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Updated: 31 July 2013

Find out about our projects and work that have won national and international awards. These awards recognise our achievements, along with those of our consultants and contractors.

See previous awards

Our successes

At the Transport Agency, we strive for excellence in everything we do to create transport solutions for a thriving New Zealand. This year we have been recognised, alongside our partners, by a number of industry and professional bodies for innovation and best practice.

This section showcases some of our successes.

Newmarket Viaduct wins on world stage

World Demolition Award

2012 NGA Newmarket Alliance won the Civils Demolition Award at the World Demolition Awards in Amsterdam. The Alliance won the award for the unique way that they constructed the new viaduct while deconstructing the original one, and the way they successfully engaged with the Auckland community throughout the project.

A panel of international experts deemed the Alliance winners ahead of tough global competition.

Recognition in such prestigious international awards shows that the Transport Agency is leading the way in innovation, not just in New Zealand but on the world stage.

Excellence in Engineering for Safety

The Transport Agency and MWH Global received recognition in 2012 for their project KiwiRAP Star Ratings & KAT: The Development of a Proactive Road Safety Assessment Tool.

The KiwiRAP Star Rating has attracted international recognition for its innovation and effectiveness as a proactive road safety assessment and management tool. It is a key means for moving towards the Safe System approach, promoted by the New Zealand road safety strategy, Safer Journeys.

Launched by the Minister of Transport in June 2010, KiwiRAP Star Ratings have been used to assess the safety afforded by road infrastructure and allocate a star rating from 1 star through to 5 stars, across 10,000km of the rural state highway network in New Zealand.

KiwiRAP is improving safety outcomes by helping to grow public awareness, and provides a common nationwide assessment methodology for highway network planners and managers. By understanding deficiencies in road infrastructure features that increase crash risk through KiwiRAP, it is possible to proactively and more accurately prioritise road safety investment to target resources to those routes and features where the greatest road safety gains can be achieved.

'The ability to accurately, systematically, and cost effectively quantify existing roads in a way that enables the relative risks of crashes to be determined is a major step forward in road infrastructure management,' said awards judge Andrew Read of Pedersen Read Consulting Engineers in Christchurch.

The Excellence in Engineering for Safety Award recognises outstanding activities associated with engineering that promote excellence in health and safety, or an individual who has championed health and safety.

The Transport Agency was also recognised in the Information, Communication, Electrical and Electronic Technology category for the world-leading Milford and Knobs Flat Variable Message Signs (VMS).

Business Continuity Programme wins over judges with 'wow' factor

The Transport Agency's Business Continuity Programme (BCP) was named IT Project of the Year at the 2012 ITEX Computerworld Awards, which acknowledge and celebrate the outstanding efforts of people in the ICT industry.

The BCP, which addressed the approaching end-of-life of the Agency's registry IT systems environment, won out over two other finalists: Fulton Hogan for the IT establishment of SCIRT (Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild Team), and Rugby New Zealand for the IT programme that supported the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

The judges were particularly impressed with the size and complexity of our programme.

According to Craig Soutar, our Chief Information Officer, 'It wasn't just the delivery of the BCP that was the success. The bigger 'wow' factor was that we also delivered Driver Licensing Amendment Act changes, Road User Charges reform and Motor Vehicle Administration Fee changes.'

When organisations do 're-platforming' changes, Craig says, they usually freeze their systems for the project duration while migrating. 'We didn't do that. We piled a record level of change on at the same time. We also conducted extensive research prior to committing to the project and we sought insights and advice as we progressed through the 15-month implementation phase.'

The Agency is the second entity in the world to deliver this kind of change, and the first to do it (the Ohio Department of Public Safety) took nearly four years.

CIO of the year Craig Soutar

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

Craig Soutar CIO of the year

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 NZ. He demonstrates leadership, innovation and strong influencing skills'.

Craig acknowledges the culture at the NZTA 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'. This is what our Senior Leadership Team and other leaders are crafting – and this has been a critical factor in me winning the award.

'While I have been recognised by my peers, I want to share and celebrate this with all of our IS people as my recognition has been achieved through their outstanding contributions and behaviours.'

The Transport Agency's communication champions

Two major communication campaigns were acknowledged at the 2013 Public Relations Institute of New Zealand (PRINZ) Awards and the 2012 Plain English Awards.

PRINZ double winners

The Transport Agency gained two awards at the PRINZ Awards.

The communications team for the Manawatu 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 PR and communication management awards. To win is a high accolade and shows that your work gets results.

Plain English champions

The Transport Agency was also a winner (and finalist) in the Plain English Champion—Best Individual or Team award at the 2012 WriteMark Plain English Awards.

The Manuwatu Gorge team took out the top prize. The documents submitted in this entry were so well written that every judge commented on how they read as if they were a page-turner novel. The fact that two of the judges were from the US and could easily understand the complexities of a situation that is not familiar to them speaks to how clearly the team wrote the emails.

The team who worked on the give way rule changes were a finalist in the same category. The judges said 'This campaign shows the power of plain English to communicate clearly to a broad audience and avoid misunderstanding. In this case it was literally a matter of life and death. Their focus on the essential messages is a great demonstration of plain English principles.

