Doctor scoops three gongs at Queenstown business awards

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A local entrepreneur collected a raft of prizes at the glitzy Queenstown Chamber of Commerce Business Awards last Saturday. 

Dr Sam Hazledine took out young entrepreneur of the year, while his four-year-old medical recruitment agency MedRecruit claimed the medium business award and the title of overall supreme winner. 

Hazledine, 31, who started MedRecruit in 2006, now has 14 staff on the payroll and is in the process of employing six more for the $20 million business. 

Hazledine was in Israel and unable to claim his crowns at the glam evening, held at Skyline’s Bob’s Peak complex. 

In other categories, Central Otago Copiers owner Laurie Martin collected the small business award for excellence; adrenalin providers AJ Hackett Bungy scooped the large company accolade, while Ziptrek Ecotours won the sustainability prize. 

Queenstown mega-businessman John Davies was also honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award, handed to him by acting Prime Minister Bill English. 

Davies is director of Trojan Holdings – which owns ski-giant NZSki, Ultimate Hikes, the Hermitage at Mount Cook, Northern Southland Transport Holdings and has a shareholding in AJ Hackett Bungy. 

In a speech to Davies, English said of all the influential people English had recently met in his role as Finance Minister – from advisors to USA President Barack Obama to European ministers of finance – “an hour or two” with Davies was more inspirational. 

Ex-mayor Warren Cooper pumped Davies to follow in the footsteps of Wanaka businessman Sir Tim Wallace and be knighted. 

English plugged the event as “the best business awards I have been to in 20 years”.