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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.

Engineering NZ ENVI Awards 2019 

20191112 engineering nz envi awards 2019

Joint winners at the inaugural ENVI Awards 2019.

The recovery of the road and rail networks following the Kaikōura earthquake took out the Supreme Award at the Engineering NZ ENVI Awards.

Following a joint win in the Engineering Impact category (with Auckland Council’s Te Auaunga), Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, KiwiRail and the North Canterbury Transport Infrastructure Recovery (NCTIR) alliance’s work on the earthquake recovery was selected as the overall winner from the category winners.

The Designers Institute Best Design Awards 2019

Drive Go team members accepting their award.

Drive Go team members accepting their award.

The Drive Go mobile app has won a Gold pin in the Interactive Applications category at this year’s BestDesign Awards in October. Drive Go is part of the Drive programme – a free practical driving programme to help people prepare for all three driver licence tests, created in partnership with ACC.

The Belted Survivors campaign also won Silver in the Graphic Design craft section and Bronze in the Public Good section.

Drive Go mobile app(external link)
Belted Survivors campaign(external link)

American Railway Engineering and Maintenance of Way Association’s (AREMA) Awards 2019

The NZ Transport Agency, KiwiRail and the North Canterbury Transport Infrastructure Recovery (NCTIR) alliance won a prestigious North American rail industry award for the collaborative effort to open KiwiRail’s Main North Line, after it was devastated by the 2016 Kaikōura earthquake.

The project was awarded the annual W. W. Hay Award for Excellence from the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance of Way Association’s (AREMA). We were the first recipients outside of North America and Canada to win this award.

170915 First Freight Train

Safeguard Workplace Health and Safety Collaboration Award 2019

The NZ Transport Agency, KiwiRail and NCTIR won the Safeguard Workplace Health and Safety Collaboration Award, for the Kaikōura earthquake recovery.

The safety of workers and the travelling public was paramount from the outset and a health and safety approach was developed that brought all 350 organisations involved in the recovery to the same high level of safe work expectation.

2019 Safeguard Awards press release(external link)
Transport Agency Kaikoura earthquake response

Emergency Media and Public Affairs (EMPA) Awards 2019

Monica Brookes and Lachlan Forsyth with EMPA award

Monica Brookes and Lachlan Forsyth received the award on behalf of the Transport Agency.

The Transport Agency won the the ‘Emergency communications – Response and Recovery’ category at the 2019 EMPA Awards for the Transport Agency's response to the loss of the Waiho River bridge on the West Coast in March 2019. The bridge was a critical link on State Highway 6 with a 14-hour detour around the Southern Alps until it was fixed. Communicating the work to replace the bridge was a project almost as complex as the physical rebuild.

SH6 Waiho River bridge
2019 EMPA Awards for Excellence – NZ winners(external link)

Innovate NZ Awards of Excellence 2019

Innovate Awards 2019

The Waitangi Wharf upgrade in the Chatham Islands, Auckland’s Waterview Connection, the Mega Maps digital tool and the Moving Mountains to Reconnect Communities project in Kaikoura were all recognised for their excellence at the recent Innovate NZ Awards.

Held by the Association for Consulting and Engineering Professionals, Waterview and Waitangi Wharf won gold, while Mega Maps and Moving Mountains to Reconnect Communities received silver.

Public Relations Institute of New Zealand (PRINZ) Awards 2019

Natalie Mankelow and Amanda Weatherley

Natalie Mankelow and Amanda Weatherley receive the award on behalf of the Transport Agency.

The Transport Agency received Highly Commended in the 2019 Public Relations Institute of New Zealand (PRINZ) Awards in the Special Project or Short-term Campaign for the Maungatapu underpass community day.

The Maungatapu underpass community day was a free family fun day offering the unique opportunity to walk or cycle through the new underpass before it opened to traffic.

Maungatapu underpass community day

Public Works Engineers Australasia (IPWEA) NZ Excellence Awards 2019

The State Highway 2 Watchman Road project scooped the award for Best Public Works Project over $5 million at the Institute of Public Works Engineers Australasia (IPWEA) NZ Excellence Awards.

This award follows two other awards given to the project this year including the New Zealand Planning Institute Te Kokiringa Taumata Rodney Davis Project 2019 Award, and an award from Civil Contractors NZ for construction.

Los Angeles Business Council’s Architectural Awards 2019

The Waterview Connection project was recognised at the Los Angeles Business Council’s Architectural Awards.

The Tripartite Award acknowledges the Waterview Connection project was about so much more than the twin 2.4km long road tunnels deep underground.