Legend campaign goes for gold

The Transport Agency picked up three golds at the Effie Awards for the drink-driving campaign Legend. The gold Effies were for social marketing/public sector, best strategic thinking and hardest challenge.

The Effie judges said the Legend campaign helped start a conversation amongst the core audience. They noted the positive news coverage that the campaign generated and said Legend was a powerful story that got young men owning the message by talking with each other about drink-driving.

Introduced in 1968 by the New York American Marketing Association, Effie is the pre-eminent award in the advertising industry. It is the only award that honours creative achievement in meeting and exceeding advertising objectives.

Legend also scooped awards at the ESET NetGuide Web Awards 2012 for best viral video and best web advertisement. The NetGuide Awards are decided by an online public vote and are the highest reaching technology awards in New Zealand.

Practice picks up gold

The young driver injury prevention programme 'Practice', delivered by the Transport Agency and ACC, won gold in the Industry category at the New Zealand Direct Marketing (NZDM) Awards, held in February 2013.

The Practice summer campaign included both a direct marketing and online campaign. The campaign targeted learner licence holders aged 16 – 19, and encouraged them to sign up to the web-based Practice programme to help them pass their Restricted licence test.

The results of the campaign exceeded all expectations. There were double the registrations to Practice compared with the previous two months. Young driver registrations were up 33% and coach registrations up 37% against the same period the previous year.

Given the success of this programme, an annual campaign is now in place and based around the school holidays when teens are more likely to start learning to drive. The second round of the campaign conducted over the summer holidays generated over 30,000 visits to the Practice website in January alone.

The NZDM Awards recognise excellence in insight-driven direct marketing projects and campaigns that generate outstanding results. Practice was also a finalist in the CRM and Data Management category for innovative programme reporting.

The Transport Agency leads the way in plant conservation

The Transport Agency was recognised by the New Zealand Plant Conservation Network with a Special Award for efforts in 'Restoring native plant life to road corridors' at their 2012 awards held in November 2012.

The New Zealand Plant Conservation Network is the country's only non-governmental organisation devoted to protecting indigenous flora, and was set up as an incorporated society in 2003 to work towards implementing the New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy and the Global Plant Conservation Strategy.

The Transport Agency's Environment and Urban Design Team was ecstatic about their win, 'It's great to have our commitment to using native plants in the roading corridor recognised. This practice promotes native biodiversity and decreases our long term maintenance costs by selecting plants that can survive in the local conditions.

Awards recognise environmental compliance

Two Transport Agency projects were recognised in July 2012 for their high degree of environmental compliance, each winning an award from the Waikato Regional Council for achieving a high quality of erosion and sediment control on earthworks. The Te Rapa Alliance Waikato Expressway project won for 'best practice'; and the Atiamuri Bridge Replacement project won for 'innovative practice'.

NZTA Projects Service Manager, Bryce Carter, says that both awards reflect the effort the Agency is making to minimise the environmental impacts of its construction projects. 'We acknowledge that our projects can have significant effects on the environment - sediment run off is a particular concern. That's why we put a lot of emphasis on minimising environmental effects during and after construction,' says Mr Carter.

Mr Carter says the awards for Te Rapa and for Atiamuri recognise how our projects can be adapted to take account of extremely sensitive environments, making ongoing improvements to processes along the way. 'We are delighted with the work our project teams are doing in achieving this goal.'

The regional council's land and soil programme manager Grant Blackie said the awards acknowledged the 'excellent examples of best practice, innovation and compliance with resource consent conditions'.

More information

The Atiamuri Bridge Replacement project webcams can be viewed online along with project updates, photos and other information on the project's NZTA web pages

Information on the Waikato Expressway project is available on the NZTA website or on the Waikato Expressway Facebook page

Breaking new ground with the 'new' Old Mangere Bridge project

The NZTA's Old Mangere Bridge replacement project was recognised for its public sector excellence, vision, innovation and results by the Institute of Public Administration New Zealand (IPANZ). At the annual IPANZ awards dinner, held in early July 2013, the project to replace a 100 year old bridge and vital walking and cycling connection in Mangere, Auckland, was named a finalist (top 3) in the Integrity and Trust category.

A new category for 2013, it celebrates projects that demonstrate where people thought creatively about how to meet the highest standards of integrity and build trust with people and communities they serve, or how to do the right thing where the normal rules or responses may not be enough.

The project's manager, Sarah Cronwright, says she's pleased that the project's public engagement and consultation strategy has been recognised for excellence.

'Knowing how well-loved the old bridge is to the community, we've been fully committed to listening to and involving the community in this project. Key to this, and building trust and integrity, has been a new business case model which includes talking to stakeholders at a project's very early stages before any designs are put to paper.

'The main benefits of this approach, and finding out from people what their main issues are, include better insight into what the community actually wants and a tighter design brief which requires less re-work and costs during the detailed design phase. On top of this of course is the respect and long-term relationship building the agency is fostering by taking this upfront approach.'

For more information on the project visit the projects pages on our website