A successful move

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FORMER Invercargill businessman Bruce Henley has collected a business excellence award for his Wanaka-based company Aquasystems Australasia.

Mr Henley, the founder of award-winning Invercargill manufacturing company Henley Industries, won the Outstanding in Infrastructure/Trades category at the inaugural Ignite Wanaka Business Awards last Friday.

Aquasystems Australasia designs and supplies wastewater aeration systems for industrial and municipal clients, including Fonterra in New Zealand and Australian Government-owned authorities Melbourne Water and Water Corporation. A specialist company serving a global market, Aquasystems designs technology for biological wastewater treatment.

“Our day job involves keeping aerobic bacteria alive by taking oxygen out of the atmosphere and dissolving it in wastewater. This is to provide an aerobic environment for microbial degradation of organic matter and to oxidise various contaminants and render them harmless before their return to the environment,” Mr Henley said.

Mr Henley set up Aquasystems in 2007 after selling the manufacturing arm of his Invercargill business, Henley Industries. While Henley Industries was a manufacturing and wastewater treatment equipment production company, Aquasystems concentrates on full-service design, supply and project management of specialised aeration systems.

Mr Henley shifted to Wanaka permanently in 2012 to run Aquasystems from the resort town – which wasn’t an easy decision to make, he said.

“Early on we debated the logic of setting up a company serving an international market from one of the most landlocked towns in New Zealand – an hour’s drive to an airport and hundreds of kilometres to the nearest container port. At the end of the day it hasn’t made an iota of difference. It just requires a willingness to make it work.”

At the awards, Mr Henley said he was proud of what the company had achieved in Wanaka.

The high-calibre panel of nationally-respected judges, convened by Simon Telfer, commended Aquasystems for its “world-class business, amazing growth, passion for excellence, innovation, risk management and customer-centric focus”.

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