by Simon Lord

last updated 11/11/2015

Franchise Awards 2006 - Full Results

by Simon Lord

last updated 11/11/2015

New Zealand's new best franchisee is a mum of three from the Waikato, but there's no change at the top for Franchise System of the Year

Karleen Hennessey of PORSE Waikato is the 2006 Westpac Supreme Franchisee of the Year.

The stars of New Zealand franchising shone at a glittering ceremony in Auckland on Saturday night as the sector celebrated its top achievers with the Westpac New Zealand Franchise Awards.

The top honour of Westpac Franchise System of the Year went for the second year running to standout electrical and plumbing organisation Laser Group, while Karleen Hennessey, Hamilton franchisee for PORSE In-Home Childcare, received the Westpac Supreme Award for Franchisee of the Year.

The number of entries this year was higher than in 2005. Miles Agmen-Smith, chairman of the Franchise Association of New Zealand which organises the event, considered the increased level of interest reflected both the growth of the sector and the growing maturity of operators in the sector, as well as the real market value to entrants of being named a category finalist or winner.

‘The management and operational standards achieved by a number of entrants had reached a new level again this year, lifting the bar for best practice right across the sector,’ he said. ‘Quality and a dedication to the Association’s codes of practice and ethics had certainly not been sacrificed in any way in the drive for growth, and in fact adherence to those principles had made franchising a more popular and attractive way of doing business for a greater number of people – organisations or individuals.’

Miles commented that among last night’s award winners were organisations he considered worthy of some wider recognition for business excellence. ‘Some are stunning both in their way of operating and in their overall business success. There are even those who are fast becoming significant exporters, whether of systems or products or services, and adding a true international dimension to the fortunes of the sector here.’

To see the full list of winners, scroll down. More information on why they won can be found by clicking on their name, or read the full article here.

supreme awards

Westpac Supreme Award - Franchise System of the Year: Laser Group
Westpac Supreme Award - Franchisee of the Year: Karleen Hennessey, PORSE Hamilton

Regional Master Franchisee of the Year

(sponsored by The Confectionery & Party Shop)
Graham & Denise Clarke, Fastway Couriers Wanganui

Service Provider of the Year

(sponsored by Westpac)

Franchize Consultants (NZ) Ltd

Business Services Category

(sponsored by BDO Spicers)

Franchise System of the Year: Laser Group 

Franchisee of the Year: Colin Burrell, Fastway Couriers Mt Maunganui

Food & Beverage Category

(sponsored by Brebner Print)

Franchise System of the Year: Esquires Coffee Houses

Franchisee of the Year: No award

HomeServices Category

(sponsored by Franchize Consultants (NZ) Ltd)

Franchise System of the Year: VIP Home Services

Franchisee of the Year: Murray Potts, VIP Home Services North Shore, Auckland

Lifestyle Services Category

(sponsored by Franchise New Zealandmagazine & website)

Franchise System of the Year: PORSE In-Home Childcare

Franchisee of the Year: Karleen Hennessey, PORSE Hamilton

Special Recognition Award

(sponsored by

Mark Chan Realty 

More On The Winners

WESTPAC SUPREME AWARD – Franchise System of the Year

Sponsored by Westpac

2006 Franchise System Supreme

Supergroup: Supreme winners of the Westpac Franchise System of the Year Award for the second year running were Laser Group.

Electrical and plumbing company Laser Group Ltd won the Westpac Supreme Award for Franchise System of the Year for the second year running after again claiming top honours as Franchise System of the Year in the Business Services Category.

The Awards’ independent judging panel, headed by Dr Gael McDonald of UNITEC, said Laser Group continued its superlative growth this year with an innovative business model which was well thought out and exceptionally well executed. ‘The company has invested huge resources into building a dedicated IT solution to take their franchisees right through from first enquiry to invoicing and has strategically pursued additional revenue opportunities both in new industries and new territories as evidenced by their enormous growth in Australia within a very short space of time.’

Laser Group is a 100 % New Zealand grown and owned company founded in Auckland in 1982 by David Clemmett and Peter Basset. After just six years of franchising Laser now boasts operations in all major towns and cities across New Zealand, with 57 member companies employing over 580 people. In Australia Laser Group has already achieved significant penetration and has established operations in Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales with 38 member companies employing 450 staff.

