National Public Works Excellence Awards celebrate the best in New Zealand’s Public Works Sector

3 December 2020

New Zealand’s best Public Works and Infrastructure projects were celebrated at a packed Dunedin Centre, at the Institute of Public Works Conference in Dunedin last Thursday night, 3rd December.

Into their 15th year, the IPWEA NZ Public Works Excellence Awards recognise and celebrate the often invisible efforts and achievements of the public works sector including local government, central government, consultants, contractors and suppliers around Aotearoa. Their work managing our infrastructure assets is integral to supporting New Zealand communities to thrive.

The Excellence in Strategic Planning Award went to Waka Kotahi, Tonkin + Taylor and Tregaskis Brown for The Waka Kotahi National Resilience Programme Business Case. The National Resilience Programme Business Case provided a detailed evidence-base for future resilience planning and investment decisions for Waka Kotahi. The project identified and prioritised physical risks to New Zealand’s highway network in relation to natural hazards, climate change and key systemic issues. Delivered for Waka Kotahi by Tonkin + Taylor, and Tregaskis Brown, the project will ultimately contribute to delivering more resilient communities throughout New Zealand.

The Excellence in Maximising Asset Performance Award was jointly won by Central Otago District Council and Infrastructure Decision Support (IDS), for The IDS Unsealed Roads Network Performance Modelling Tool. The tool provides roading engineers with the ability to determine the optimal expenditure and the appropriate level of service for their unsealed roads network, while taking account of customer satisfaction and preserving the gravel sources (Te Ao Turoa). Community outcomes are at the heart of this award-winning tool.

In the same category, Waka Kotahi, WSP, Aurecon and McConnell Dowell jointly received a Highly Commended for the Lyttelton Tunnel Deluge System project. The Lyttelton Tunnel is a critical state highway link between the Port of Lyttelton and Christchurch. The 1999 Mont Blanc fire in Italy highlighted the catastrophic consequences of a tunnel fire. Lyttelton Tunnel’s new deluge system and ventilation system improvements align the tunnel with standards developed following the Mont Blanc event.

For their exceptional work on The SH6 Waiho Bailey Bridge Flood Recovery, the winners of the Best Public Works Project under $5 million were Waka Kotahi, WSP, and the main contractors, Downer and Fulton Hogan.  Other parties that contributed to the success of this contract were: Liddell Contracting, Smith Crane & Construction, MBD Contracting, Blakely Construction, Grey Brothers Engineering, Westroads, E-Quip Engineering, Southern QA, NZ Defence Force and Heliservices Franz Josef. The Waiho Bailey Bridge is located on State Highway 6, just South of Franz Josef township. On March 26 2019, a massive storm event resulted in the northern abutment and northern-most pier being washed out. This led to the collapse of several spans of the Bailey bridge. The success of this recovery project was highlighted by the opening of the new 172m long bridge less than 18 days after the old bridge was washed away.

He Ara Kotahi – ‘The Pathway that binds us together’ is a flagship new walkway-cycleway project across the Manawatū river and winner of the Best Public Works Project over $5 million. This project was delivered by WSP, Concrete Structures (NZ) Ltd, Fifth Season Design Fulton Hogan.  In 2015, a collaborative partnership of Rangitāne o Manawatū, Massey University, the NZ Defence Force and Palmerston North City Council decided to deliver this flagship project across the Manawatū River. The vision was to connect the two halves of Palmerston North City, Massey University, a cluster of research facilities, and the Linton Army Base.

Te Arawa iwi and land trusts, Bay of Plenty Regional Council, WSP and J Swap Ltd received a highly recommended award for the over $5 million category for The Kaituna Rediversion and Te Awa o Ngātoroirangi / Maketu Estuary Enhancement Project. The Kaituna River meets the sea, South of Tauranga, at the ‘Kaituna Cut’, and for tangata whenua the ‘Cut’ was a wound that needed to be healed. Created in 1956, the Cut diverted the flow of the river away from its natural outlet so surrounding areas could be drained and farmed. Losing freshwater flows however, was detrimental to the health of the estuary and 90% of its wetlands were lost. The project was established in 2012 to re-divert at least 20% of the river’s flow to the estuary, to restore it’s mauri and ecological health. The project was funded and led by the Bay of Plenty Regional Council and delivered in collaboration with tangata whenua, the district council and the wider community, who – together with the design, consenting and construction team – worked together to ensure its success.

Recipients of a second highly commended award in the over $5 million award category were Buller District Council and Hadlee & Brunton for the Westport Water Tunnel Pipeline Project. This project successfully reinstated 2.5km gravity flow, fully enclosed pipeline from the raw water source to the treatment plant, completing a key component of the water supply infrastructure network, achieving great community outcomes both in terms of the project and also in use of local suppliers.

Highly commended in the Environment & Sustainability Excellence Award were Waka Kotahi, Fulton Hogan, HEB Construction, WSP, Jacobs, Gaia Engineers, and Bartley Consultants for The State Highway 1 Waikato Expressway Project. The Huntly section of the Waikato Expressway project involved four-laning of State Highway 1 from the Bombays to south of Cambridge.

The project reflects an integrated design approach where engineering and environmental considerations were developed and enhanced in response to site specific challenges and community expectations.

The Morphum Environment & Sustainability Excellence Award was won by Auckland Council, Fulton Hogan, Boffa Miskell and AECOM for Te Auaunga Flood Mitigation Project. This project in the Auckland suburb of Mt Roskill, delivered a range of environmental, social, cultural and economic outcomes.

Grounded in Auckland Council’s vision, based on the aspirations of mana whenua and the local community. Te Auaunga exemplifies how working collaboratively and flexibly can deliver an enduring social legacy with multiple ancillary benefits for current and future generations.

For more information please contact:
Peter Higgs, Business Manager: (04) 472 2388  or 027 496 8200
Freda Wells, Communications Manager: (04) 472 2388  or  021 0307 464