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Awards we have won

We strive for excellence in everything we do, and we’re delighted to have won national and international awards. This independent recognition the work we do for New Zealand is reaching the high standards we aim for.

This page details some of the recent awards with which we have been recognised, alongside our partners, by a number of industry and professional bodies for innovation and best practice.

Emergency Media and Public Affairs (EMPA) Awards 2018

The North Canterbury Transport Infrastructure Recovery (NCTIR) alliance communications team won an EMPA Award for the response to the Kaikoura earthquake. NCTIR is an alliance between the Transport Agency, KiwiRail and construction partners.

The team won in the Response and Recovery category for ‘Supporting the recovery of a community impacted by an emergency’. The entry focused on the year-long approach to engage with the Kaikoura community, keep them informed of progress and support them while transport networks were rebuilt.

The annual EMPA Awards for Excellence in Emergency Communication have been established to recognise those who have made a significant contribution to emergency communications in Australia and New Zealand.

Institute of Public Administration NZ Awards 2018

A Waikato project enhancing one of New Zealand’s most significant battle sites was a winner at the 2018 Institute of Public Administration NZ Awards.

The symbolic reinterpretation of the Rangiriri Paa – part of the works on the Rangiriri section of the Waikato Expressway - was awarded the Te Puni Kōkiri (Ministry of Māori Development) Award for Excellence in Crown-Māori relationships.

Transport Agency director of regional relationships, Parekawhia McLean, says the Rangiriri Paa project shows what can be achieved when the Crown and iwi work together. “We have been able to preserve the cultural and historical significance of the paa, recognising the area’s history for all New Zealanders.”

The site of the 1863 Battle of Rangiriri in north Waikato was significantly damaged when SH1 was re-routed in 1965, and the development of the 4.8km Rangiriri section of the expressway provided an opportunity to shift the highway west of the Paa site, rehabilitate the area and landscape and interpret the original Paa site.

The project was also given an Outstanding Award in the Culture and Traditions category at the International Landscape Architects World Congress in Singapore in July 2018. Earlier in the year it won a bronze for landscape design, and a silver for landscape construction in the 2018 Registered Master Landscapers awards.

Civil Contractors NZ Excellence Awards for 2018

In recognition of excellence in construction, the $52m wharf project at Waitangi on the Chatham Islands has won the Civil Contractors NZ Excellence Awards for 2018 in the projects valued between $20 - $100m dollars.

The project, which required a purpose-built quarry to be established on the island, was delivered by the Memorial Park Alliance. The project was enormously challenging due to the remote location and distances involved in getting resources to and from the islands but overcoming these challenges also meant that strong bonds developed between all involved.

The 163-metre breakwater and wharf now provides a safe haven from the elements. The construction started in December 2015, and the official opening was held on 14 March 2018.

Memorial Park Alliance manager Hugh Milliken expressed his sincere appreciation for everyone’s efforts in making the project and award happen.

Human Resources Institute of New Zealand Awards 2016

The Transport Agency team at the HRINZ AwardsThe Transport Agency's Zero Harm Reporting Tool won the award for the Institute's HR technology category for 2016. This award recognises the outstanding use of technology to address an HR or people management challenge within an organisation.

Reporting health and safety incidents has never been easier with the reporting tool. The intuitive reporting application (app) can be downloaded onto any mobile device and allows real-time reporting of incidents that occur in the office, on the network, or on a project site regardless of employer. The tool also provides greater visibility of what is happening across the Transport Agency, with two web-based platforms — the reporting hub whereby principal contractors to any Transport Agency project must report the project's health and safety performance each month, and an incident hub that provides visibility of trends and incident specific data collected from the app.

The Human Resources Institute of New Zealand is the professional body for those involved in Human Resource Management and the development of people.

New Zealand Institute of Landscape Architects Awards 2015

Sam Bourne and Jacque Bell

Sam Bourne and Jacque Bell

Highway and Network Operations Environment and Urban Design team, together with Boffa Miskell and Isthmus, took out the 2015 New Zealand Institute of Landscape Architects Award for landscape publications.

In announcing the award, the institute said the Urban Design and Landscape Guidelines are ‘two visually engaging documents, which focus on ensuring appropriate environmental and landscape outcomes are achieved around state highways. They are comprehensive in nature and work to clearly articulate the Transport Agency’s commitment to the New Zealand Urban Design Protocol and, subsequently, to broader landscape and environmental expectations and outcomes.’

Planning Institute Awards 2015

The Transport Agency and Hamilton consultancy Bloxam, Burnett and Olliver were the big winners at the 2015 Planning Institute Awards.

Planning practices for the Huntly section of the Waikato Expressway saw them jointly claim the Best Practice Award for District and Regional Planning, and the overall Nancy Northcroft Supreme Best Practice Award.

The Huntly section involves 15 kilometres of four lane expressway, 4 million square metres of earthworks, an  80-metre cut through the Taupiri Range, over 100 hectares of  forest, bush and wetland enhancement and permanent protection of a sacred lagoon and two pā.

Close collaboration and engagement with key affected parties throughout the development phase resulted in no resource consent hearings being required, and only a brief hearing to finalise designation conditions, with no appeals to the Environment Court.

The judges described the project as ‘demonstrating outstanding creativity and innovation in an example of best practice planning in an environmentally and culturally sensitive environment’.

The Transport Agency Waikato Highways Manager Kaye Clark says collaboration with key stakeholders such as Waikato-Tainui, the Department of Conservation, Waikato Regional Council and Waikato District Council, along with good planning, created such a positive outcome.

Managing Director of Bloxam Burnett and Olliver, John Olliver, says, ‘Even with complex projects, by engaging with people early and including them in the design and development process you can achieve outcomes that are acceptable to everyone, and avoid the cost and time of major hearings.’