In recent times, the company has begun replicating its electrical contracting success in the plumbing trade, building an Australasia-wide capability in both the electrical and plumbing trades. It has plans to expand its Australian operations to 250 member companies over the next four years.

In accepting the Award, founding director Peter Basset commented, ‘We almost didn’t enter the Awards this year because after winning in 2005 we felt that the only way was down. But once again we found the process hugely valuable and now, having won again, we will be going for the hat-trick next year. If someone knocks us off the top spot, then we will be able to look at that company and use it to become even better ourselves.’


WESTPAC SUPREME AWARD – Franchisee of the Year

Sponsored by Westpac

Hamilton businesswoman Karleen Hennessey won New Zealand’s top honour for franchisees when her company PORSE In-Home Childcare Hamilton received the Westpac Supreme Award for Franchisee of the Year. Karen was also named Franchisee of the Year in the lifestyle services category.

Karleen established her PORSE In-Home Childcare operation some six years ago. She has a strong background in sales, marketing and customer service and is herself a mum to three pre-school children. Her PORSE franchise operates in one of the oldest (and arguably most competitive) home-based childcare markets in New Zealand. There are 195 childcare options for parents in Hamilton and despite the odds, PORSE Hamilton has been able to capture and grow its market and reputation consistently over the years.

Karleen is also instrumental in the development of the PORSE franchise generally, with several innovations and initiatives created by her Hamilton business having been introduced throughout the system. She is seen by her PORSE franchise peers as a knowledgeable and approachable mentor and is an active member of the network’s National Marketing Advisory Board.

Karleen’s company was one of four PORSE franchises selected as finalists in the Lifestyle Services category of this year’s Awards, and while all were rated highly Karleen was singled out for honours for her personal leadership and business development planning as well as developing additional values to expand on or enhance the franchisor’s values.

Graham and Denise Clarke of Fastway Wanganui are Regional Master Franchisees of the Year


Sponsored by The Confectionery & Party Shop

Double-digit year-on-year revenue growth over the last three years with a commensurate expansion of courier franchisee numbers has seen Graham and Denise Clarke’s Wanganui-based Fastway Couriers business take the title of Regional Master Franchisee of the Year.

The couple operate a depot and administration facility and provide operations, sales, marketing, IT and customer support services to a field force of six individual franchisees running their own courier vehicles and courier customer bases. Originally courier franchisees with Fastway themselves, their experiences provided them with an in-depth understanding of the demands made on a courier both from a customer and an administration and efficiency point of view.

Accepting the Award, an emotional Graham recalled that when they first bought the regional franchise one of their customers commented that he had never seen or heard of the previous regional franchisee. ‘I decided there and then that I would personally visit every one of our customers, starting with the top 20 clients and working my way right through to the little old lady who sent one parcel every two weeks containing some freshly-knitted item for a family member,’ he smiled.

The judges commented that Graham and Denise have utilised their own experience and the systems provided by Fastway itself to put in place strong support and reporting processes for their individual couriers: ‘processes that contribute to a high level of customer response and a pricing competitiveness that remains attractive to existing customers and enticing to new ones. A “family business” atmosphere pervades the operation generating a customer friendliness appreciated by clients and entirely fitting to the marketplace in which they operate.’

Judges commented that Fastway Couriers Wanganui had built an enviable local reputation for speed and efficiency and the company demonstrated a strong and consistent achievement of its key performance indicators.

The experienced team from Franchize Consultants (NZ) Ltd - Service Provider of the Year.


Sponsored by Westpac

A dedicated and highly-evolved consulting methodology has seen a veteran of the franchise sector claim the title of Service Provider of the Year for 2006.

Franchize Consultants (NZ) Limited was established in 1989 and specialises in franchising and licensing development consultancy to the franchise community of New Zealand.  Managing Director Win Robinson, who himself has 30 years experience in franchising, says, ‘the strength of our organisation is its team of highly-qualified and committed people who share a strong vision for the future.’ The team includes Dr Callum Floyd, the country’s first holder of a PhD in franchising, who brings an academic rigour to the organisation and a passion for developing world class New Zealand franchises.

The judges found that Franchize Consultants (NZ) Limited had a strong consulting methodology based on years of experience, an outstanding client base, best practice processes and systems and well-developed innovative planning and leadership which put them at the top of their field. They noted that the organisation’s contribution to the development of the franchise industry over many years had been significant and is reflected in the many leading (and now household) brands that the company has assisted into business and helped develop.


