Flying Kiwis hail teams

2009 winners are serial entrepreneurs Rod Drury and Selwyn Pellett

High-tech entrepreneurs Rod Drury and Selwyn Pellett, have been named as this year’s recipients of the Tait Radio Communications’ Flying Kiwi Awards at a breakfast in Wellington.

The pair enter the Tait NZ Hi-Tech Hall of Fame, joining founding member Sir Angus Tait and such previous recipients as Neville Jordan, Sir Woolf Fisher & Maurice Paykel, Sir Peter Maire, Bill Gallagher, Trevor Eagle, Ian Taylor, Dennis Chapman and Sir Gil Simpson.

“It is the highest honour our high-tech industry bestows upon an individual,” says NZ Hi-Tech Awards chair Wayne Norrie. “You need to have shown inspiration, innovation and leadership over a sustained period of time to be considered.”

In accepting the award, both recipients gave credit to their teams. One of the skills of a leader is to choose the right people to work with, said Pellett. “It’s much easier to do things when you’ve got the right people around you,” Drury agreed.

Xero founder Drury raised international broadband capacity as an important facilitator of future business success, “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take distance out of the equation.

“It is important to demand-aggregate our businesses to enable that international fibre,” he said.

This year more than 150 industry leaders were asked to put forward their nominations for the Tait Flying Kiwi award, resulting in about 30 individuals being nominated

It is important that now the winners are judged by their peers, says Norrie, not by a “back-room committee”.

The choice was quite easy, he said; when votes for each candidate were set up as a chart, two stood out above the background like “skyscrapers”

Selwyn Pellett is currently directly involved with five companies and is mentoring a number of others and clearly intends to continue in that mould.

As co-founder, former CEO, chair and still a director of Endace, he was instrumental in the company becoming the first New Zealand registered company to list on the UK's AIM stock market in June 2005.

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