2019 Award Winners

National acclaim for outstanding engineering and consulting projects

Engineering and consulting projects in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and the Chatham Islands received the highest honours at the 54th ACENZ Innovate Awards held in Christchurch on 9 August 2019.

The Awards recognise projects that achieve a high level of innovation and excellence that result in outstanding project outcomes. In 2019, 37 projects were submitted from a broad range of disciplines.

ACENZ CEO Paul Evans commended this year’s entrants on their innovative approaches which have ensured New Zealand continues to be at the forefront of engineering excellence.

The awards evening showcased many inspiring projects that have again raised the bar in Aotearoa. I hope that the success of these projects will inspire others to continue their pursuit of excellence for both the client and the community.”


Gold award winners:

“20 Customhouse Quay” - Dunning Thornton Consultants

The 16-story state of the art base-isolated office tower at 20 Customhouse Quay, was designed by Dunning Thornton Consultants. A base-isolated building of this height had not been constructed in New Zealand previously, this combined with the use of a tubular diagrid frame was also a first for New Zealand. The result is a very high-quality building, with the consultants delivering a new benchmark for New Zealand high-rise office design.


"Waterview Connection project" - The Well-Connected Alliance (composed of NZ Transport Agency, Fletcher Construction, McConnell Dowell, WSP Opus, Beca, Tonkin + Taylor, and Obayashi Corporation)

This $1.4B Waterview Connection project was the final link in Auckland’s Western Ring Route and included twin 2.4 km tunnels, associated motorway and ramp infrastructure along with the establishment of a significant number of community facilities. The tunnel excavation utilised a single tunnel boring machine (instead of the typical two), which involved turning the 87-metre-long behemoth 180° after the first drive.

This was a highly complex project which included the implementation of community benefits including 20 hectares of ecological work and plantings along with activity facilities including basketball courts, playgrounds and skateparks.


"Watercare Mangere Wastewater Treatment Plant upgrade" - CH2M Beca

The $144m Watercare Mangere Wastewater Treatment Plant upgrade was the largest single-site capital works delivery of wastewater infrastructure in New Zealand since Project Manukau was completed in 2000. To accommodate the upgrade of the plant, land to the south of Island Road was redeveloped, a 2km section of Watercare Coastal Walkway was relocated as part of the Te Aroroa Trail, and a new 530-metre road was built to replace the eastern section of Island Road.

The project was both technically and contractually complex, but the consultant’s high-quality management and excellence of consulting service were major factors in a successful outcome. 


"Waitangi Wharf Upgrade" - The Memorial Park Alliance (composed of NZ Transport Agency, HEB Construction, Downer, Tonkin + Taylor, and AECOM)

The Waitangi wharf on the Chatham Islands was near the end of its structural life and required a significant redevelopment. The project included the construction of a 163m long breakwater, the reclamation of 9500 square metres of land and the development of new commercial and fishing wharves.

The judges commented that decision making during the project always came from the standpoint of "how can this decision make the community better and how can this design create a better impact.”

ACENZ CEO Paul Evans said, “This project worked so well that it has re-shaped the way Department of Internal Affairs projects will be evaluated and expected to perform in the future.”


Community award winner:

Tūranga library – presented to the people of Christchurch, Christchurch City Libraries, Christchurch City Council, and Matapopore Trust

Tūranga is the new five-storey central library located in the heart of Christchurch's Cathedral Square and is now the most significant public library in the South Island. AECOM, as project manager, recognised the importance of community input and worked diligently to incorporate feedback into the project.

It is a testament to the involvement of the people of Christchurch, the commitment of council officers, particularly the library leadership team and the willingness of the consulting team to embrace community ideas that such an outstanding library has been delivered.

The truly outstanding outcome and the community-driven process that has shaped the facility make Tūranga a worthy recipient of a 2019 ACENZ Community Award.


Silver Award Winners:

  • Safer Journeys Risk Assessment Tool (Mega Maps) by Abley
  • Richmond Terminal Station Upgrade by Beca
  • PwC Centre, Wellington Waterfront by Dunning Thornton Consultants and Tonkin + Taylor
  • Rehua—University of Canterbury by Holmes Consulting
  • Tūranga by Lewis Bradford Consulting Engineers
  • Safeswim by Mott MacDonald
  • Mason Bros. Building by Mott MacDonald
  • Moving Mountains to Reconnect Communities by the North Canterbury Transport Infrastructure Recovery Alliance composed of NZ Transport Agency, KiwiRail, Fulton Hogan, HEB Construction, Downer, Higgins, Aurecon, WSP Opus, and Tonkin + Taylor


Merit Award Winners:

  • Victoria on the River by AECOM
  • AUT Mana Hauora by Beca
  • Pukete Wastewater Treatment Plant Asset Information Model by Beca
  • Innovating with segmental caisson construction to build a new pump station in Wellington’s CBD (formerly Dixon St Pump) by GHD
  • Temaiku Land and Urban Development - Feasibility Investigations by Jacobs
  • New Brighton Pier Repair Temporary Works by Structex
  • SH77 Rakaia Gorge No. 1 Bridge Deck Replacement and Seismic Strengthening by WSP Opus


For more details on the winning projects, please see our awards magazine