Sponsored by BDO Spicers

Franchise System of the Year

Laser Group, who went on to take the Westpac Supreme Awardfor the second year running, were also the Franchise System of the Year in the Business Services category.

Colin Burrell, Fastway Couriers franchisee for Mt Maunganui, consistently exceeds expectations. Now he's Business Services Franchisee of the Year.

Franchisee of the Year

This year’s Franchisee of the Yearin the Business Services category, runs, according to Awards judges, a sound and very well-managed business by any standards. Colin Burrell, Mt Maunganui franchisee with Fastway Couriers, has all of the elements of larger enterprises to master and manage. Now he’s got proof positive of the fact that he’s up there with the best of the best.

‘His dedication to the service commitment he undertakes could easily be a model for others of any size to emulate,’ said the judges. ‘The relationship he holds with customers is testament to the business growth he has achieved year-on-year in customer base, sales and revenues. Exceeding established Fastway service standards has ensured that his performance is consistently above all benchmark measures; a professionalism of service and business conduct that keeps existing customers more than satisfied and new ones clambering to climb onboard his freighting express.’

The judges also said that Colin’s business planning belies the size of a typical owner-operated business. ‘Key performance indicators are regularly reported and acted upon, administration management is precise and timely and business development planning is well-researched, customer-tailored and targeted.’

They concluded that Fastway Couriers – Mt, Maunganui, was a well run, customer focused small business of considerable note.


Sponsored by Brebner Print

Minister for Small Business Lianne Dalziel with the winning team from Esquires Coffee Houses - Food & Beverage Franchise System of the Year.

Franchise System of the Year

Smart ideas and progressive strategies have seen Esquires Coffee Houses return to the winner’s circle for the second year running to take the Franchise System of the Year title in the Food & Beverage category.

Introduced from Canada to New Zealand in 2001 by Stuart and Lewis Deeks, the company started franchising here in 2004. There are now 19 cafés with another six planned for opening before Christmas 2006 and a minimum of 18 new outlets planned in 2006. That growth makes Esquires New Zealand’s fastest-growing franchised coffee brand. The Deeks brothers also have international aspirations, having recently been granted the international master licence rights for the Asia Pacific region, the Middle East and Africa.

The judges commented that excellent systems and well-managed reporting are at the heart of the organisation’s business success, and that business and support processes are particularly well-developed and continually improved upon through practical experience.

‘Of particular note is the strong focus that is placed on participation in local communities. New initiatives in this respect are about to be unveiled, but the company has already made a mark in this respect by using 100% Fair Trade organic coffee beans and proudly supports the rules that govern Fair Trade.’ Judges said this focus on Corporate Social Responsibility matched well with the company’s best practice management and value creation processes.

Franchisee of the Year

No award was made in this category


Sponsored by Franchize Consultants (NZ) Ltd

Franchise System of the Year

Home Services Franchisee of the Year Murray Potts with Estelle and John Logan, winners of the Franchise System of the Year award in the same category.

Customer care at both franchisee and end-user level has brought a second year of national honours for VIP Home Services NZ. VIP Home Services came to New Zealand in 1993 and today New Zealand national franchisees John and Estelle Logan boast over 100 home cleaning and lawnmowing franchisees, many of them husband and wife teams, across the country.

‘More than just a collection of assorted little businesses, VIP Home Services is a fully integrated group of residential service providers, working together under an over-arching regime that drives towards high service performance and accountability across the multitude of residential services the brand is now able to provide,’ commented the judges. ‘As a well-established franchise system, VIP in NZ have extremely well-developed systems and processes that they deploy systematically across their whole business. The passion of Estelle and John shines through from their initial greeting through to the smallest detail of their business practices, and is the driver of their culture.

‘Their innovative approaches have been taken up by the Australian franchisor and they lead the way with some of their initiatives, in particular their approach to supporting franchisees above and beyond the standard operating guidelines. A strong understanding of the way value is created within VIP enables Estelle and John to continually review and improve their already strong systems and they are able to demonstrate a number of improvement cycles throughout the business. Their effective use of data ensures that they are consistently in touch with the performance of each franchise and are able to monitor outcomes and results and drive on to greater success.’

