Congratulations to our Winners

Martin McDowall Small Business Innovation Award Winners:

2019 |  Richard Trainor – Good Company Tours

2018 |  Nick Beekhuis – Offtrack MTB

2017  |  Athol Parks –  City Walks Dunedin


Michelle McCormack Award Winners:

2019 | Deborah Price – Larnach Castle

2018 | Norcombe Barker – Larnach Castle

2017 |  Neil Harraway – Monarch Wildlife Cruises and Tours 

              Betty Mason-Parker  –  Enterprise Dunedin



Martin McDowall Small Business Innovation Award

About Martin & the Award

Innovation is a theme that remains central to the success of small tourism business throughout New Zealand.  The DunedinHOST Board believe that innovation is a key driver of business growth and scalability, and that it contributes to our philosophy of helping out members to attract more visitors as well as brining the Dunedin tourism operator committee together with the strategic focus areas of Advocacy, Communications, Partnerships and Education.

Martin McDowall and his wife Evelyn have been active members of DunedinHOST for many years.  Martin’s work ethic and innovative ways of working had him implementing innovations that other businesses have only just now started to implement.

In recognition of Martin McDowall’s commitment and service to the retail and tourism sectors within Dunedin and in particular his innovative ideas in business implemented before their time , the DunedinHOST Board is proud to launch the Martin McDowall Business Innovation Award.


This award will provide lasting recognition of a company’s innovative heritage. In addition, recipients receive:

  • Formal Award presentation of the Martin McDowall Innovation Award


  • Business shows innovation is core to their business philosophy
  • Must be an active DunedinHOST member
  • This award is for small business and would have 1-10 FTE employees only

While profitability is not a requirement, if you can demonstrate the validity of their innovation through bottom line results, this would work in your favour.

Judging Criteria

Businesses nominating themselves will be asked to write up to 600 words about their business with a focus on the below points. A short list or nominees may then be visited or interviewed by the judge.

  • Explain how innovation is a core element of your businesses philosophy, values or motivation.
  • Give an example (or examples) of any innovative practices or out of the box thinking that show these philosophies in practice.
  • While profitability is not a requirement, if you can demonstrate the validity of your innovation through bottom line results it would be an advantage.  If your motivation for an innovation wasn’t financial (for example there may be environmental or social benefits) please make this clear and try to quantify what improvement the innovation has made.


The Michelle McCormack Award 

About Michelle & the Award

Michelle McCormack was an incredibly lively, enthusiastic person who contributed a huge amount of energy to promoting the New Zealand Marine Studies Centre, the International Science Festival and Dunedin in general. DunedinHOST are giving this award to honour her memory and encourage others in the Dunedin tourism industry who also have a passion and energy in their business.


Nominations are invited from staff of businesses who are members of DunedinHOST.

Nominees may be employees, owners or unpaid volunteers of member organizations from all sectors of the tourism industry – accommodation, activities, attractions, transport, retail, cafes & restaurants, services etc.

Judging of entries will be carried out by a panel of DunedinHOST members. Should any clashes of interest occur the panel member concerned will note their conflict of interest to the panel for the record.

The award will be presented annually at the DunedinHOST AGM in June.

Many tourism operators see personality as a key factor in the success of their businesses. A positive attitude, a willingness to make every effort to meet the needs of visitors and a natural enthusiasm for Dunedin ensure that visitors leave our City with a smile on their face and an intention to return.

The application should include a brief description of actions taken by the nominee which demonstrate these qualities, and supporting images or materials if appropriate.

All nominees will receive a certificate, and the winner will be awarded an engraved trophy to be held for a year.