Creative advertising judged best in the world

In 2014 we received worldwide recognition for road safety advertising, with our advertising agency, Clemenger BBDO, picking up several prestigious national and international awards for ‘Mistakes’ and ‘Blazed’.

The ‘Mistakes’ advert shows that we share the road with others so the speed a person chooses to travel at needs to leave room for any potential error – whether it’s theirs or someone else’s. The advert ‘Blazed’ challenges perceptions about drug driving.

The Cannes Lions are the world’s biggest advertising awards, celebrating the best ideas changing the way brands interact with their customers. This year our speed advert ‘Mistakes’ and drug driving advert ‘Blazed’ won three Gold Lions, two Silvers and a Bronze award.

This success follows on from the New York Festival and One Show international awards, where our speed advert ‘Mistakes’, and our two drug-driving adverts ‘Blazed’ and ‘Expert Opinion’ received one grand prize, five first place, two second place, five third place and six finalist awards. At the One Show, we were awarded Gold for ‘Mistakes’ and Bronze for ‘Blazed’.

Continuing on the international front, TED, a global not-for-profit agency devoted to spreading ideas, selected our speed advert ‘Mistakes’ as one of the 10 winning ads to profile during their 2014 TEDActive conference in Whistler, Canada.

‘Blazed’ also won Gold at this year’s Australian Gold Awards.

Closer to home, ‘Blazed’ took out a number of prestigious New Zealand awards, including Gold at the Beacon Awards (NZ Media Awards). It also won over judges at the 2014 Axis Awards, winning Best Ad of the Year, along with a swag of supporting awards, including one Grand Prix, four Golds and three Bronzes.

We also had online success, with our interactive driving game picking up Gold and a Craft award at the NZ Direct Marketing Awards.

Jennie Gianotti, Manager of Network User Behaviour, says the ‘Mistakes’ advert in particular has had an impact internationally. ‘We’ve had requests from several countries to use our “Mistakes” concept and advertising, which tells us that speed is a universal road safety issue and that New Zealand’s ads are setting the benchmark around the world.’

Public Relations Institute of New Zealand (PRINZ) Awards 2013

2013 PRINZ AwardsThe Transport Agency gained two awards at the 2013 PRINZ Awards.

The communications team for the Manawatū Gorge road closure won in the Issues, Crisis or Emergency Management category. The judges said it was a fantastic example of back-to-basics communication but with a creative twist.

The other win went to the give way rules change campaign in the Government or Quasi-Government Public Relations category. The judges said it was a well presented project, with some smart thinking included.

The annual PRINZ Awards recognise and reward outstanding public relations and communication management projects in New Zealand. They are the country’s only dedicated public relations and communication management awards.

Chief Information Officer of the Year Award 2013

Leadership and innovation at the Transport Agency was recognised with our own Craig Soutar winning the Chief Information Officer (CIO) of the Year award in June 2013.

The award is a prestigious one, and Craig was competing against finalists from companies such as Beca and Meridian Energy. It recognises New Zealand CIOs who show innovation and have key successes that fit with their company’s overall business strategy.

The judges said ‘Craig is a role model CIO and makes a significant contribution to the IT industry in New Zealand. He demonstrates leadership, innovation and strong influencing skills.’

Craig acknowledges the culture at the Transport Agency that has allowed him and his IS teams to be successful. ‘A wonderful responsibility for leaders is to set conditions and create a culture for people to thrive and be all that they can be.’

Finance Team of the Year and Public Sector Chief Financial Officer 2013

Up against strong competition from Westpac and Mighty River Power, the Transport Agency Finance team came out on top as ‘Finance Team of the Year’ at the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Summit in March 2014. The judges felt that the transformation and modernisation of the Transport Agency’s finance function is a benchmark for the public sector. The award was sponsored by the Institute of Chartered Accountants.

The institute also recognised Paul Helm, Chief Financial Officer, at the Transport Agency, as the 2013 Public Sector CFO of the Year, at its annual awards ceremony in late 2013.

This award is open to all public sector CFOs and Paul was up against stiff competition from the Ministry of Education and the Auckland Health Alliance. The judges commented that, ‘Paul has taken the finance function through significant change since 2009 and has demonstrated inspiring leadership and integrity during the transition.’

Paul acknowledged his team, other leaders and decision makers in the Transport Agency for their support in making important changes to financial systems over the past few years.

Manawatū Contact Centre Awards 2013

The Transport Agency’s contact centre received top honours this year at the Manawatū Contact Centre Awards, collecting three awards – the prestigious Contact Centre of the Year award, Customer Service Representative of the Year for Steve Williams and Trainer of the Year for Lynne Wrench.

Being recognised as Contact Centre of the Year isn’t a new experience for the Transport Agency, having won in 2011. The judges commented that the Transport Agency contact centre ‘continues to run like a well-oiled machine’. The achievements demonstrate that the focus on customers continues to make a difference.

The annual awards are open to over 30 contact centres in the Manawatū/Horowhenua area and a ceremony was held to present winners with their awards in front of 240 peers.

Customer service representative Steve Williams was praised for his winning phone manner and willingness to go out of his way ‘to make the customer experience a positive one and provide them with more than expected’, the judges said.

They said that trainer Lynne Wrench brought a ‘refreshed, energised and very passionate style of training to the Transport Agency. She’s a holistic and flexible teacher and easily able to modify her approach to group and individual needs.’

Michelle Charlton, Manager of Customer Information, said having a high number of finalists and winners is a real achievement. ‘To win three prestigious awards is icing on the cake! To be recognised by our peers and the contact centre industry for the level of service we give to, and commitment we have for, our customers is outstanding’.

‘We continue to put the customer at the heart of our business and it’s really making a difference.’