Best Design Awards 2019

The Drive Go mobile app has won Gold in the Interactive – Applications category at this year’s Best Design Awards. Run by the Designer’s Institute of New Zealand, their awards website describes the Best Design Awards as an annual showcase of excellence in graphic, spatial, product, interactive and motion design along with four boutique awards.’ Our partner provider, Alphero put together a video that summarises the development of Drive Go.

View the video on the Best Design Award's website(external link)

Belted Survivors campaign awards

In February 2019, we launched the first phase of our seatbelt advertising campaign Belted Survivors. This campaign challenges males aged 20-40 years to view seatbelts as a ‘tool worth using’ and it took off immediately; social media posts were shared over 243,000 times in the first fortnight. By April, international media had picked up the campaign and 50,000 people had visited the Belted Survivors website.

Belted survivors campaign(external link)

Ad Stars 2019 Festival

Based in Korea, Ad Stars claim to be ‘the only international advertising festival that combines creativity with cutting-edge technology.’ Belted Survivors won a silver in the category of Design/Communication Design/Posters, a bronze and two crystals in the category of Outdoor/Outdoor Craft/Photography and another bronze for Public Service/Advertising/Healthcare.

Beacon Awards 2019

In April 2019, Belted Survivors was recognised as a finalist in the category Social Marketing/Public Service of the Beacon Awards.

The Beacon Awards focus on media strategy and implementation rather than the actual creative of an ad. They recognise the power of innovative and highly effective media solutions to leverage the creative message and connect with/ engage customers.

Best Design Awards 2019

The Best Design Awards honour excellence in graphic, spatial, product, interactive and motion design nationwide. At the 2019 awards, Belted Survivors received a bronze in the category of Public Good and a silver in the category of Design Craft.

Clio Awards 2019

Belted Survivors was awarded a silver award and three bronze awards in the 2019 Clio Awards. The Clio Awards were established in 1959 to celebrate creative excellence in advertising, honour work that ‘pushes boundaries, permeates pop culture and sets new precedents around the globe’.(external link)

D&AD Awards 2019

The D&AD Pencil Awards celebrate the finest work in design and advertising globally. Belted Survivors won two wood pencils (the equivalent of bronze) in this year’s awards. Both awards were for Press and Outdoor but one fell in the category Public Service Poster Advertising and the other, Poster Advertising Campaigns.

Lürzer’s Archive, Issue 2, 2019

Lürzer’s Archive is a bi-monthly magazine for the advertising industry that features advertising campaigns for print and TV from around the world. Making the front cover of this magazine is an honour and our new seatbelt campaign Belted Survivors was chosen as the cover for Issue 2, 2019.

New Zealand Effie Awards 2019

Belted Survivors won bronze for Social Marketing/Public Service, silver for the Most Effective Integrated Campaign and gold for the Hardest Challenge. Introduced by the New York American Marketing Association, the Effie Awards are the only advertising awards that honour the effectiveness of a campaign. The Commercial Communications Council holds the New Zealand Effie Award licence.

Past awards

  • 2018

    Institution of Civil Engineers People’s Choice Award 2018

    The NZ Transport Agency, KiwiRail and the North Canterbury Transport Infrastructure Recovery alliance (NCTIR) won the global Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) People’s Choice Award for 2018.

    This prestigious award was decided by public vote and recognises a civil engineering project that transforms people’s lives.

    Institute of Civil Engineers People's Choice award (external link)
    Transport Agency Kaikoura earthquake response

    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 Kaikōura 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 Kaikōura 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.

    Kaikōura earthquake response
    2018 EMPA Awards for Excellence – NZ winners(external link)

    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.

    Best Design Awards 2018

    The Drive Community Toolkit received a coveted Gold Pin at the Designers Institute of New Zealand’s Best Design Awards. The Gold Pin recognises the best entry in each category and the Toolkit received the Gold Pin in the category of Public Good. The Best Awards are an annual showcase of excellence in graphic, spatial, product, interactive and motion design nationwide.

    The Australian Graphic Design Association Awards (AGDA) 2018

    The Australian equivalent of the NZ Best Design Awards, the AGDA Awards 2018 celebrated the best design work for 2018 across a wide range of disciplines. Drive was recognised in several categories for both the Drive Virtual Reality (VR) app and the Drive Community Toolkit.

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  • 2016

    Human Resources Institute of New Zealand Awards 2016

    The Transport Agency team at the HRINZ Awards

    The 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.

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  • 2015

    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.’

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  • 2014

    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.’

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  • 2013

    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.’

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