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 Introducing our 2017 Judges

The 2017 Ignite Wanaka Business Awards will be judged by a panel of independent and highly-qualified business people who all reside in the region.

All entries will be reviewed by the judging panel to ensure a robust and independent awards process.

Bill DayBill Day (Convenor of the Judging Panel)

Bill started his multi-million dollar business, Seaworks, in 1979 as a commercial dive company. Today Bill’s marine contracting company has its own fleet of vessels. The company lays under-sea cables, runs underwater robots, salvages sunken vessels, inspects oil rigs around the world and, more recently, has managed the marine work for Steven Spielberg movies. Bill Day was chosen as Winner of Ernst & Young’s New Zealand Entrepreneur of the Year in September 2000 and in 2002 he returned to Monaco as one of the judges for the 2002 World Entrepreneur of the Year competition. Bill resides in Wanaka.



Anne Urlwin

A chartered accountant, business consultant and professional director, Anne’s current Directorships include Chorus Ltd, Steel & Tube Holdings Ltd, Naylor Love and Summerset Group Holdings Ltd. Anne is also Deputy Chairman of Southern Response Earthquake Services Ltd (formerly AMI Insurance).

Anne has considerable business experience –  her former roles include Chairman of Lakes Environmental Ltd and the New Zealand Blood Service, and serving as a Director of Meridian Energy Ltd and Airways Corporation NZ Ltd. Anne is a Wanaka resident.


TP Giselle McLachlan WEBGiselle

Giselle is a director and a lawyer, with business experience from a variety of perspectives. She lives in Tarras and commutes to Christchurch most weeks, where she is General Manager of commercial and agri-business law firm Tavendale + Partners.  Giselle has served on a number of boards, including the H&J Smith Group and local start up Insiteful.  She enjoys helping people and businesses to grow and succeed.

Wayne Hudson

Wayne Hudson has spent the last 30 years focusing on the technology business sector, advising on commercialising intellectual property, buying and selling tech businesses, capital-raising and structuring start-up businesses. He is a legal consultant through his company WHIPIT Limited, which assists technology start-up companies prepare for growth, investment and sale. Wayne is also on the steering group for the Centre for Space Science Technology in Alexandra and the Wanaka Ski and Snowsports Club president.

Mark Verbiest

Mark Verbiest is an experienced company director, serving as director of ANZ Bank New Zealand Limited, Meridian Energy Limited and Freightways Limited, Chairman of Willis Bond Capital Partners Limited and Willis Bond General Partner Limited, a member of the Commercial Operations Advisory Board of the New Zealand Treasury and the Treasury Board, and is a former board member of the Financial Markets Authority. He is also a trustee of the Southern Lakes Arts Festival Trust and a consultant to national law firm Simpson Grierson. Mark has a law degree from Victoria University of Wellington. Mark’s experience in the telecommunications sector extends over more than a decade, including 7½ years on Spark’s senior executive team from 2000.