about her boutique catered bike adventure business.  Lucinda is hands-on in every sense from greeting her guests, cooking for them, meeting them at the end of the Loop, and sending them handwritten thank you cards with complimentary tea bags after their stay.

Guests staying at Lucinda’s Sow’s Ear cottage enjoy an authentic rural experience including a digital detox as there is no mobile coverage, no TV, and no wifi.  Lucinda says that having the chance to share such a beautiful and remote part of the country, especially with her urban guests, is a real privilege.

In addition to developing the Rahui Loop track, Lucinda has also resurrected the Rahui gardens and she has big plans for many of the other heritage buildings on the land and nearby. 


Award Sponsor: Ministry for Primary Industries

Creative Arts: Janyne Fletcher Photography – Janyne Fletcher

Having the backdrop of Central Otago provides plenty of inspiration for Janyne Fletcher. Janyne has been photographing professionally since 2006 and specialises in high quality fine art photography which she prints, frames and sells from her Ranfurly workshop and gallery.

Janyne’s work is a creative and contemporary interpretation of the beautiful landscape that surrounds her and she captures its beauty to create fabulous and unique momentos for visitors to the Otago Central Rail Trail and the new Central Otago Touring Route.

Janyne’s commitment to technical and creative excellence has seen her work recognised nationally and internationally.  Her commitment to her rural location, which is captured so beautifully in her art, is clearly apparent to her visitors to the gallery and her customers.


Award Sponsor: Beechbank Dairies Ltd

Emerging Business: Fork and Spade – Tammy Taylor

Tammy Taylor’s “baby” – her business Fork and Spade – has grown into a very robust toddler in the last couple of years. Fork and Spade supplies and implements environmental planting plans for farms in Southland. Based in Lumsden, Tammy now has a dedicated client base throughout the region.  

Tammy and her all women team are passionate about seeing their jobs through from the initial farm consult to an established, thriving and well maintained planting.  Building strong relationships and great communication skills are two of Tammy’s strengths and these have served her well in developing her customer base and in her dedication to her team.  Success for Tammy is a happy team and the next step for Fork and Spade is continuing to upskill her team members through qualifications and opportunities to step-up within the business.


Award Sponsor: Ministry for Women

Rural Health and Wellbeing Excellence: Beauty Antix – Amber Forrest

Beauty Antix is located in Wairoa and provides the only fulltime beauty therapy clinic with fully qualified staff in the region.  Beauty Antix owner/operator, Amber Forrest, has built an award winning business which is immersed in the diversity of its clientele and community.  It provides a wide range of expert, professional treatments and provides a career path for young women, particularly Māori, through a nationally recognised Beauty and Wellness Training facility. The Beauty Antix motto is Exceeding Expectation with Expertise.  It is an environment that is open, inclusive, and respectful to all customers and serves its community in a uniquely holistic way. 

Amber is quick to recognise and commend her fabulous team and her dedication to their training and personal development is outstanding.  Amber is the perfect example of “there is no I in team.”

Award Sponsor: Access Community Health

Innovation: Tora Collective – Claire Edwards

Tora Collective’s mission is to keep kaimoana in Aotearoa and the goal is to supply us with the freshest and best quality seafood instead of it all being exported.  Claire Edwards was inspired by the lack of crayfish and paua on menus across the country so she and her partner took matters into their own hands and started Tora Collective to right this wrong and ensure that our iconic cuisine and culture were not lost to the export market.

What makes Tora Collective unique is an emphasis on providing their fresh seafood in an environmentally sustainable way – no mean feat when the fish is caught to order from the ocean, shipped live, and is served on a plate within 24 hours. They created unique and innovative packaging to achieve this – all of which is home compostable. Claire says that on opening a Tora Collective delivery, the customer gets the feeling that, “this just came out of the ocean…” 

It is a big idea and a big vision which seeks to transform an industry while empowering Claire’s rural community.


Award Sponsor: Hynds Rural

Rural Champion: Gurt & Pops – Harriet Bremner

Harriet Bremner writes children’s books for New Zealand’s rural families.  Harriet’s life was transformed after the tragedy of losing her partner in a farming accident.  She decided to follow her dreams of becoming an author and wrote her first book called “Bob ‘n’ Pops” in memory of her late partner.  Motivated by her concerns that health and safety messages, which could prevent avoidable farming accidents, were not being heard and her experience of grief and trauma resulted in two further books.  

Harriet’s books are award-winning messages which aim to gently address real problems in rural New Zealand.  She is a passionate advocate for changing our conversations around health, safety, wellbeing, grief, and trauma and works with a wide range of organisations and groups promoting safety and wellbeing on farms and in our rural communities.


Award Sponsor: Jarden Partners Limited

Bountiful Table: Well & Truly Artisan Pantry – Sue Loder

Sue Loder’s business, Well & Truly Artisan Pantry, produces Certified Gluten Free Gourmet Granolas and pantry products which are delicious.  No corners are cut in the production of these lovingly made, handcrafted, small batch goods which feature produce from local growers and suppliers.  There are no fillers and no artificial additives either.

The brand identity Well & Truly Artisan perfectly captures everything that you need to know about Sue’s values which carry through to the products themselves.  They are made with wellness in mind; they are authentic and made with real ingredients; they are made by Sue’s team who blend and cook the ingredients, then pack on site to ensure they are what they say: gluten free.


Award Sponsor: Havana Coffee Works