Franchisee of the Year

A dissatisfaction with reducing wage earnings and the ambition for self-employment has paid off handsomely for North Shore man Murray Potts, a VIP Home Services franchisee who this year earned the title of Franchisee of the Year in the Home Services category.

Murray was 40 years old when he made the move to purchase a VIP lawn mowing and gardening franchise in 1999 and his only regret now is that he didn’t have the courage enough to make the move sooner. He is a passionate advocate for franchising as a way of doing business – and as a way of getting into your own business.

In the time he has been operating business has boomed along with the population of the North Shore. With a philosophy of customer care, he has grown not just his customer base but with it the average sale value and a customer satisfaction level second to none.

Judges said that as well as delivering superlative service to his customers, he also scores at exceptional levels with the VIP Home Services assessment programmes. ‘Though a hands-on business, he has systems and processes in place to ensure standards do not fall but continually improve and customer priorities are always met. A degree of seasonality affecting his business is seen as an advantage and time is taken to research new business opportunities and approaches and more latterly to undertake studies in business-related subjects.’

Lianne Dalziel and Simon Lord of Franchise New Zealand congratulate the PORSE team who took top honours in the Lifestyle Services category: Franchisee of the Year Karleen Hennessey and Franchise System representatives Jenny Yule and Paul Houlahan.


Sponsored by Franchise New Zealandmagazine & website

Franchise System of the Year

PORSE In-Home Childcare Network achieved a rare Awards tripe with the Hawkes Bay-based company winning the Lifestyle Services Franchise System of the Year title while PORSE Hamilton franchisee Karleen Hennessey won the Franchisee of the Year Award in the same category and went on to take the Supreme Award.

The PORSE franchise network offers families the option of keeping young children nurtured and educated in their own family homes during the day by recruiting and comprehensively training and supporting in-home educators and nannies throughout the country. Established in 1994, today the PORSE network has 32 area franchise teams with a mix of both independent and company-owned operations which collectively employ 160 front line staff. More than 7000 families, educators and children are now enrolled on the PORSE programme, with over 4000 students completing the workplace training programmes it offers.

PORSE – which stands for Play, Observe, Record, Support, Extend – holds a strong ethic for concern, respect and success and aims to empower its own people and its clients to create an in-home childcare environment in which children can flourish. To do this it harnesses a professional community beyond its client community, involving educators as well as its own trained staff and other specialists as needed.

Judges considered the processes, training, controls and management put in place by the organisation exemplary, a key consideration in such a personal and demanding area. Judges quoted an axiom used by the organisation itself to sum up their decision: ‘PORSE is simply good old-fashioned childcare mixed with a modern spin and a dedication to excellence.’

Franchisee of the Year Award

Sponsored by Franchise New Zealandmagazine & website
The Franchisee of the Year title in the Lifestyle Services category was won by Karleen Hennessey of PORSE In-Home Childcare, Hamilton, who went on to take the Supreme Award as Westpac Franchisee of the Year.


Sponsored by

Mark Chan of Christchurch received special recognition from the judges for successfully marketing New Zealand franchises overseas.

A special award was made to business broker Mark Chan of Christchurch in recognition of his outstanding success in taking New Zealand franchises to international markets. Mark's service has evolved from representing a number of brands within New Zealand as well as his many years' experience as a top business broker – something judges considered crucial in the facilitation of sales of international country master franchises.


Mark says his vision is to offer New Zealand-born franchises the opportunity to earn global royalties for great Kiwi business ideas and operations. 'For too many years, we have run second to Australian franchises taking up residence here. Now a number of New Zealand franchises are mature and world-class enough for them to go global and bring the rewards back.'


Judges considered Mark's service to be worthy of greater recognition. 'In true entrepreneurial style he has replaced the concept of "no way" with "how?" and the level of depth and research he undertakes to market New Zealand franchises internationally is nothing short of phenomenal.'




Co-host Lana Coc-Kroft and Rob MacGregor, CEO of Office Products Depot, announce the winners of the Smartfile systems.


The special prize of a trip for two to attend the 2007 Australian National Franchise Convention, sponsored by The Franchise Coach, was won by the much-travelled Mark Chan. Three lucky attendees also won prizes of Smartfile document management systems from Croxley Stationery. No awards were made in the Retail Category or the Best Media Campaign category.



Guest of honour at the 2006 Westpac New Zealand Franchise Awards was the Hon Lianne Dalziel, Minister for Small Business.

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