Last Thursday, 24 February 2022, IPWEA NZ was proud to celebrate Aotearoa’s best Public Works and Infrastructure projects with over 100 people, at the IPWEA NZ Asset Management Awards – Virtual Edition! With just one small technical hiccup for good measure, it was a fantastic night of celebration and recognition of people, teams and projects from all around the Motu. Thanks to all for joining and for sticking with us through the few minutes of sound issues, we were thrilled to have you there. 

The online ceremony started with a bang, as the legendary Pio Terei and CE of IPWEA NZ introduced Kōmata o Te Rangi, IPWEA NZ’s Supreme Award for the first time. Bronson Baker is a carver, from Ngati Tuwharetoa, Nga Puhi and Te Arawa iwi and based in Tamaki Makaurau, and was commissioned to create this intricate taonga as a symbol of the zenith, or pinnacle of achievement. Kōmata o Te Rangi remained on stage throughout the ceremony, waiting patiently to be presented to the inaugural winner of the award. Its mana was felt by all. 

The first formality of the evening was the presentation of the IPWEA NZ’s president’s chains. Myles Lind, former IPWEA NZ President and President of IPWEA Australasia, introduced the importance of the tradition and the meaning of the chains. Thank you Myles for dealing with the sound problem so professionally, and for eloquently sharing the meaning of presidency. 

Myles passed the chains virtually to Priyani de Silva-Currie, the current IPWEA NZ President. As if appearing out of nowhere and magically placing the chains, Priyani’s virtual assistant gave the audience a few chuckles. Priyani outlined the changes she’s looking to make to modernise IPWEA NZ, and take the organisation in a new direction. It was acknowledged by all that the bling very much suited Priyani. 

From here, Pio introduced Dr Deborah Lind, Technical Director – Water Advisory at AECOM, a Chartered Chemist, Chartered Scientist and member of the Royal Society of Chemistry (MRSC) and a member of the Institute of Directors. Deborah gracefully introduced our AECOM | IMNZ Young Leader of the Year Award, which for 2021 went to James Thorne. 

James Thorne is an outstanding professional who leads technical teams, brings ideas and energy to an extended leadership team, coordinates a pool of asset management experts and is a role model for junior staff.  He challenges the status quo and communicates thought leadership for a wide range of client representatives, from maintenance staff to operators and asset owners, all the way up to executives and elected members. With many accolades under his belt, James Thorne is a very worthy winner of the 2021 AECOM | IMNZ Young Leader of the Year Award. Congratulations James. 

We then moved on to the 2021 IPWEA NZ Asset Management Excellence Awards! With over 36 entries in total, we want to congratulate each and every finalist for making it to this point. The projects mentioned have all made a noticeable impact on communities around Aotearoa.  

Pio entertained the audience throughout the announcements of the IPWEA NZ Asset Management Excellence Award Winners: 

Best Public Works Project Under $2.0m 

Tidal Creek 2 Bridge Replacement
WSP, Buller District Council, Concrete Structures Limited 

Best Public Works Project $2.0m – $5.0m 

Mangawara Bridge
Waikato District Council, Waikato Raupatu Lands Trust (Waikato-Tainui), KiwiRail, Waka Kotahi, Taupiri Marae, Taupiri Urupa Komiti, Taupiri Community Board, Beca, Waikato District Alliance and Emmetts Civil Construction, Holmes Consulting, Waikato River Authority 

Best Public Works Project over $5.0m 

Cobham Drive Bay Connection Shared Pathway
Downer New Zealand, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency and Wellington City Council, Calibre, Isthmus

Excellence in Asset Management, sponsored by Waugh Infrastructure Management 

The Waka Kotahi Strategic Maintenance Investment Justification Project
IDS, Waka Kotahi, WSP, Downer, Fulton Hogan, Beca, Higgins, HEB 

Excellence in Project Innovation 

Paihia WWTP Upgrade 
WSP New Zealand Ltd, Far North District Council, Marshall Projects Limited 

Excellence in Water Project 

Papakura Stage One Water Treatment Plant
Brian Perry Civil, Watercare Services Ltd, Suez, ACH, and Neo Consulting 

Excellence in Road Safety 

Peninsula Connection
GHD, Dunedin City Council, Bonisch, Fulton Hogan, Isaacs 

Excellence in Environment & Sustainability 

Piritahi House Removal Programme
Piritahi, Tonkin + Taylor, Dempsey Wood, Harrison Grierson, Hick Bros Group, Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities, Woods 

Congratulations to everyone involved in these fantastic projects, it’s an amazing achievement!  

The IPWEA NZ Awards culminated in the inaugural presentation of Kōmata o Te Rangi – a very special moment for all involved.  

Congratulations to Piritahi who were selected by the judges as the supreme award winner and the first worthy recipient of Kōmata o Te Rangi – your House Removal Programme is achieving the high bar of excellence and we are inspired by your commitment to sustainability and the environment – as well as the communities around you.   

We have no doubt the Piritahi win will challenge asset management professionals to embed sustainability and environmental principles into their stewardship of Aotearoa’s public infrastructure – so as to follow in your footsteps.  Kōmata o Te Rangi’s journey to build its mana has emphatically begun with an exemplar of asset management excellence. 

It was wonderful to have some of the Piritahi team able to join in person. It was hard to keep the surprise from them, however it was an honour to present the precious taonga in person.  

Thank you again to everyone who helped make this virtual event possible! It wouldn’t have been right without a small glitch in the technology so we thank you for your support. Thank you to all attendees, Myles Lind, Priyani de Silva-Currie, Deborah Lind, our friends at The Conference Team, Auckland Unlimited, the wonderful Pio Terei and of course our award sponsors, Waugh Infrastructure Management, Higgins and Morphum Environmental. 

 Read more about all of the finalist projects here!