Here's to the Gold Awards

Success is always wonderful. Achieving what you set out to achieve brings a deep inner glow of satisfaction. Sharing success is good too, because almost all success is not achieved by one person acting alone. There's always a team involved.

The next best thing after success is being recognised for one's accomplishments, and that's what awards ceremonies are about. On Wednesday night a large crowd was delighted at the achievements of the various winners in the DominionPost Gold Awards, and rejoiced in the words and inspiration that they provided.

The supreme winner was medical technology company, Mesynthes, which invented endoform a new type of organic synthetic skin.  Mesynthes' Managing Director Brian May said that for them success was succeeding on the world stage. "We took on the big players and created a new industry. Companies like ours can succeed. That it's hard is just an excuse for not trying."

The DominionPost award for a Wellington icon went to Lloyd Morrison, who started investment company Infratil with an initial capital of $25million. It now has assets of $5 billion. He has made money for himself and many thousands of investors.

He said: "what New Zealand suffers from is scale and lack of wealth." Morrison is a man suffering from a type of leukaemia that has less than a five percent survival rate over two years. He is still with us.

 "When you spend a lot of teem in hospital you see a lot of people who are too young to die. (What we have to understand in New Zealand is that) we can't give away what we haven't earned. We need to commit to success. Wellington and New Zealand need to think big and to think long term.  We need bigger companies and more ambition."

Those kinds of sentiments are unpopular with the dreamers who believe that we can somehow sleepwalk our way to international success, and with those who deny that the importance of economic growth and the value of prosperity.

Not one of the winners on Wednesday claimed that it had been easy. Celsius Coffee has been battling away selling their brand of fair trade, organic coffee for years. Now Stephanie Fry and her partner Nick have a cafe in Petone, an importing and trading business and there is some success financially. Celsius Coffee picked up the Gold Award for green practices and they were a finalist in another category too.

Recognising and celebrating those who make the world a better place through their skills in innovation and entrepreneurship and by using their commercial nous is important. There is an old cliché that the only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary.

With widespread turmoil and uncertainty in the financial and commodity markets internationally and a struggling economy at home, we need all the success stories we can foster.

In a rugby themed evening superbly brought together by Agenda Marketing, there was real confidence in the large audience that Wellington can turn opportunity into advantage and succeed commercially in the world.