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Supreme award recognises QRS’s economic and social responsibility

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Quality Roading and Service’s balance between economic support for council and its social responsibilities to the people of Wairoa was celebrated on Friday when it won the Hawke’s Bay Chamber of Commerce 2020 Pan Pac Supreme Business Awards.

“This award is well-deserved public recognition and praise for our 87-strong team,” says chief executive Nigel Pollock, who oversaw the company’s strong results in 2020 despite the challenging year.

Mr Pollock says the awards offered QRS a chance to reflect on the company’s economic support of its owner and sole shareholder Wairoa District Council (WDC). “Wairoa District Council’s support has been influential in our success perhaps best evidenced when it endorsed our investment in a new operations hub ensuring we continue to be a strong and successful business helping Wairoa grow.”

Despite the challenging trading year Mr Pollock says QRS navigated the onset of Covid-19 with a strong balance sheet because of recent investments in diversity, growth, customer service, staff, and greater strategic thinking.

QRS is the second biggest employer in Wairoa. It made an operating profit (before tax and shareholder distribution to WDC) of $800,685. The agreed shareholder distribution to WDC was $250,000.

The award criteria also considered how well we value staff day-to-day and what else we do for the Wairoa community, says Mr Pollock.

The company invested $7 million in salaries and wages in the 2019-2020 financial year and contributed $43,600 worth of sponsorship and support in kind to Wairoa events, sporting groups, schools and marae.

“QRS increased its $200,000 annual training spend to $450,000, and this year a record 22 staff are in apprenticeships,” added Mr Pollock.

“It’s important to our board and leadership team that the company be profitable for our owner, but also socially accountable to ourselves, our stakeholders and the public. We want to make sure we are operating in ways that enhance Wairoa.”

Mr Pollock was pleased that QRS’s support of the national EPro8 science and technology challenge was recognised when QRS also picked up an earlier award in the evening for Outstanding Community Contribution. QRS sponsors the annual challenge event in Wairoa and subsidises EPRo8 packs for schools.

“We’re thrilled to see local students being exposed to technology, engineering and maths as part of everyday life and hope they develop a passion for it. Maybe one day they’ll choose a career with QRS.”

Wairoa Mayor Craig Little, who attended the Hawke’s Bay Chamber of Commerce Business Awards in Hastings, said it was a very proud occasion for QRS.

“To be recognised for their outstanding community contribution and receive the supreme Business of the Year award is a massive tribute to the board, chief executive and staff.

“It was a fantastic feeling to be in the audience, along with QRS staff, and see firsthand how proud they all are of the company they work for; the staff are true ambassadors of our district.

“I take my hat off to QRS chief executive Nigel Pollock who realises how important staff are to the success of QRS.

“This regional level acknowledgement is confirmation of the ability of QRS and its resilience in what can be a very difficult marketplace. The community contribution award acknowledges the difference QRS makes to our community through its economic support and the efforts the company has made around staff wellbeing.

“The awards also recognises the positive relationship QRS has with the Council, as its owner, and the way both organisations work to support our community and people as best we can.

“Wairoa is on a real roll at the moment and it is so rewarding to see so many facets of our district being recognised for their achievements.”

Mr Pollock says the company will pause briefly this week to savour the wins. “Then we’ll refocus inwards and continue to invest in our people and future growth of QRS, Wairoa District Council, and this beautiful region we live in.”

16 December 2020

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